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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on your Kukyu Aurik. Its an awesome feeling and a testament of your improvement. Keep up the great work and keep us filled in.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 39
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's been a little while since I've posted in here. I've had a couple of minor setbacks in my journey, but nothing too major. A few weeks ago I threw out my back while moving stuff around my office. I pretty much couldn't get out of bed for the first 2 days, and I gave it an extra week just in case. Unfortunately those 2 weeks off plus the time off around christmas really hurt the stamina I'd built up. While I do try to work out at home, I definitely do not hit the same intensity or duration as I get in a formal workout.

In the meantime we've had a few new students join the adult class, so I'm not the youngest student there (yay!). Also, our sensei has started getting picky in his feedback on my forms; for example, in Kanshiwa in the initial 3 pivot/block/strike sequences, he wants my block to finish at the same time my rear foot hits the ground, and in the block/elbow/backfist sequence, he wants me to focus on chambering the backfist so it strikes upwards instead of going straight overhand from the elbow strike.

Also, anytime I (or any other student) asks "why", he has an answer that makes sense. Sometimes it's "because our lineage does it this way, but so-and-so's school may do it this other way".
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5th kyu Shuri-Ryu, 4th kyu Judo, 8th kyu Uechi-Ryu
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Wayofaswede
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 16 Jan 2017
Posts: 135
Location: Sweden
Styles: Shukokai Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, Aikido (Aikikai), Judo, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 4:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to hear your back is better,
congrats to the new grade and best of luck with the training


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The path so far: 3 kyu Aikido (Aikikai), 4 kyu Karate (Shukokai Shito-ryu), 5 kyu Judo, 9 kyu Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

Not a day without a kata
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 39
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So things have been going pretty well for the most part for me. I'm finding my speed, power, and technique are improving very quickly, but my endurance still pretty much sucks. For example, Monday night my Sensei was working with me on Kanshiwa Bunkai as a pre-test, and I was giving it my all. I did a great job, but I was sucking wind for a full minute or two afterwards.

The good news is that after that, he asked me if I had any questions, and my main question was, "Is there anything I should be doing differently when I test for this [this coming Saturday]". His response was, "No, don't change anything right now." Meaning of course: Yes, I see places you can improve, but I don't want you over-thinking things on your upcoming test.

I'm also getting the hang of our kicking drill. On the surface, it's not horribly practical, but I'm finding it's a great tool for working my flexibility, judging distance, and flow/transitions. You can see my sensei and one of our junior black belts perform it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcsfAvAiQUE&pbjreload=10. It's also one of those drills where it's actually easier to do with a partner, because the blocks for several of the kicks help the attacker "wind up" for the next kick. This is especially true for the side kick->spinning hook kick sequence.

One thing I like about our instructor is that he will teach you things when he thinks you're ready to absorb them. This may be long before you need to know them for your rank. For example, I'm currently working hojo undo, kote kitae, Sanchin, Kanshiwa (+bunkai), the Yakosoku Kumite drills, the Kyu Kumite drills, and the kicking drill. However, the Kyu Kumite and Kicking drills I won't need to know until I test for Rokkyu/Green Belt (6 months+ out). This gives me plenty of time to instill these drils in my brain and build the muscle memory before I need to test for them.

I'd say "wish me luck" on Saturday, but I'm feeling pretty confident about my abilities today.
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5th kyu Shuri-Ryu, 4th kyu Judo, 8th kyu Uechi-Ryu
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27629
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well good luck anyway!
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tallgeese
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6851
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2019 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aurik wrote:
Well, it's been a couple weeks since I posted in here (so much for the "cool stuff I learned this week" topic ). Anyhow, I've had a few revelations over the past few weeks.

At our school we do a sparring class each Saturday. Most of the ones who attend are kids, but a few adults also attend, so we get to spar against each other. Anyhow, I was sparring against one of the better adults there (non-black belt), and he had come in for a kick. I blocked it with a crane block, and I accidentally stepped on his foot on the way down. At that point I realized that I had him at a severe disadvantage and could have wailed on him pretty much all I wanted. Being the nice guy I am (and not wanting to injure my partner), I let him go pretty quick. Later on in the day, I was sparring our CI and tried that on him a few times. It didn't work, but I'll definitely be trying it a few more times.

I'm also getting to the point where I'm starting to feel BETTER after a workout (as opposed to beat up). I'm not as young or spry as I once was -- I've got some arthritis/bursitis going on in my knee, and I've got bulging discs in my lower back. However, after a class I may feel exhausted, but my knee and back tend to feel a LOT better.

Finally, I tested for (and passed) for kukyu today. I liked the way the CI runs his tests -- he has a panel of yudansha that form the testing board, and each black belt is responsible for a handful of students. The board members each take notes on the student's performance, and after the test (we all passed), the supervising black belt gives each individual student feedback on where they erred (I didn't make any egregious mistakes), and also areas they need to focus on for their next belt. I found it to be a very refreshing approach to testing.


Congrats! It's great that you're able to come back in and learn again!
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 39
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last few days were pretty good days for training and my karate in general. As I've already posted, last Saturday I passed my test for hachikyu, which meant that last night I got to start on some new material.

Last night's adult class consisted of 1 nidan, 2 shodans, 2 shodan-sho's, me, and 2 white belts. So I was paired off with one of our older shodans to do most of my drills (I get to work with him a lot, it's really good practice).

The nice thing about working with him is (for a shodan), he isn't all that good with his roundhouse kicks. So when we got to the ashi kitae, my legs have gotten resilient enough that I can ask him to kick me pretty hard (and work on his kicks), and he gets a chance to work on those low round kicks. I've also noticed my shoulders are definitely getting more resilient, because I can make it through all 50 reps on each side for the kote kitae exercises.

Next we got to work the throwing aspects of several of our drills. This isn't something that we do very often, but it's a lot of fun. For example, in kanshiwa bunkai, the attacker steps in with an overhead knife attack, and the defense is to step in to a sumo stance, perform a circle block, an elbow strike to the solar plexus, and then a backfist strike to the maxillary bone. The followup throw involves grabbing the opponent's arm, pushing on his opposite shoulder, stepping behind him and sweeping his leg (o soto gari). So I got a chance to work those for awhile, and they felt pretty natural after a few tries.

I also found that that position is prime for doing an ippon seionage as well. My partner wasn't familiar with that one, so we practiced that one a bit too.

Next I got to work with the two white belts on the kanshiwa bunkai (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PR4GKGlD0k). One of them is a returning student, so he's already familiar with this, but I got to actually (try to) teach it to the other white belt, who was performing it for the first time. I definitely learned a thing or two by trying to teach it to her, and I think she is getting the hang of it. There are a lot of formalities, and I hope I didn't overwhelm her too much.

Finally, I got to start working on our next kata (kanshu, previously known as daini seisan). I've seen it done a hundred times, but it's another thing to perform it yourself. After running through it a few times, I've got the major motions down if I think about them. I'm going to have to practice it a few times every day to get it down to the point where I can start getting meaningful corrections though.

All in all, it was a great day. I left feeling exhausted, but good. I learned a lot of new stuff, and I started on my next step to shodan.
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5th kyu Shuri-Ryu, 4th kyu Judo, 8th kyu Uechi-Ryu
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Wayofaswede
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 16 Jan 2017
Posts: 135
Location: Sweden
Styles: Shukokai Shito Ryu, Goju Ryu, Aikido (Aikikai), Judo, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on 8 kyu, I enjoy reading about your path and what you learn as you follow it.


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The path so far: 3 kyu Aikido (Aikikai), 4 kyu Karate (Shukokai Shito-ryu), 5 kyu Judo, 9 kyu Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 39
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2019 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So the last week has been full of highs and lows.

To start with the biggest low, last Wednesday was the first day of my company's Fiscal Year. I also discovered that the planning and resource allocations that they make for the FY goes into effect on May 1. It turns out they reduced allocations to my project, and as a result, I got notified that my position had been eliminated. Hence... laid off. I'm fortunate, however, that I am highly qualified for my job (software engineer), and my company is giving me basically a 3 month severance package. I already have four interviews lined up, and I hope to have something by the beginning of June. However, for the first couple days there I was in a pretty big funk.

Also last Saturday, my son entered his first tournament in both the sparring and kata divisions. He had been practicing his Kanshiwa kata every single day for the prior couple of weeks, and it really showed. Before he went there, I told him that the two MOST IMPORTANT things to do in a tournament were to (1) have fun, and (2) do your best. I'm proud to say that he did perform the best kata I've ever seen him do. He did not win a medal, but he did accept his losses with quite a bit of maturity. Also, in the sparring division, he would have a tendency to get what he thought was a point, then stop and look at the judges. At this point, of course, his opponent would tag him. Due to the way our school does belts, he was competing against students that were probably much more advanced than him (he's a junior 4th kyu, but when he turns 7 he moves to an adult/"full" 9th kyu).

I also spoke with my sensei today, and apparently some of those schools have kids that specialize in sport/tournament karate. Our school focuses more on traditional karate, but our sensei will spend a few weeks before each
tournament to help his students prepare -- like adjusting timing in katas and dealing with point sparring.

One thing I was very disappointed about with the tournament was the amount of head contact there. One kid in my son's division got hit in the head hard enough to knock out his mouthguard, and another kid from our dojo got hit in the nose hard enough to make it bleed. Unfortunately the judges were VERY hesitant to let the referee outrightly disqualify a competitor.

So one very profound but subtle thing I learned at Monday night's class -- there is no true concept of a "block" in karate. He talked about the moves which we call blocks, such as a gedan barai uke, or age uke, the term "uke" means "to receive". So you're receiving the technique, possibly redirecting it, but not necessarily "blocking" it per se. When he talked about that, I had an immediate insight from my (old) judo days when you had the tori (thrower) and uke (receiver). It also echoes some of the things that Master Thompson spoke about in his seminar last November.

Also, with my brief period of LOTS of extra time, I went ahead and scheduled a few private lessons to learn a bo kata. I'd really like to compete at the next tournament my son goes to, and honestly I'm probably too slow to do well at point sparring. I mean when we spar in class, I tend to wait for my opponent to attack, grab their hand/foot, and then slide in close and wail on them. Sometimes I get tagged, sometimes I don't. However, in a real fight my opponent would be in big trouble. (I'm slow, but also a lot bigger and stronger than most of the guys in my class.)

So today we started on sushi no kon -- when I was a lot younger, I had worked on something similar (sushi no kon sho, from a different kobudo lineage). It's going to take a lot of practice to get the muscle memory firing again, but it didn't feel TOO weird. The next tournament we're probably going to compete in will be November, so I've got plenty of time to practice.

That's long-winded, but it was a VERY eventful week.
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Patrick
KF Administrator

Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 26961
Location: Kitty Hawk, North Carolina

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2019 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to hear about your job, aurik! Glad your prospects sound great, though.

Patrick
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