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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15453
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats to you and all for your promotions!! Hard work pays off in the long way. Training hard, training sincere, training for the knowledge always have their rewards.



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Patrick
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Joined: 01 May 2001
Posts: 27966
Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2021 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for sharing this! Congrats on the promotion and the 30 pounds! That's amazing.
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aurik
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This week has had its share of ups and downs.

On a high note, our CI has introduced a new formal requirement to our curriculum for shodan. Previously, you would have a 3 month test prep cycle before shodan, and then your shodan test would include all of the shodan-specific material as well as the core material as well (kanshiwa kata, kanshiwa bunkai, kanshu kata, seichin kata, and yakusoku kumite dai ichi and dai ni). Now he is breaking those apart into a separate test that you take while you're in the 3 month test prep cycle which you can attempt after 3 months as an ikkyu.

Basically he wants to see a dan-level degree of competence in all of these core requirements, and now he wants to see you do that BEFORE testing for shodan. So this past Tuesday, he started working us on Kanshiwa bunkai. We had me, another nikyu, and a yonkyu there (the other 2 were 12 and under). He asked me to run the other 2 students through the bunkai.

Afterwards, he ran through the bunkai with me. I hadn't done this full-intensity much since the pandemic, so I was pleasantly surprised at how crisp things felt. Afterwards, he asked if I had any questions, and the only question I had was, "Where do you think I need to improve". His only comment was on how I did the wa-uke strikes in the middle of the kata, and it was more of a personal preference than a "wrong" or a "right" way.

Now for the downs for the week. Last night, while I was getting ready for class, I leaned over to grab something, and felt something slip out of place in my lower back. I immediately knew what had happened, but things were still feeling pretty good as long as I didn't aggrivate anything. I was able to get through class just fine as long as I didn't try to bend over, and I was feeling pretty good at the end of class.

Now once I got home and sat down for a bit, my back started to stiffen up. When I went to bed, I started getting cramping in both of my hamstrings as well as my adductors and abductors. Getting out of bed this morning was just plain brutal. I was able to get a morning chiropractor appointment, and he did a quick exam and confirmed what I suspected -- basically one of my lumbar vertebrae was completely out of whack and that is the nerve that ennervates the hamstrings, calves, and inner thighs. Yay me. So he was able to get some adjusting in and things are feeling a bit better, but I'm going to be out of commission for at least a week.

So, that's where I am today. We are supposed to have a 2 hour black belt (and black belt candidate) training session tomorrow, but sadly I'm going to have to miss it due to the back issues. However, I'll definitely do my best to recover quickly so I can be ready for the next one.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28973
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Man, the ups and downs are real, aren't they! Heal up soon!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15453
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 25, 2021 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That fire within you still burns bright even against those things, like injuries, because they don't define you and/or your MA. You're still forging forward with that determination that won't end.

Ups and downs also don't define you because they too, come and go. Shugyo...what my Dai-Soke always told us over and over, decades after decades...suck it up. You do just that...I see it in every post.

Train hard and train well!!



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aurik
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Jun 28, 2021 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The back is improving slowly but surely -- I was able to get out of bed this morning without uttering a single profanity. Things are still very tight and sore, but as I get up and move around they loosen up a fair bit. I've got another chiropractor appointment this afternoon, so we'll see how things are afterwards.

Getting old sometimes sucks, but it's far better than the alternative!
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aurik
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jul 14, 2021 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So for the past week and a half I've been on vacation in various parts of Colorado. At first the back was really sore and tight, but the more I got up and moved around during the day, the better it would feel. Today I was able to get up without too much trouble and it only took about an hour to get things feeling mostly normal.

Zach and I (and Tracy) had a lot of fun on this vacation. One of the things Zach and I both really enjoy is the TV show "Forged in Fire". Well, I discovered that there is a shop in Colorado Springs where a) a number of instructors have competed on the show and b) they will teach kids as young as 9 years old. So on Zach's birthday, we took one of his friends to Kilroy's Workshop and took a 3 hour "Intro to Blacksmithing" class. During the 3 hours, we forged a "viking hairpin knife" out of a billet of mild steel. Zach and his friend had a LOT of help from the instructors, and I was mainly on my own with verbal guidance. It was a LOT of fun, and we will be going back again.





My blade is the one on top, Zach's is the middle one.
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aurik
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 10:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So things are starting to get back to normal for me at the dojo. The back is well enough to do most things as long as I don't do anything truly stupid (no falls for now, for example).

Tuesday was a very small class. I got to do a fair bit of 1:1 training in sanchin and seisan with our CI's father. He had a lot of subtle insights on things, and I just hope I can remember more than a handful of them. One of the things he gave me pointers on was how certain places in Seisan should be accented and "held" for longer than others -- especially in front of the testing board. So we worked on those segments. He also did quite a bit of trying to destabilize me in Sanchin, by pulling/pushing on the ankles and lower legs, and he made it a point to explain what he was looking for.

On Thursday, we focused on two-person drills -- yakusoku kumite 1 & 2, and kyu kumite (required for yellow belt ranks and green belt ranks, respectively). Our CI mentioned that while these drills are required at specific ranks, we continue training them because as we gain new knowledge and techniques, we're supposed to adapt those techniques to the two-person drills and re-interpret the drills appropriate to our rank. For example, after a certain point, we're supposed to do two-handed blocks, etc.

We then ended Thursday's class with kata, and I was of course already winded by all of the 2-person drills (which tend to wear me out in a good way). So my kata wasn't as smooth or as powerful as I wanted it to be, but I also find that running kata when your'e exhausted makes things look/feel really great when you're fresh.

After class, the back was a bit sore (but not dangerously so), but I was feeling pretty good all things considered.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15453
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jul 16, 2021 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great posts across the board, aurik. I thank you for sharing the most recent pictures

Noah, Zack, and you have forging in mind. Noah's created some pretty good pieces. Keep on forging; your pieces look good!!



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aurik
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 197
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last night was a fun class. After running through our junbi undo, hojo undo, and sanchin, I got to work with one of my favorite partners for koshi kites — he tends to strike at just the right intensity to get the results I want, and we were able to do some of the more advanced techniques. We then did some two-person drills, and our CI’s father gave us plenty of good feedback.

Last came board breaking. He is running a breaking seminar this weekend, so we have been doing this in class a bit. Now we didn’t do any of the “easy” breaks — the first break we did was with a wrist block/strike, with the bone at the top of the wrist as the weapon. Our CI gave us a few pointers, mainly to use a strong stance and use a strong hip twist to get things started and use the strength of your Sanchin stance to strike.

So a number of the younger/smaller black belts had trouble with the 1” board (equivalent), but most of them got through it after a few tries. When it came my turn, our CI’s younger brother was holding it and I just completely blasted through. He looks at me and says, “that is why I have such a hard time blocking you”. Mind you, he is 6’4”, probably 230-250lbs, and a 5th degree. I then looked at him and whispered, “300 pounds”. He just nodded at that.

Later in the class, I did a break of the 1” board with a boshiken strike (palm-heel out, thumb tight and reinforced against the palm, the thumb is the weapon), and completely blasted through that too.
This morning my thumb is feeling pretty sore but it’s getting better as I move it around.

I think I could probably have done 2 or 3 boards with that wrist strike. I’m glad I did that boshiken, but I think I will not be doing it again anytime soon. It’s good to feel what the strike feels like in the event I ever have to use it.

The back is continuing to improve, and my chiropractor is very impressed with my recovery. I’m down to 2 visits per week and after this week it’ll probably be once a week.
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