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aurik
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

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

PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2021 11:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't believe it's been over 2 months since I posted here. Classes at the dojo have been running pretty well -- I've been managing to get to at least 2, and usually 3 classes every week. My lower back and knees have been holding up pretty well, and after a few very enlightening discussions with my CI and his father, I'm gaining a much better understanding of Seisan kata and its bunkai.

For one thing, for someone of my size with my knee issues, trying to do the jump at the end isn't nearly as important as getting out of the way quickly, and then getting back in quickly. For me, I've found that with my fairly long legs, I can slide my foot just above the floor almost as quickly, and I don't have the shock of the landing. It lets me get into the positions much better and reliably. It may not look as flashy as the big jump that others do, but for me it works.

I've also been working on my sparring more - especially since it's a significant requirement for both ikkyu and dan-level promotions. Now that we're sparring more often, I'm starting to learn better what works for me, and what doesn't. I'm learning that for someone like me that is usually much slower than my opponent, I get better results when I give my opponent an opening and then counter -- they can almost always evade before I can close the distance any other way. Also, since we're doing more sparring I have been training with different partners, which is always fun. It's fun to spar with someone who doesn't already have a pretty good idea of what you're going to do already . And as my CI goes, "When you spar with your Sensei, he'll teach you what you already know". Or something like that.

The good news is, I'm scheduled to test for ikkyu later this month. I was a little surprised by this, since it's only been 5 months since I tested for nikyu, but this way if I fail this test for whatever reason, I can re-test next month, and still test for shodan next May. Dan-grade tests only happen twice a year, so getting an extra month to test for ikkyu definitely is appreciated.

Also last Thursday I tweaked my lower back again. Fortunately it wasn't nearly as bad as it was back in June, but it's been a little tight. It slowed me down a bit on the night it happened and it's been stiffening up more than usual. However, it's definitely a much more manageable injury than previous.

I'll try not to be such a stranger here. And i'll keep you guys up to speed on how things are gong. Thanks!
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5th kyu Shuri-Ryu, 4th kyu Judo, 2nd kyu Uechi-Ryu
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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 Oct 01, 2021 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic update, aurik!! Ikkyu Testing Cycle....has it been that long already?! Sooner than later, you'll be on the threshold of Shodan.

Train hard and train well!!



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**Proof is on the floor!!!
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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: Sat Oct 02, 2021 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like your learning how to adapt things to your body, which is a big step in advancing. Kudos to you! Keep up the good work!
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http://www.sunyis.com/
www.aikidoofnorthwestkansas.com
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aurik
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

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

PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2021 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm starting to REALLY appreciate the Tuesday night "Advanced Adult" class, and this past Tuesday is no exception. This class gives me a chance to focus on the new material for ikkyu and shodan. Also, since most of the other instructors (who teach at the satellite schools) are encouraged to attend this class, I get to see material presented differently.

In this week's class, we started out with our usual junbi undo / hojo undo / sanchin series. We then broke into groups for kote kitae while pairs of students went to work on kote kitae / ashi kitae -- I am starting to feel that I'm back to where I was on my conditioning pre-pandemic, so that's pretty good. I was working with one of our youngest (full) shodans, and (for most students), I get to encourage them to hit my arms/legs full-power. And after that, I usually work with them on how to generate more power -- usually in the form of dropping their weight when doing a downwards shuto, or converting that shuto into a tettsui-uchi. In this case he laughed and said, "I don't want to hurt my hand on you!". Which was all good.

We then did individual Sanchin with our CI's father (kyoshi hachidan), and he would test our focus by trying to break our balance with pulling/pushing striking. I'm starting to get used to this -- which is good, since it will be on my upcoming tests.

Next was the eye-opening thing. Our CI did some 1:1 work with me on our dan kumite drills. He mentioned that at where I am, he wants to see me commit to each strike, and wait until I sense my opponent counter before I shift backwards for my block. He also said that this is one of the reasons that once you engage you want to maintain contact with your opponent so you can *feel* them move. This is going to take a lot of mental adjustment to get used to -- in some ways it completely changes your mindset in two-person drills.

After working dan kumite with that mindset, he then had me work our other two-person drills using that mindset as well. I think that once I start using that mindset without thinking, my karate will take a big step forward, but getting that point is going to take a lot of focus and practice.
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5th kyu Shuri-Ryu, 4th kyu Judo, 2nd kyu Uechi-Ryu
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