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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29539
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Mon May 23, 2022 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations, Aurik! All that hard work is paying dividends!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15921
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2022 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats, aurik; I had no doubts whatsoever!! On and forward; train hard and train well!!



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aurik
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2022 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I'm sorta feeling like a white belt again. Okay, not quite.

This week I started learning the kata Seiryu, required for nidan. Like every rank kata we have, it has a couple of new sequences in it that still scramble my brain after a week of practice. It also doesn't help that when our regional director calls cadence for group kata, he tends to go extremely quickly. However, I also have 1.5-2 years to practice this kata before being tested on it, so I'm sure in a few weeks I should start getting comfortable with it.

I also started working what we call "10-point", which is the yakusoku kumite from a sister organization. It consists of 10 sequences which get more complex as you go on. I made it through the first 5 sequences and understand most of them... but again, it feels like drinking through a firehose again.

And last Saturday I started learning Seichin bunkai (kata required for brrown belt). This was not a requirement for those of us who earned their nikyu/ikkyu/shodan during the pandemic, but it is being re-introduced again. So now I get to learn it again. Fortunately after knowing our other bunkai, I was able to guess what most of the attacks/defenses were, but there are/were a few unexpected ones.

Lastly, on Saturday since the wife and mini-me were away for the weekend, I decided to do the trifecta aikido/karate/kobudo classes in sequence. Aikido was fun and re-triggered some old neural pathways. The Saturday karate class is always a fairly low-intensity class, so I was feeling pretty well before kobudo started.

And then I nearly died in kobudo. All I was learning was the bo kihons, but doing that for most of an hour was exhausting. ANd then we did about 10 minutes of sai kihons. Let me tell you, you don't realize how heavy sai can get until you work them over and over for 10+ minutes.

After the 3 hours of training, I just went home and crashed. Hard. Slept for about 2 hours and still was exhausted afterwards.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29539
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2022 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's always refreshing to see some new material. Do you like the applications and how they work? That Saturday sounded like a really fun day of training!
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aurik
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2022 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
It's always refreshing to see some new material. Do you like the applications and how they work? That Saturday sounded like a really fun day of training!


Yeah, the new material was a lot of fun to learn and the applications are pretty neat. We have one sequence that is repeated (almost) identically 3 times, and the application is very different from what I would have expected.

Saturday was really fun, but I don't think I'll be doing that again anytime soon. For one thing, I don't have the time to actively pursue 3 different martial arts, and the other thing is before I can do another 3 hour saturday again, I need to be in MUCH better shape. I think for now I'll focus on Aikido and Uechi-Ryu.
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aurik
KF Sempai
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2022 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So my nafuda is up on the wall now.




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aurik
KF Sempai
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2022 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update for the past couple weeks:

I'm continuing to train 3x a week, but with summer things are ... interesting. We've got a few vacations planned over the summer. Last weekend we took my son and his friend to Great Wolf Lodge (hotel with large indoor waterpark) to celebrate his 10th birthday. Later this month, I'll be in Colorado Springs taking a week-long blacksmithing class that focuses on the quillon dagger. And early next month, we'll be spending a few days on a Disney Cruise.

I'm still feeling very much like a beginner -- I'm having to essentially re-learn all of my kata, bunkai, and yakusoku kumite. As we advance through the ranks, we're expected to apply what we've learned to all of our previous techniques. The biggest change comes when transitioning from kyu ranks to shodan -- at dan grades, all blocks are expected to be two-handed blocks when practical. (The "off-hand performs a guide/push block, and then the nominal "blocking hand" performs a circular block & grab). It makes me feel like Luke Skywalker on Dagobah, "You must unlearn everything you have learned". So now while I'm focusing on the new things, I'm making all sorts of other errors along the way.

I'm also getting the hang of Seiryu (required for nidan). I'm by no means proficient in it, but I'm now at least able to keep up in group kata while making minimal errors. Of course now that I'm learning a new kata, it tends to mess up with the brain pathways on old kata -- in this case seisan. There is a sequence in Seisan where you pivot to the "east", circle block, and perform a sokusen geri with the front leg. In Seiryu, that sequence is performed with the back leg. So now I'm occasionally messing that sequence up in Seisan. Oops.

I've also started (assistant) teaching the Friday youth advanced class. It fits in with my schedule, and sometimes Zach goes to this class, so it's kind of a win-win. I will say that running a class takes a LOT more mental effort than just attending the class. While as a student you understand the general class format, as an instructor you have to be cognizant of time, watching out for students that are struggling or going off the rails, and many other things along those lines. Granted, I've only been doing this for a few weeks now -- my CI says that it'll start getting easier after about 3 months or so.

Next I've been doing Aikido regularly on the Saturday morning class. It's a lot of fun and I'm immediately seeing how this fits in with Uechi-Ryu. Our CI encourages his assistant instructors and instructors to become familiar with Aikido and/or Kobudo. Since I've done something similar (aikijujutsu and judo) many years ago, I figure Aikido is the way to go. Plus it's fairly low-impact so it makes for a good warmup before the Saturday karate class.

Last, my new belt came in the mail the other day


The pin is a copy of one originally given out by Kanei Uechi (the founder's son) to those who trained with him. To my knowledge, two dies to create them exist in the USA, one with my CI's father and the other with George Mattson. I thought it was pretty cool so bought one from my CI.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15921
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2022 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very cool update!! Congrats!! Nice looking Obi!! You've done very well across the board, and you've every right to be proud of what you've accomplished on and off the floor. I know I'm very proud of you through and through.

Train hard and train well!!



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29539
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2022 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations!
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aurik
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 315
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2022 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Very cool update!! Congrats!! Nice looking Obi!! You've done very well across the board, and you've every right to be proud of what you've accomplished on and off the floor. I know I'm very proud of you through and through.

Train hard and train well!!




bushido_man96 wrote:
Congratulations!


Thanks for the support guys! It means a lot.

So this week has been fairly light on the training, mainly because of other life events happening. I started a new job last week, so I'm getting used to that new schedule. Also, I turned the big five-oh on Tuesday, and tonight is my birthday party. My wife is setting it up with a "vintage" theme, so that should be interesting. Among other things, she has a retro arcade trailer coming to provide entertainment (think pac-man, galaga, space invaders, etc). Also, since Zach has been attending day camp in Boulder (30 min away), that makes things a bit challenging as well. So for the most part, he has been attending classes with me.

Tuesday night we did the abbreviated adult class, which had a very interesting mix of students there. We had 3 black belts (includiing me), Zach, 2 hachikyus, and 2 white belts. The interesting thing about this class is that the other 2 black belts are returning from long periods away from training, and one of the white belts is a returning kyu student. (Our CI handles returning kyu students and returning dan students separately. Returning kyu students come back as a white belt and after a proscribed period of time training are permitted to test for their next grade. Returning dan students retain their dan grade, but they will most likely have additional time-in-grade requirements to test for their next dan grade).

Last week our CI was in Michigan training with Master Thompson, so we had other instructors running the classes. For my Friday evening class, I pretty much got to run it on my own with his father and stepmom supervising. I felt the class went really well and I had good energy with it. I'm starting to get used to the general class format (from the instructor side of things) -- I tend to run things a bit quicker through the warmups and accessory exercises, so that gives me a bit of extra time to work with at the tail end of class. The places I really need to work on are identifying where student(s) are struggling (during the accessory exercises, etc), and taking a couple minutes to focus on those items. But I'm sure that will come with time and experience.

After the class Amanda Sensei (CI's stepmom) said that I ran the class with really good energy and I seemed to really enjoy it.

Tuesday started out with yakusoku kumite dai ichi, then we moved to kyu kumite (required for green belt ranks). I found myself teaching it to our returning 3rd dan since it had been a really long time since he had done it. Most of the movements he caught on pretty quickly, but there were a couple he had mental blocks on. We then moved on to dan kumite and seisan bunkai. I found myself in a teaching role again, which I am starting to really enjoy.

Thursday night's class was a lot of fun as well. Piper was there (she recently graduated high school and is now doing summer classes at CU-Boulder) and she's always fun to train with. She is a nidan, a lot stronger than she looks, and hits like a freight train. I really enjoy training with her because she keeps me honest -- if I screw up a defense on her, she'll let me know it. We worked on "10-point", AKA the Okikukai Kyu Kumite drills, which are required for nidan. I'm pretty comfortable with the first eight, the ninth one throws my head for a spin, and #10 is pretty easy. So we worked on that for awhile, then we went on to dan kumite drillls.

So for our dan kumite, there are 5 sequences. As the low ranked participant, I did the first 4 as attacker, then the first 4 as defender, and then we alternate on the 5th one, which ends with a takedown and a Master Ken moment ("restomp that groin"). Most students there, including most of the adults, simply cannot take me down on this drill unless I give it to them. The key to the drill involves manipulating the shoulder and arm to put the attacker's weight on their front/left leg, and then dropping down to a low stance to take that leg out from under them. Again, I don't normally go down on this technique partially because my knees don't like getting back up from the ground.

Well PIper took me down silky smooth with almost no effort. She immediately said "omg I'm sorry!". I responded, "why, that was an awesome takedown". Again, she is super fun to work with.

Until the next update!
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