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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 15, 2022 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy Birthday, aurik; your birthday party sound very fun!! Congrats on the new job!!

I always enjoy your updates; quite refreshing and give me a proud smile on my face. With you, I get to walk down my own memory lanes of the training, teaching, and learning when I was a Shodan.

Experiencing guest instructors and all. How I have tons of up and downs, mostly ups, but what's one to do?! Train!! Whenever our CI set the tone for the day whenever guest instructors were concerned, that was that, and we had better not embarrass him in any shape, way, and/or form...which we didn't...much. On the rare occasions that Soke and Dai-Soke were oversees, those training sessions under guest instructors of their choice were quite special because while the guest instructor was well versed in Shindokan, they also brought an eclectic flavor to those classes of all ranks, not just for the Dan ranks.

Sounds to me that you're learning how to run a class is swimming quite well. Teaching is special, and for me, the most rewarding thing about teaching is seeing the big smiles from student whenever they have one of their AHA moments. For me, nothing is more rewarding than that. You will have those moments as well, I've no doubt because not all black belts can teach, but what I've read about your MA journey is that YOU CAN TEACH!! When I first started to teach as a JBB, I was scared half to death and unsure, but under the very watchful eye of my Dai-Soke, I slowly casted away any thoughts of doubts and fears.

I love that fact that you're surrounded by some very capable instructors and black belts. Those varied points of views help to fill in many missing pieces, hence, you've had many of your own AHA moments yourself. The CI sets the tone of everything, and those that the CI has entrusted make sure that that tone is followed to the letter, but those different points of view add those tasty and effective pieces. So will you, whenever that time is right.

Shu Ha Ri is the name of the game and changes over and over and over as you establish more of your own knowledge and experience. Maturity of techniques will take quite a long time, but it's an endeavor to pursue endlessly.

I look forward to your next update!! Again, I'm very proud of you!!

Train hard and train well. Remember, proof is on the floor and the floor can never be fooled!



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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 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:

Experiencing guest instructors and all. How I have tons of up and downs, mostly ups, but what's one to do?! Train!! Whenever our CI set the tone for the day whenever guest instructors were concerned, that was that, and we had better not embarrass him in any shape, way, and/or form...which we didn't...much. On the rare occasions that Soke and Dai-Soke were oversees, those training sessions under guest instructors of their choice were quite special because while the guest instructor was well versed in Shindokan, they also brought an eclectic flavor to those classes of all ranks, not just for the Dan ranks.


I particularly enjoy guest instructors, because they present the material differently, and sometimes that different presentation will present an "a-ha" moment for you. For example, a couple of weeks ago, Kyoshi (aka our CI's father) was out of town, and one of our other instructors came in to teach the Aikido class. He hammered in the concept that your arm/shoulder is weak, but your hips and legs are strong, so if you basically lock your arm in place and let your hips/legs do the work, you have a LOT more power that way and can make things look really easy. I'm sure Kyoshi at some point has mentioned that, but he didn't say it in quite the same way and it just resonated in my brain.

I'm also reminded a couple of years ago when I would train with a group in the Bay Area who were a part of a different organization (same style). One of the instructors there introduced me to the ideas that "Uechi-Ryu is performed sitting down", and "every move is a kata". I still keep those thoughts in my mind as I train and I think they've helped me be a better karateka. Again, they're little nuggets here and there that when they incorporate with everything else you learn make a big difference.
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aurik
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

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

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2022 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it's been a little while since I posted here. Quite a few things have gone on since then.

First, I took a week to take a class on making a renaissance style dagger. This is one of the requirements for an ABS Master Bladesmith, but honesty I took the class because it was an opportunity to learn from an awesome instructor. My experience with the class was: instructor shows us something. I try it and make a lot of mistakes, I then ask instructor how to fix it and then I work to fix it with his help. I learned a LOT, and now I'm going to make a few more to figure out how to do it on my own.

We then did a Disney cruise to the Caribbean. We left out of Miami, spent a day at Grand Cayman Island, where we swam with the stingrays and the dolphins (way cool). We then did a day at Disney's private island in the Caribbean where Zach and I spent 3 hours snorkeling. It was a lot of fun and we saw a lot of cool things. Of course, afterwards my legs felt like Jell-O. But it was well worth it!

Unfortunately the 2 weeks of sleeping on a super-squishy bed (in the hotel and on the ship) threw my back out, so that hampered my training a bit as well. It took a week or so for things to start working their way out.

Last Friday I taught class again, and for the first time I got to perform shime testing (pushing/pulling/striking students to check their strength and stability). Needless to say I was quite nervous so I kept it to pushing at the corners and working on their bases.

I've also started taking aikido classes (expected of instructors), and it's definitely been helping my karate as well. A few weeks ago our head Aikido instructor was out, so we had another one of our instructors teaching class. He taught us the concept that if you lock your arm into place, you can then use your arm as a 'transmission' of sorts to get your hips to do the heavy work. I've since started using that when teaching our dan-level yakusoku kumite drill. Specifically, in the final sequence, there is a takedown, where your opponent comes at you with a left haymaker. The response is to step in to intercept the strike, catching the left shoulder with your right hand, and his forearm with your left hand. I'm now teaching the concept where the student uses the arm as a transmission and then drives forward and down with the hips to put the attacker off-balance. It's something the kids are having a hard time learning but hopefully they'll pick this up.

Last night I sat in and watched Zach's class. I had the opportunity to see how he was progressing and watch him spar. Towards the end of the session, he was paired up with one of the purple belts, and our CI told him to make sure he had good control up around the face (he had gotten hit pretty hard in the face the previous week). I was tempted to tell him that if he didn't have good control with my son, I'd be sure to remember that when I taught his class on Friday (but I didn't.). What I did see in the sparring session was one time where the purple belt had caught one of Zach's kicks, and started dragging Zach forward. After the session, I talked to him and suggested that what he did was a good way of hurting his partner. The better solution would be to step in, give him a good punch to the chest, grab the uniform, and throw him (in a controlled fashion) down to the mat.

So last week they did Aikido kyu grade testing, and unfortunately I wasn't able to attend. Next month though I should be ready to grade, but honestly it's more fun than anything else.

Until next time!
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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: Thu Sep 01, 2022 7:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, lots of stuff going on!

The dagger making sounds way awesome, and would be a fun time! But getting to hang out with your family on vacation and making memories snorkeling with your son; that takes the cake.

It's great that your instructors are trusting you with more and more instructor responsibilities in class. Keep at it, and take every opportunity you get; when one teaches, two learn.

I think it's cool that you are starting Aikido. Although I don't agree with everything about Aikido, I do think it has a lot of good things to offer.
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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: Thu Sep 01, 2022 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wholeheartedly agree with Brian.

If you've any aspirations of one day being a CI of your own dojo, you're on the right track. Even if you've no aspirations of ever owning/operating your own dojo, you're still on the right track. You've the abilities to still teach, and the only thing separating you from teaching the more advanced classes is, you got it, more knowledge and experience, of which you will achieve in its appropriate time.

Keep doing what you're doing. From what I've read is that you've the heart of a teacher, and having that true heart is quite important because you have to want to be on that floor day/night in and day/night out with that same fire and vigor in order to catch the desires of the Student Body. If teaching appeals to you because not everyone can teach.

Train hard and train well. You got this.



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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 Sep 02, 2022 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Wow, lots of stuff going on!

The dagger making sounds way awesome, and would be a fun time! But getting to hang out with your family on vacation and making memories snorkeling with your son; that takes the cake.

It's great that your instructors are trusting you with more and more instructor responsibilities in class. Keep at it, and take every opportunity you get; when one teaches, two learn.

I think it's cool that you are starting Aikido. Although I don't agree with everything about Aikido, I do think it has a lot of good things to offer.


I don't know enough about Aikido to know what I agree with and don't agree with, but it's a lot of fun, and a few of the things I'm learning in there are definitely helping my karate.

sensei8 wrote:
I wholeheartedly agree with Brian.

If you've any aspirations of one day being a CI of your own dojo, you're on the right track. Even if you've no aspirations of ever owning/operating your own dojo, you're still on the right track. You've the abilities to still teach, and the only thing separating you from teaching the more advanced classes is, you got it, more knowledge and experience, of which you will achieve in its appropriate time.

Keep doing what you're doing. From what I've read is that you've the heart of a teacher, and having that true heart is quite important because you have to want to be on that floor day/night in and day/night out with that same fire and vigor in order to catch the desires of the Student Body. If teaching appeals to you because not everyone can teach.

Train hard and train well. You got this.


I have no aspirations to run my own dojo at this time. Over time that may change, but for now teaching seems the right thing to do. It's my way of giving back, I guess. Mainly what I'm wanting to do is provide a good example to my son and the other kids at the school. One of my mantras is "In your training you'll have so-so days, bad days, and days where everything goes right and you have an 'a-ha' moment. However, training through those bad days is what gives you those a-ha moments." So if I can train, even if I'm not feeling it, I train. It may be a sucky training session, but I can make it, I make a point to go.
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Wayofaswede
Orange Belt
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Joined: 16 Jan 2017
Posts: 201
Location: Sweden
Styles: Shito-ryu, Goju-ryu

PostPosted: Mon Sep 05, 2022 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy to hear about the recent steps forward on your MA path. Will be interesting to hear about your experiences in Aikido. I use it a lot in my karate, even though its been many years since I last wore my hakama.


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

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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 Oct 03, 2022 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last couple of weeks have had their share of ups and downs.

I'm still battling with that nagging issue in my side. It turns out that it's a rib that is wiggling about a bit and pinching a nerve from time to time. Right now it's stable, but I can't do any falls or it flares up. So, no aikido for awhile.

Two weeks ago, Zach tested for (and passed) his nikyu testing board. I watch him in class and get frustrated with him because he spends half his time messing around and not trying his hardest. But then when it's time to demonstrate in front of the CI or for a test board, his puts forth his A-game and looks really good. I just wish he could put forth that effort all of the time.

So one interesting thing about post-shodan training is that there is only one specific requirement for your next rank (rank kata), but there is a whole wealth of material that you have access to. Certain pieces are expected at a certain rank, but you don't actually get tested on them. These include the kata bunkai and yakusoku kumite. For our advanced black belt ranks, we are expected to learn and be proficient in the dan-level kumite drills for other Uechi-Ryu organizations.

At nidan, we are expected to know the kumite for Okikukai. At sandan we are shown the Kenyukai drills, and at yondan we are expected to know the Kenseikai drills.

The nice thing is that these aren't hard and fast requirements, so a couple of weeks ago when we had a good mix of dan grades in class (a few nidans and a yodan), our CI had us work on the Okikukai driills for awhile, and then he started showing us the Kenyukai drills (expected for sandan). These are very different from the other drills we've seen. In some ways they're more visceral and direct, and definitely not something you want to practice with a partner that doesn't have good control. For example, the first drill involves responding to a lunge punch by stepping to the side, pushing across with the far hand, and simultaneously performing a nukite to the side of the neck.

Last week was also a pretty good week in general. I was able to make it to the Tuesday black belt class, which is always fun. Then Friday I did my apprentice teaching, where I got to work 1:1 with one of our new junior black belts on his requirements for nidan (and got to work on my material as well). After that, we had our quarterly black belt training, where we worked more of the advanced two-person drills (in this case the Kenseikai drills [expected for sandan]), and then we did some of the throws and takedowns from the Kanchin bunkai (required for sandan).

Needless to say, after an hour of teaching and two hours of training I was pretty well exhausted. But it was a good exhaustion.

In case you were wondering, here are the different yakusoku kumite drills:

Dan no kumite (required for all dan gradings):
Okikukai yakusoku kumite (expected for nidan)
Kenyuikai dan no kumite (expected for sandan)
Kenseikai dan no kumite (expected for yondan)
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29539
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2022 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aurik, it can be tough with the kids sometimes. At the end of the day, remember that they are indeed just kids, and they will have those lapses. Praise the great performances, and be encouraging with the other ones. As they get older, if they really love it, you'll see the focus increase.

Thanks for sharing the videos on the drills. I like the circular blocking and moving off-line. I don't like the backing up so much. We have 3-step sparring we do where we back up, as well, and I really don't like it. I don't like encouraging backing up to my students, and I don't teach it in my defensive tactics courses if it can be helped. But, I do like the other tactics involved there.
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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 Oct 04, 2022 11:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
aurik, it can be tough with the kids sometimes. At the end of the day, remember that they are indeed just kids, and they will have those lapses. Praise the great performances, and be encouraging with the other ones. As they get older, if they really love it, you'll see the focus increase.


Thanks for putting things into perspective. I am probably harder on him sometimes than I need to be -- I just see how good he can be when he really tries at it. He has also expressed a desire to start learning Kobudo in addition to karate, so maybe that will help him a bit too. However, his mom laid down the law that he has to show us that he can keep up with his schoolwork without being nagged before he is allowed to add any more extracurricular activities.

bushido_man96 wrote:
Thanks for sharing the videos on the drills. I like the circular blocking and moving off-line. I don't like the backing up so much. We have 3-step sparring we do where we back up, as well, and I really don't like it. I don't like encouraging backing up to my students, and I don't teach it in my defensive tactics courses if it can be helped. But, I do like the other tactics involved there.


Honestly, when I'm sparring, I rarely back up either. I'll sidestep or stand my ground and counter. I much prefer stepping off the line of attack than stepping straight back. Stepping at a 45-degree angle TOWARDS the attacker can make for some very nice counterattacks though.
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