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

PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2022 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That stinks.
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aurik
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 330
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2023 10:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So after a few times trying to train through the injury, I decided just to take some time off and work on other projects for a bit. The dojo was pretty much closed from Dec 22-Jan 2, so I used that time to rest and recover.

Yesterday morning I saw my chiropractor again and things were at about 90%. I've still got one trigger point on the forearm that makes me want to jump off the table, but during normal motion the pain is mostly gone except when I try to fully straighten or flex.

So last night I went back to the advanced class -- Zach went with me, since he doesn't go back to school until next Monday. Fortunately yesterday's class was more cerebral and less physical. We did our standard warmups and accessory exercises, and then we moved into Sanchin. Kyoshi played with our minds a bit the first time through by changing the count -- instead of three steps forward, pivot, three steps back, piviot, three steps forward... he added extra steps into the mix (making sure we were all paying attention). Then after the second iteration, he had us work on our stepping. Specifically he wanted us to focus on keeping our weight centered over our feet as we did each of our steps. Apparently some of us are visibly shifting our weight back and forth as our feet move. So he had us work on making sure to keep our steps swift and keep us centered.

You see there is a mantra in our style "All is in Sanchin," or "Always return to Sanchin". It is the core principle of our style, and as such it we execute it in (almost) every class, and it is on every one of our tests from 9th kyu all the way up to 10th dan. Kyoshi mentioned that at "low ranks", meaning 5th degree and below, Sanchin is 25% of our test score. At 6th degree and above, Sanchin becomes 33% of your score.

After Sanchin we mainly worked on our dan-level kumite drills. We only had one colored belt in the class (Zach is currently a nikyu). So our CI worked with Zach on his dan kumite drills, and the rest of us worked on our Okikukai dan kumite (aka 10-point, required for nidan). I'm getting pretty comfortable with this drill now, there are two sequences I get mixed up still, but I'm getting there.

Next we worked through our dan kumite drill (required for sankyu and up), and asked us to focus more on flow than on speed or power, especially at certain sections of the drill. We all then worked through it, and Rod (a 4th degree who has started training again over the past few months) pointed out some of the things I have been doing that made things so difficult for other people, so I gave that some thought.

Class ended with kata, with each of us working on our rank kata. We walked through Seiryu a few times, and then our CI talked to us about some major differences between advanced black belt kata (seiryu, kanchin, sanseiryu) versus previous kata. Specifically, there are fewer pauses in these advanced kata, and there is more flow. He showed us a few places where sequences are performed differently in the advanced kata, for example when there is a kick following a pivot, we aren't supposed to pause/set into a kimae -- just go right into the kick. Also when we do a elbow strike-backfist-one knuckle strike in these advanced kata, we are supposed to pivot and go straight into the next sequence, instead of pausing at the one-knuckle strike. Finally, he talked to us about kime (focus), and how in each sequence there is a specific place we are supposed to pause for kime.

We finished class with a few more iterations through Seiryu kata. While we were winding down and getting dressed, our CI talked to Zach about what they worked on in the dan kumite drills. One thing he observed is that Zach is getting more controlled and purposeful in his movements. He talked to Zach about the stuff he wants to see Zach work on, and talked to him about how he now knows almost all of the material he will need for his shodan test, the only remaining item is the bunkai for seisan kata. However, he is learning the kata itself now, so once he earns his ikkyu, he can start learning the bunkai.

I think Zach got a lot out of that class. I certainly did.
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Patrick
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2023 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you were able to bounce back relatively quickly!
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aurik
KF Sempai
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 330
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2023 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick wrote:
Glad you were able to bounce back relatively quickly!


Thanks. I'm still not 100% by far. My lower back is now complaining that I took way too much time off from training, so it's going to take some time to get back into the swing of things. However the elbow/forearm aren't complaining about the training (much). So I will just keep moving forward and doing the best I can.
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Zaine
Black Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2005
Posts: 2090
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2023 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A piece of general advice that I have heard from a lot of physical therapists, especially when I used to work in a PT office, is to move around the sore area. It sounds like you really focused on finding that discomfort and slowly working through it, and that you'll do the same with the soreness in the small back.

Happy to see that you're back in it!
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aurik
KF Sempai
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 330
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Jan 09, 2023 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zaine wrote:
A piece of general advice that I have heard from a lot of physical therapists, especially when I used to work in a PT office, is to move around the sore area. It sounds like you really focused on finding that discomfort and slowly working through it, and that you'll do the same with the soreness in the small back.

Happy to see that you're back in it!


Actually the thing that helps the most is just to stand, bend over and touch my toes and hold it. With each exhale, I extend the stretch more. A few minutes of that relieves the tension from the lower back and does a really good job on the hamstrings. I also have a hottub out back that I've been using on the lower back as well.
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Zaine
Black Belt
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Posts: 2090
Location: Dallas, TX
Styles: Matsumura-Seito, Shobayashi-Ryu, Shudokan, Long Fist, American Street Karate, Southern Mantis, HEMA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2023 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's using those muscles. A lot of PT, outside of dynamic stuff, is just stretches. Stretching engages those muscles and gives you some relief.
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Patrick
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Location: Los Angeles, California

PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2023 5:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the medical disclaimers included... I've been dealing with some back pain, too, for 18-24 months or so. Stinks. I went to PT for a few months before the baby was born, and it was a lot of stretches for sure. They gave me a routine that I sort of follow. Just started working out again for the first time since the baby was born 8 months ago... so that's a win.

One of the worst moments? When you bend down to put him in his crib! I want to say it is generally better, but part of me wonders if I am just getting used to it. sigh.
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aurik
KF Sempai
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Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 330
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2023 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The last couple weeks have been interesting, especially for Zach. A week and a half ago, he was having a hard time focusing and getting ready for karate in the evening (and this is the class I'm assistant instructing for). He got to class and realized he had completely forgotten his belt. So he had to line up as the low-rank for the class and stood out like a sore thumb. The CI immediately noticed it and called him out on it in front of the class. He also called him out on the fact that he has been missing too many classes -- you see, the previous week I had come 4 times (twice to teach, and twice to train). Each time, he asked me "Where's Zach?" And I told him either he didn't want to come that day and would come the next day. Well, the next day came and Zach couldn't make it due to another issue. And... things snowballed like that through the week.

So the CI told Zach that he'd missed 5 classes so far since his last test. And he would have to make them ALL up before he would be allowed to test again. Whether that was 6 months, 9 months, or a year after his last test, it was now up to him. The good news is, the week after this, he attended 1 make-up class, and last week he attended 2. So he is on track to get all of his make-ups in pretty soon.

Since the Mrs was gone for much of the last week, Zach and I have been attending the same classes. Last week I taught his class Tues/Fri, and then we went to the early adult class on Thursday, and the family class on Saturday. Last week was sparring week, so we did sparring drills on tuesday/thursday, and Friday was a full sparring class. Our CI broke the students up into manageable groups (3-4 students each) and had them do 2.5 minute rounds, rotating within the groups. He asked me to watch the different students and pull one of them out to work with them. I'd watch their technique to see where they were weak, and then exploit one of their vulnerabilities, and then explain to them how to fix it. For example, one common problem is to drop your guard and hold your hands close to your chest. So when I saw that, I'd step in, trap both of their hands, and lightly tap them on the head or in the chest. (LIGHT taps). I'd then explain to them what they did wrong and how to fix it. Another common problem is kids would do a kick and not pull the leg back. So, I'd grab the leg and the front hand, and take them down to the mat (in a controlled manner). And then explain to them what they did wrong. Or they aren't protecting their head, so I'd reach out and tap them on the forehead to remind them.

Not so much trying to beat them at sparring, but mainly to give them a target to practice against and point out where they need to improve. I'll admit, I normally don't think I'm very good at sparring, mainly because I am always sparring against our CI. However, apparently I've learned enough to teach others how to get better.

Last week we got a new adult white belt in the adult class -- apparently he has also done some Shorin-Ryu when he was much younger (and it shows), and we got another new student yesterday (high school aged girl). I got to work with the one white belt last night -- he was trying to work through Kanshiwa before class and got stuck at the end. So I helped him with that, and pointed out a few things. I also got to work with him on kotekitae, and gave him the advice I wish I learned my first week in. "As an adult it's not just about the reps. Know when to say 'enough'." Because if you are focused on the number of reps and on how much discomfort you're in, you will set your conditioning back.

All in all it was a really good week and a half or so. The back is still giving me issues, but as class moved on things loosened up a bit. I found myself focusing on my breathing during hojo undo last night to work through the discomfort, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 29649
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE, Police Krav Maga, SPEAR

PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2023 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may not seem so, but I think it's probably a good thing that the CI called out Zach. I wouldn't say it's being harsh, but it is being direct. There comes a point when the younger students need to understand that they are very much the one's responsible for their training, and how important it is to take it seriously. They need to take ownership of it. They either do so, or they eventually fall out of it.

It's encouraging that he took note of the CI's words, and has been hitting those make-up classes. Good for him. Hopefully, he runs with it, understanding that he can set an good example for other students going forward.
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