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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 88
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the encouragement, Swede!

This week's "a-ha" moment involved some guidance that our CI was giving one of our brown belts. The most common block we do in Uechi Ryu is the wa-uke, or circular block. His advice to the student was basically that all of the power and speed in the wa-uke is in the shoulder and upper arm. The forearms are just along for the ride until the last moment when you tense the entire arm.

I started trying this out, and I was amazed at how much quicker my blocks got from just this one tip. Another tip he gave the other day had to do with one of our hojo undo techniques -- which we usually translate as "rising block, leopard-fist punch". The Japanese term for this is Hajiki Uke, Hiraken Tsuki -- and that Hajiki translates literally as "snapping", so the block is more correctly done as a snapping motion forwards and upwards.

I'm starting to get the hang of Seichin, and I've started working Dan kumite. I just really need to get more cardio work in during the week
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 88
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The past couple of weeks have consisted of my family trying to adjust to the "new normal" in a COVID-19 world. The governor of Colorado has issued a "stay in place" order, which effectively bars any in-person instruction (for martial arts or otherwise).

My son is trying to adjust to doing his schoolwork at home, and we went out and got him his own Chromebook expressly for that purpose. My wife is now working from home 3 days a week -- her work is deemed "government essential", and much of it has to be done in a SCF (secure computing facility). They're staggering the people that are in the SCF at any one time to keep to the spirit of the executive order, so she goes in one day and her cubemate goes in the other day.

I'm also working on a more regular "at-home" routine. Today's morning routine consisted primarily of strength training with 44lb kettlebells:
One set of:
10 Kettlebell Swings
10 Kettlebell Deadlifts
10 Goblet Squats
10 Kettlebell Overhead Presses (5 per arm)

As my body adjusts to this, I"ll add more sets (up to 5).

I immediately followed that with one sanchin kata while holding 44lb kettlebells.

This afternoon I'll be doing the karate-specific workout, which will consist of 3 instances of each kata I know -- sanchin, kanshiwa, kanshu, and seichin.

The shoulder girdle is really feeling the weighted sanchin kata, and my whole posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and spinal erectors) are feeling the effects of the swings/deadlifts/squats. It's a good feeling.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28085
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Weighted" kata/forms are a fun way to experience technique. It's not something I'd recommend to do a lot of, because the weights effect technique to a degree, but it can be a great change up.

For an interesting experiment, do a "weighted" kata, and then after a few minutes rest, do the same kata again, and really go all-out for speed.
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 88
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
"Weighted" kata/forms are a fun way to experience technique. It's not something I'd recommend to do a lot of, because the weights effect technique to a degree, but it can be a great change up.

For an interesting experiment, do a "weighted" kata, and then after a few minutes rest, do the same kata again, and really go all-out for speed.


This isn't the same "weighted" kata you may be thinking of. It's more like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIzVFj7rOkM. I'm doing it to focus on the "tightness" of my sanchin, working my core strength, and strength in the shoulder girdle. It's pretty brutal doing it with a 44lb kettlebell in each hand.
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Radagast
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 27 Feb 2020
Posts: 17
Location: Kitchener, ON
Styles: Goju Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aurik wrote:
This isn't the same "weighted" kata you may be thinking of. It's more like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIzVFj7rOkM. I'm doing it to focus on the "tightness" of my sanchin, working my core strength, and strength in the shoulder girdle. It's pretty brutal doing it with a 44lb kettlebell in each hand.


Wow!

I've done Sanchin-stance lantern walks with 10 lb kettlebells in each hand and I though THAT was brutal.
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 88
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also with all the time spent indoors, I was able to complete a little project I've been talking about for a bit... a belt display rack for Zach. I also included a shelf on top to display any trophies, and there's a v-groove on the top to display a rank certificate as well.

https://i.imgur.com/JCOk5jL.jpg
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14819
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2020 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aurik wrote:
Also with all the time spent indoors, I was able to complete a little project I've been talking about for a bit... a belt display rack for Zach. I also included a shelf on top to display any trophies, and there's a v-groove on the top to display a rank certificate as well.

https://i.imgur.com/JCOk5jL.jpg

A very nice Belt Rack; you've got carpenter skills, that's for sure!!



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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28085
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2020 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aurik wrote:
Also with all the time spent indoors, I was able to complete a little project I've been talking about for a bit... a belt display rack for Zach. I also included a shelf on top to display any trophies, and there's a v-groove on the top to display a rank certificate as well.

https://i.imgur.com/JCOk5jL.jpg


Very nice, indeed!
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aurik
Yellow Belt
Yellow Belt

Joined: 08 Nov 2016
Posts: 88
Location: Denver, CO
Styles: Shuri-Ryu, Uechi-Ryu

PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it's been 2 months since I last posted in here. My wife and I are both very fortunate compared to many others. I got laid off from my previous job at the end of February, but I was able to find a new position and started in mid-April. I work from home full-time, and my wife has to (gets to) go into the office twice a week, since there is a lot of her job that she cannot do from home.

I've been continuing to train, trying to find the time to train on my own with my son at home all day long is pretty hard though. I have been doing the Zoom workouts our sensei has set up, and about 3-4 weeks ago, he started doing "personal training" sessions -- at first it was just one family group at a time, and now it is up to 5 students at a time. He has partitioned the dojo floor off with painter's tape to keep each student in their own area. He's also moving training to the lawn outside somewhat to reduce the risks and allow students to spread out more.

The funny thing is, in the 6 weeks we've been training like this, the sessions have either been just Sensei, Zach, and me or just Sensei and me. I'm finding these 1:1 sessions and 1:2 sessions very valuable in that he's starting to teach me some of the subtleties in the kata that he generally reserves for advanced students (brown/black belts). While my endurance has most definitely suffered during these COVID times, my understandings of the techniques have definitely improved.

For example, in our first kata, Kanshiwa, the closing technique is originally taught as "shuffle step forward while doing a left circle block, and a right one-knuckle strike". Last Saturday he told me, "Weelll, that technique is more of a downward pressing block." He demonstrated it for me a few times, and mentioned that same technique is in Sanseiryu (taught at 3rd dan), and somewhere around brown/black belt he expects students to transition to the new technique.

Likewise, our Kanshu and Seichin katas have a sequence that at first appears the same on the surface, but are subtly different and have substantially different applications. The version in Kanshu can be interpreted as grabbing a guy's lapels, pulling him in towards you, then snapping a pair of leopard-fist strikes to his eyes. The version in Seichin is interpreted as a guy's reaching to grab YOUR lapels, and you do a downwards scooping block to bring him towards you, then snap the double leopard fists at his eyes.

One thing that he mentioned I should start working on is our principle of "Everything returns to Sanchin". In other words, I need to focus on whenever I do a technique, my hands and elbows should return to a Sanchin posture, whether that is open-hand or closed hand.

Likewise, when he had me doing our hojo undo (technique exercises, aka "kihons"), he noticed that sometimes when I was doing a left-hand technique, my right hand would droop a bit. He mentioned that if I worked on holding my hands "just so", tilted out, fowards, and down a bit, that would effectively lock them into place so they wouldn't droop. Also, holding my hands that way would work my forearms and strengthen my grip quite a bit.

These are all little things, but I think I'm starting to get to the place where these little things will make a big difference in my Karate.

Until next time! Thank you all for the encouragement!
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
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Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 28085
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2020 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you are picking up some good training! That's great!
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