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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27760
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shortyafter wrote:
Hey guys. Part of this journal was to kind of, keep track of important insights and revelations and such. Well to be honest, I'm not really sure if that's the right path for me. Do I really need to write down every little thing my instructor said in class? Probably not. In fact, fretting over little details might actually be counter-productive. Fellow poster JazzKicker mentioned that above. So I don't know. I've kind of put this on the backburner as well as my personal journal.

I got really disappointed like 1-2 weeks ago because I thought my yoko-geri was looking good but my instructor told me it needs a lot, a lot of work. What!?!?? I thought I had improved so much. Really disheartening. I thought, perhaps it was a quick fix, and after working on it a bit he says my kekome looks OK. But the keyagi still needs a lot of work. Still kind of disheartening. Especially since I thought most of my progress had come in my legs. Now I'm wondering if I've improved at all in the last few months.

All I can think to do is keep showing up, keep listening to my instructor and keep looking at videos and other resources. Keep training. I'm far from happy with my technique, but, I know that after these 2 years and change I feel much stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually. That's gotta count for something. The technique will come. I know it will.


I know it can be tough when you hear the negative all the time. But its perhaps your instructor's way of telling you to never settle, to never be satisfied, to always strive for even just a little bit of improvement.

The key for an instructor, in my opinion, is the delivery, though. I think its important that the students here the positive along with the negative, but some instructors don't do it that way. Its just the way some are. Its important to just keep driving yourself from within.

Keep your head up. Some time when you are at a tournament or some other event performing, you'll probably hear some compliments from some other instructor, someone who doesn't see you everyday. That'll feel really good.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some take notes of passing text, while others take detailed notes, and others still take no notes at all. After all, the MA journey is YOURS ALONE!! There's no wrong or right when and if, you take notes or not.

I'm in my 53 year in Shindokan and I've never ever taken notes at all. Why?? I was under Dai-Soke's tutelage almost daily, except on Sunday's, for 46 years; he passed away in 2010.

Do I regret that I never took any notes? No, not really!! That's because what he taught me is etched into my brain for life. Years of drilling and being tortured by this taskmaster is enough to last a lifetime.

Now, there's a book out that was written by Paul Walker...Lessons with the Master: 279 Shotokan Karate Lessons with Master Hirokazu Kanazawa

A detailed and unique training resource! Paul Walker spent three years studying karate under the direct guidance of Master Kanazawa; this book is his diary entries of those years. Very detailed from cover to cover; a lesson from the Master, to be for sure!! Taking notes of this magnitude does have its advantages; the choice is of the practitioner, of course!!



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shortyafter
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
shortyafter wrote:
Hey guys. Part of this journal was to kind of, keep track of important insights and revelations and such. Well to be honest, I'm not really sure if that's the right path for me. Do I really need to write down every little thing my instructor said in class? Probably not. In fact, fretting over little details might actually be counter-productive. Fellow poster JazzKicker mentioned that above. So I don't know. I've kind of put this on the backburner as well as my personal journal.

I got really disappointed like 1-2 weeks ago because I thought my yoko-geri was looking good but my instructor told me it needs a lot, a lot of work. What!?!?? I thought I had improved so much. Really disheartening. I thought, perhaps it was a quick fix, and after working on it a bit he says my kekome looks OK. But the keyagi still needs a lot of work. Still kind of disheartening. Especially since I thought most of my progress had come in my legs. Now I'm wondering if I've improved at all in the last few months.

All I can think to do is keep showing up, keep listening to my instructor and keep looking at videos and other resources. Keep training. I'm far from happy with my technique, but, I know that after these 2 years and change I feel much stronger mentally, physically, and spiritually. That's gotta count for something. The technique will come. I know it will.


I know it can be tough when you hear the negative all the time. But its perhaps your instructor's way of telling you to never settle, to never be satisfied, to always strive for even just a little bit of improvement.

The key for an instructor, in my opinion, is the delivery, though. I think its important that the students here the positive along with the negative, but some instructors don't do it that way. Its just the way some are. Its important to just keep driving yourself from within.

Keep your head up. Some time when you are at a tournament or some other event performing, you'll probably hear some compliments from some other instructor, someone who doesn't see you everyday. That'll feel really good.

Hey there, that's a great point. Since I posted that I've been feeling a lot better and I've been getting some positive feedback from my CI. He's kind of a stern guy so it's not in his nature to be handing out compliments. Which can be bad on the one hand but on the other when he gives you one, you know he means it. I live overseas but when I visit my dojo back home it's nice because my CI gets a fresh look at me, and the phenomenon you're talking about here sometimes happens. Good point, thanks!

sensei8 wrote:
Some take notes of passing text, while others take detailed notes, and others still take no notes at all. After all, the MA journey is YOURS ALONE!! There's no wrong or right when and if, you take notes or not.

I'm in my 53 year in Shindokan and I've never ever taken notes at all. Why?? I was under Dai-Soke's tutelage almost daily, except on Sunday's, for 46 years; he passed away in 2010.

Do I regret that I never took any notes? No, not really!! That's because what he taught me is etched into my brain for life. Years of drilling and being tortured by this taskmaster is enough to last a lifetime.

Now, there's a book out that was written by Paul Walker...Lessons with the Master: 279 Shotokan Karate Lessons with Master Hirokazu Kanazawa

A detailed and unique training resource! Paul Walker spent three years studying karate under the direct guidance of Master Kanazawa; this book is his diary entries of those years. Very detailed from cover to cover; a lesson from the Master, to be for sure!! Taking notes of this magnitude does have its advantages; the choice is of the practitioner, of course!!



Hey there sensei8! It's good to hear that some people do, and some people don't. I suppose in my case I'm still figuring out what works for me. That's what being a beginner is all about, right? Still a lot of uncertainties (and it may be that way forever!), but I at least have some things clear - patience, persistence, and strong spirit. Lately I haven't been taking notes but who knows. Thanks for this!
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: One guy's karate journey Reply with quote

shortyafter wrote:
Hi folks,

I wouldn't say I'm taking my karate any more "seriously" than in the past, but my goals, and way of training, have perhaps changed a bit. This is year 3 for me and it's no longer just about getting the mentality or fundamentals down. Trust me, my fundamentals have a long way to go, but what I mean is, it's not just simple things like "that's what an oi-tsuki is" anymore, or the meaning of strong spirit, or these big umbrella concepts that we train with every night. Now it's learning how to perfect these kinds of things, and learning the infinite number of little subtleties.

To that end I've been writing and journaling a lot more lately, and a lot of it has been on here. I thought about making this my one and only training diary but actually I prefer to keep my own personal one, where I can keep things that are personal to me for whatever reason. This won't be so technical, but rather more of a discussion format.

Tonight went well. My kicks continue to look pretty good. Tonight I practiced on a bag, and, the power is lacking, unfortunately, but the technique is there, the balance is there, the control is there. It's a big change from before. The power will come - I will need help from my CI because I'm a bit lost. But I feel good about this improvement.

I'm big on the relaxation thing, like, just get out of my own way and let the karate take care of itself. Tonight I had a chance to do 1 kata and it looked and felt nice. Things sort of slowed down and each technique was powerful, snappy, and graceful. Not perfect. But better than before. My kata always look better when I slow down and relax. But it's funny, even when I try to consciously do that I have a hard time getting there. All I can think is, stop trying to get there and just let it happen. Trying to get there is making me more tense. The natural relaxation, and confidence in myself, are coming... little by little.

It's funny too because I can't explain it, but the difference from when I started is so huge. Yeah I could point to a few concrete things, but there's never really been a moment where it's like - "THAT's the night I started doing things correctly". There's definitely been some big a-ha moments but the majority of things has just kinda been a result of time, effort and patience. That's what my teachers have been telling me. If someone is new to karate I would be telling them the same thing. It's really cool.

Last thing - my CI emphasizes moving my hands right at the moment of impact, in conjunction with my feet, for all techniques but for example shuto uke. Tonight during my kata I felt how my feet really landed at the same time as my hands snapped. It felt good and powerful. Another cool realization.

Anyway, that's all for tonight and as I have more cool or not so cool experiences I will be posting them here. I welcome any constructive criticism, feedback, encouragement or comments.

Also want to thank you guys for being here. My current dojo is small and I live overseas so besides my CI I don't really have much like minded people around here. Nobody as dedicated as me for sure (except my CI). I remember I was worried about this when I first started training here but you guys assured me, as long as I feel challenged and my karate is helping me to meet the challenges of life, then it is "real" karate. And I have no doubt now that that is the case here.

It's a cool tool guys, so thanks. Now fire away!




Depending on how the art is taught and whether you have a written student manual, taking notes could be a great idea to retain what is taught.

I am a nerd of sorts and like to jot down things after class so I can come back to them and study them. This was mainly due to the way the art was taught. Shinshii would show you an application once, twice if you were really lucky. If you did not take notes or at least mental notes you may not remember what was taught as it might be months before he came back around to teaching or going over this application again.

That and I am a history and research buff so I tend to jot things down that I find important. I ended up writing our first student manual and instructor manual for our organization due to this very reason. Before this we had nothing to refer to other than our memories or our notes.

Its totally up to you. Some people can be shown something once and retain it for the rest of their lives and others must take notes and study it many times to retain it. If you wish to take notes and it makes you a better student of the arts then you should. However that's up to you and how you learn.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27760
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't worry about taking detailed notes so much. Its likely you will hear your instructor repeat these things over and over again, perhaps from a different perspective, but probably mostly the same. If you hear something that particularly strikes you, right that down, and then let it set for a few days, then come back to it, and then write what you feel out of it. But when you do this, write in on a separate sheet of paper, date it, and mark what your rank was at the time. Then put it in a separate section and wait. Wait a few months, or until you get a new rank, and then go back and read that remark you wrote down again, meditate on it again, and write what you feel or have learned again. Then, file it where you filed the previous one, and read it over again. I think you'll be surprised by how you interpret it now as compared to then, and you'll see how much you've grown.
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MatsuShinshii
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 15 Aug 2016
Posts: 1423
Location: Kentucky
Styles: Machimura Suidi Rokudan, Ryukyu Kenpo, Kobudo, Judo

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
Don't worry about taking detailed notes so much. Its likely you will hear your instructor repeat these things over and over again, perhaps from a different perspective, but probably mostly the same. If you hear something that particularly strikes you, right that down, and then let it set for a few days, then come back to it, and then write what you feel out of it. But when you do this, write in on a separate sheet of paper, date it, and mark what your rank was at the time. Then put it in a separate section and wait. Wait a few months, or until you get a new rank, and then go back and read that remark you wrote down again, meditate on it again, and write what you feel or have learned again. Then, file it where you filed the previous one, and read it over again. I think you'll be surprised by how you interpret it now as compared to then, and you'll see how much you've grown.


Great points.
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The person who succeeds is not the one who holds back, fearing failure, nor the one who never fails-but the one who moves on in spite of failure.
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bushido_man96
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 27760
Location: Hays, KS
Styles: Taekwondo, Combat Hapkido, Aikido, GRACIE

PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
bushido_man96 wrote:
Don't worry about taking detailed notes so much. Its likely you will hear your instructor repeat these things over and over again, perhaps from a different perspective, but probably mostly the same. If you hear something that particularly strikes you, right that down, and then let it set for a few days, then come back to it, and then write what you feel out of it. But when you do this, write in on a separate sheet of paper, date it, and mark what your rank was at the time. Then put it in a separate section and wait. Wait a few months, or until you get a new rank, and then go back and read that remark you wrote down again, meditate on it again, and write what you feel or have learned again. Then, file it where you filed the previous one, and read it over again. I think you'll be surprised by how you interpret it now as compared to then, and you'll see how much you've grown.


Great points.
Thanks. Wish I would have thought of doing that 24 years ago.
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shortyafter
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi folks. First of all, I read your comments about taking notes / not taking notes / only writing important things down and going back to them, and I appreciate all of those tips. Thank you.

It's been awhile, but my karate journey has been going pleasantly (although not without bumps). I live overseas about 10-11 months out of the year and spend the rest of the time at home with my family in the USA. This gives me a unique opportunity to train in two styles without "cheating" on my dojo (lol!) In the USA I train Kyokushin, and in Spain, I train Shotokan.

I examined for my green belt a couple of weeks ago in Shotokan - I passed, and I felt really good about it, and my instructor seemed to feel really good about it. All of my techniques look and feel much better, and I really appreciate a certain gracefulness I'm learning from Shotokan that I did not develop in Kyokushin. I'm more comfortable with my body and I'm more relaxed in training. My kata look and feel much better than they ever have. The only stumbling block is my yoko-geri. I'm still not executing it properly or in a pretty way, but I am stretching every day and hoping to develop the flexibility and knowledge to execute properly with the help of my instructor. The yoko-geri is ugly, but everything else has improved by leaps and bounds. I suppose perfection is not to be expected - otherwise we'd have nothing to work on.

The best lessons I learned from Kyokushin are strong spirit, persistence, and intensity. These are elements that are not present at my Shotokan school, or at least not strictly enforced by my instructor. It's kind of up to me to hold myself accountable, and I'd say, most of the time I do. I guess sometimes it's nice though, to be able to grow at my own pace without a drill instructor type of situation to worry about. It's all OK as long as I'm able to be honest with myself.

As I began to dedicate myself to my Shotokan school, I remember posting here asking if this style of karate was "real" karate, or if I was doing some sort of McDojo thing. You all assured me that as long as I felt challenged, and that my training helps me to meet the larger challenges of life, it's valid. And both of those criteria are met by my school. So I went for it with a new drive and clear conscious in me. As I said before, a couple of weeks ago I received my green belt.

Fast forward to last night, and I was back training at my Kyokushin school since I'm home a couple of weeks for the holidays. I am a blue belt (which is the equivalent of an orange belt in Shotokan, Judo, etc.), and I was in a small class that included my Sensei and 2 Senpais. We were working on advanced kata, and also training kata with the bo staff. I was able to follow along very easily, and the emphasis my Shotokan instructor had placed on stances was invaluable. My Sensei noted as such - "Your Shotokan training has done you well. You're a quick learner." This is high praise from this man, who I respect very much and will not hesitate to call you out if you're not performing to the dojo's standard. I think the gracefulness I learned in Shotokan was also becoming evident.

Tonight I trained again and had some personal issues jumping around in my head, that kind of blocked me up in our kata training. It did not go as well as last night but I fought through it and did what I could, and by the end of training we did a bit of kumite technique training. I have not been doing much of this at all at my Shotokan school but I was pleasantly surprised to see that my kicks looked and felt ever so slightly better. I think it's about being more comfortable with my body in general, and also that gracefulness I keep mentioning. It really works.

I must say, I see the beauty of a kata, and how learning it correctly and mastering it can spill over into all areas of my karate. We don't do much sparring at my Shotokan school, and of course no full contact, so I think power might be one area where I'm lacking when it comes to applying my karate to a real-life self-defense scenario. But I think that too will come with time, especially if I stay close to my Kyokushin school whenever possible. And, in the end, as we all know, karate is not about fighting anyway. I will continue to train as if that were the case, but I know that the real valor is in learning how to avoid the fight all together.

I recently saw this quote from Sensei Funakoshi, which I believe is drawn from his 20 precepts. It is the following: "Apply the way of Karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty."

I'm beginning to see the meaning of this more and more in my everyday life, and it's a feeling I do enjoy.

Thanks folks.

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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14406
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

shortyafter, great update, thanks!! Sounds to me that you've got a great grasp as to what you want and what you need when it comes to your MA betterment.

Btw, congrats on you earning your Green Belt!! Feels good, huh?!



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shortyafter
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
shortyafter, great update, thanks!! Sounds to me that you've got a great grasp as to what you want and what you need when it comes to your MA betterment.

Btw, congrats on you earning your Green Belt!! Feels good, huh?!



Indeed! Thanks for the comment, sensei8. Pleasure hearing from you.

More big updates coming soon...

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