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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Had my second training since the events I described above (with my school in Spain, NOT the people I had this problem with). Like I said, I'm kind of confused, because my teacher here is tough, too. And that's normal, right? This is karate, this is a martial art. I wouldn't want a teacher that was some kind of big ol' teddy bear that had no semblance of strength to him. Which makes me think, maybe I'm exaggerating about the other people? It's honestly a tough line to draw, but all I know to do is trust my gut. And I was very happy with training tonight - a consistent pattern I've had with this teacher (coupled, of course, with progress in my karate). With the other teacher there was progress, but a also a constant pattern of feeling crappy and walking on eggshells. So IMO it's clear.

We did some kumite training tonight. I've had what someone called the "relaxation epiphany" before, but it's quite often difficult to actually apply it and be in that mindset. Well tonight I was in that relaxed space, and I was thinking about the idea of control. Being controlled and aware of my body at all times. That's the only effective way to actually deliver techniques. Not everything was smooth but overall I was happy with my performance tonight. I think control is key, and actually a part of relaxation. Both feed into the other.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did some kata in class and then some application which involved some hand grabs (I'm not sure the name of that to be honest), like when the opponent grabs your wrist and you grab his hand and twist it to remove it/immobilize him. Nothing difficult at all but I was happy that I was able to watch my instructor closely and execute all of the applications correctly. It may seem small but IMO being able to follow directions and replicate simple maneuvers is actually a big thing (I've been in the position of messing these things up many a time).

Did some kata on my own after class and was also happy with the way they looked. Much more snappy. One thing I was missing however was a certain sense of precision - at times my snappiness was too forced and I kind of (or completely) lost my balance. But the underlying principle felt good.

Happy with tonight.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes I wonder, like, am I really getting anything out of my karate? I've only done one (30-second) full contact fight, and actually that went very well for me. Besides that, I've seen my kata improve, I've gotten more flexible, spiritually I'm much more up to challenges. All that for sure. But like, does the fact that my kata have gotten better really mean anything for me physically speaking?

This is gonna be funny, but, I was just walking my girlfriend to her car and we were playing a little impromptu game that I will call "try to slap my butt". Beyond being hilarious I also noticed that, wow, I'm really good at avoiding her slaps, and at finding an opening to slap hers.

This may sound crazy but it was all related to my karate. I could feel it. And all it was was me being in the moment enjoying myself. When I'm able to use my body in new, more agile ways like that without even thinking about it, that to me means some kind of serious change has gone on at a deep level.

I also know that this kind of thing would also be useful in a self-defense situation. But besides that, I have to say, what happened tonight for me is what karate is all about.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Met a new young couple today while I was visiting my friend (who is basically like a mother to me, in my new home overseas). She was telling them that I do karate, and the guy asked me what belt I had. I said "green" and he said "Oh, green", as in like, he was expecting black or something and that green isn't really that advanced. He said he briefly did karate, but stopped, and has a friend who is a 3rd dan.

Honestly didn't take that negatively, because that's not what it's about for me. He also said, "do you do kumite? You gotta do kumite!" The woman who is like a mother to me stepped in and said, "yeah but that's not why he does it. Explain to him why you do it."

And, I hadn't necessarily thought about it before, but at the prompting of this woman, I kind of knew intuitively what I wanted to say. "I do it because it helps me to have a clear mind, and a relaxed body". And like, that was a really cool answer. I guess somewhere deep down I knew that, that's why it came out - it was just kind of the first time I had expressed it verbally.

I liked that answer, and I like that my karate is going in that direction. Thanks folks.
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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 Feb 05, 2018 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its neat when you suddenly realize that your improving and that your training is not for not.

Keep at it. It doesn't happen over night, it's a process that takes as long as it takes. Each student and their natural abilities and ability to learn dictate the speed at which they progress.

Take your time and enjoy it. Everyone is always in such a hurry to get to the next level they sometimes don't spend the time to learn what they are being taught. It's a life long journey. Enjoy it every step of the way.
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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.
Charles R. Swindoll
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MatsuShinshii wrote:
Its neat when you suddenly realize that your improving and that your training is not for not.

Keep at it. It doesn't happen over night, it's a process that takes as long as it takes. Each student and their natural abilities and ability to learn dictate the speed at which they progress.

Take your time and enjoy it. Everyone is always in such a hurry to get to the next level they sometimes don't spend the time to learn what they are being taught. It's a life long journey. Enjoy it every step of the way.

Hey there, thanks for the wonderful post! After my great weekend of "karate revelations" I kind of went into the dojo last night with expectations. Needless to say, I sort of let myself down. But, I realized, that's not really an indication of me doing poorly - it's more an indication of me being in a hurry to "arrive". We did some intense stretching, too, and I realized besides performance I also have a long way to go in terms of flexibility. But then I also saw that, I have already come so far. Perhaps the journey is always like that, no? So much gained, but with so much left to attain. You're right, I want to enjoy every step of this journey.

Your words were exactly what I needed to hear. Thanks.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15485
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're doing great across the board!!

Things are falling in place slowly, but they're falling in place. You're not rushing, and you're patient, and for that, you've got to be honest with yourself while on this great and demanding journey!!

You're respecting the process!!



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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
You're doing great across the board!!

Things are falling in place slowly, but they're falling in place. You're not rushing, and you're patient, and for that, you've got to be honest with yourself while on this great and demanding journey!!

You're respecting the process!!



Sensei8, thanks as always for your feedback and encouragement. I feel spiritually and mentally I am much further along than I am physically. I feel an inner strength, but I can't always make that translate into proper technique or physical power. But, from my understanding I think I have my priorities straight. Was it Funakoshi who said spirit before technique?

As you said, I am doing my best to respect the process. Thank you.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Missed Wednesday night's training because I came down with a cold that ended up being bad enough to where I figured the healthy decision was to stay home. Just got back home from Friday night's training.

When I came in my instructor informed me that we had a new adult student start on Wednesday - a blue belt that had been out of action for awhile. In my humble little dojo I have been training exclusively with teens except for my instructor of course. It's crazy but one of my first reactions was some sort of jealousy, like, oh this guy is gonna be competition for me and for my instructor's time.

Quickly I realized, that's foolish, but it kinda stayed with me. Until the moment the instructor was using me as an example, and I decided it was up to me to do my best tonight. Why? Not to prove to this guy or to anyone how tough I am or how good at karate I am... but rather because this guy is new, and if he sees good karate being performed, he is more likely to stick around. And if he's more likely to stick around, the dojo grows. So I did my best tonight, but not for any kind of glory to my name, but rather for the good of the dojo. Selfishly I will reap the rewards of a stronger dojo and a new training partner, but, it's a selfless sort of selfishness. I felt good having this realization.

There was a moment where I was working with this new student and had a bit of trouble with a new self-defense technique. My instructor corrected me and I almost slipped into some kind of mentality like "agh man I can't do this"/"woe is me" kind of thing. Seriously. But I literally realized - you choose to slip into that. And you can choose not to. So I didn't, and listened to my instructor's corrections and successfully performed the technique. That also felt good.

We did some intense stretching in class the other day that I posted about here. I realized that if I want better flexibility and higher kicks, I have to take up my stretching a notch. Well I've been doing that for about a week and I'm already noticing a difference. Instructor also told new student that about a year ago my flexibility was nowhere near where it was now. That also felt good.

Finally, we did some jyu kumite. This new adult student is a big guy (he's hoping to lose weight by training), older than me, and a working class guy. I'm bookish and quite thin in comparison. Well, he was hitting me harder than the teens (nothing crazy), and honestly I felt good about the way I was getting in and out in our little bout. Felt like if this sort of situation happened IRL I would have a chance at defending myself against a bigger, slower guy. Thanks to my karate.

Anyway folks, have to run but it was a good night all around.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quick one tonight. I was quite happy with tonight's training. Relaxed body, relaxed mind. I think not thinking too much about it is good.
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