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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So there will be kumite for me after all. This is Shotokan point sparring. I don't have any experience with this really... my school is not a sport school and we don't train for competition, except at a time like this when we actually have one coming up. The only experience I have sparring is full contact from my Kyokushin days. I had one fight. It was against a white belt, mind you, but I myself was only a 9th kyu at the time. 30 second bout. I really did a number on the guy.

Not to toot my own horn or anything. It's just that I was going through a really rough patch in my life, and I was sort of scared to fight, but I said to myself - "this is your first fight, but it isn't really your first fight. You've been fighting hard your whole life, and especially these last 2 weeks. You've got nothing to worry about." So I went in there with this super calm attitude. Not resigned or lazy or anything. The opposite actually. But calm. And it was amazing. Now I know that that's the kind of head/heartspace I need to be in when I do karate, and when I fight.

My teacher says there will be guys who are dedicated sport karateka at this event. Gonna be hopping around a lot and that kind of madness. He told us to stand firm and not play their game. Also recommended we pretty much stick with the gyaku-tsuki. I can jive with that. Wasn't there some famous karateka who won a lot of competitions with just that technique? Lol.

Anyway. I know I'm a novice at this particular thing, but I feel I have some good karate-sense that will help me out here. I'm going to give it my best. Maybe I'll get completely wrecked, who knows. But as JR said, it's not about going beyond the competition... it's about going beyond myself. That much I can do. And I'm going to fight for it.

Thanks folks.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So no competition for me after all. My instructor just informed me that there's no adults at all for this tournament. Last year there were a few black belts and brown belts, but this year literally none. I guess because I'm from a small area and most active karate students are kids/teens. I was looking forward to it, but I'm not totally disappointed. I will still go to help my instructor out and coach the kids a little bit.

On another note, there's alcoholism in my family and I just got some bad news about my brother this morning. Everything is OK, for now, but it's certainly disheartening any time we get this sort of news (although it doesn't really surprise me anymore). I myself have made it out of that world and I'm coming up on 5 years now. I started doing karate in part because a good friend recommended that I do martial arts as part of getting my life back together.

So what karate means to me is about fighting. Not fighting people, necessarily, but rather fighting against the challenges of life. Life ain't easy, and in the past I always had a tendency to give up and self-destruct. With karate I've learned the opposite way - persistence, patience, perseverance. A little bit of grit. Humility and gratitude. Now I don't give up anymore. I fall on my butt sometimes, you bet I do. But nowadays I always get up. And I don't plan on changing that any time soon.

So I don't get to compete. But hey, that's not really important to me. I'm upset about my brother, obviously, but it does feel good to look in the mirror and say - "you're a fighter, shorty"... as far as I'm concerned, I've already won.

Thanks folks for being here.
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sensei8
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14370
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No competition allows you to attend class and train more.

Isn't the MA just so fun?!?!?!



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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
No competition allows you to attend class and train more.

Isn't the MA just so fun?!?!?!



Lol! That's what I told my instructor. "No competition? Well, that changes absolutely nothing! The training goes on." Yep, gotta love the MA.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did some kata at home today. 3 Taikyoku kata, Heian 1-4, and Tekki Shodan, 2 times through each one. I focused on not raising my heel off the floor when moving, which is what I posted about in another thread recently. I think I've pretty much got the hang of it but we'll see what my instructor says. It definitely feels better. As I progressed through the kata, they started to feel more "decisive". I think I am on the right track. Thanks folks.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 14370
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Once again, you're loyalty to your style's methodology and ideology is right on point, and should be commended despite what other styles insist upon, as if their way is superior to the way your learning and training in; heel up or heel down is, and always will be, the preference of said style/practitioner.

Train hard and train well!!



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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sensei8 wrote:
Once again, you're loyalty to your style's methodology and ideology is right on point, and should be commended despite what other styles insist upon, as if their way is superior to the way your learning and training in; heel up or heel down is, and always will be, the preference of said style/practitioner.

Train hard and train well!!



Yes, I will continue to train hard and train well, all within my style! Thank you for this.

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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a hot Friday night, and my dojo will be taking a 3 month vacation starting in July (but my teacher will be continuing with "self-defense classes", which he says will basically be applied karate!), so basically people are starting to go ahead and take time off. But not me!

So I had a class tonight with just my instructor. We were working techniques from kiba-dachi. He gave me a lot of tips - it's stuff that he's corrected me on before, but something about him showing me exactly how and why to do things that way, a lot of things just clicked. I felt quick and powerful.

Furthermore, I've been in a good headspace lately. My legs are killing me after that class - it was a lot of sustained kiba-dachi, and it's the hardest I've trained in awhile. But I didn't let the discomfort bother me too much - I stayed focused on my technique and what I was learning and I was really happy with the result tonight. One of those nights where you say - "aha! This is working! I'm getting somewhere!"

Oh, and I have to say this too. Training 1 on 1 with my instructor was really cool tonight. Not the first time but it's not super frequent for us, either. I could really appreciate all that he's learned, and how far he's come. Some nights when he's just drilling the basics with us it's easy to forget all the hard work, sweat, and even failure behind all that knowledge and skill. But tonight I could really feel it. It made me appreciate him even more, as well as my own efforts.

Anyway, good training and hoping I can have a relaxing weekend now. Thanks folks.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As I said in my last update my dojo is taking a 3 month break. I'm actually going back to visit my folks in the USA for the month of August, and I found a Shotokan dojo that I'd like to give a shot while I'm there. I had an old Kyokushin dojo but as I posted about a few months ago I had second thoughts about whether that place was really good for me. So anyway, I'll be trying something new in August.

But until then, my instructor here in Europe has decided to do a self-defense course open to the general public (not just karate students) these next couple of months. Tonight was the first night. Small crowd but it was good.

It was really basic stuff, but you know what I realized? I actually have an idea of what I'm doing. Compared to the people who knew practically nothing, I looked like a total champion. Again, it was basic stuff, but I knew how to do it, it felt natural, and I executed it well.

I guess sometimes I look at my karate and think that unless I'm doing perfect side kicks to the head, something is going wrong. I mean, I don't explicitly think that, because typing it out it just sounds ridiculous. But on some subconscious level I do demand a crazy amount of perfection out of myself. As I have said before, a big part of my karate training is learning to change my perspective and to focus on what's important. And it's also what so many of you have said to me before - it takes time.

So I can't do a perfect side kick to the head. But I'm much more comfortable in my body and with the fundamentals of punches/kicks/self-defense than your average Joe on the street. Maybe that seems like no big deal, maybe that just doesn't seem totally, like, glamorous. But if I look at it in just the right way, that's a huge deal. For some reason I thought I had been training for 4 years, but I just realized that it's really only been 3 years this June. 3 years. That's so little time. If I've come this far in 3 years, imagine in 6. 12. 15. 20. 30. I can really see where this path is taking me, and I'm excited about it.

To be honest, I may never be able to execute a perfect side kick to the head. For one, because that word perfect is really a dirty word. And secondly, because, maybe that's just not the way my body's built. But I know that, with time and effort, I will be able to execute a pretty darn good side kick to the body. That much I'm confident in. But as you all have said in some other threads recently... my progress isn't measured by one particular technique. So no need to get caught up in that. Instead, I'm going to continue to focus on what I saw today... a guy who, with a lot of hard work and patience, has come a long way in just 3 short years.

That, my friends, is really something special. With that in mind and heart, onward we go. Thank you all for your help and support.
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shortyafter
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Joined: 17 Nov 2016
Posts: 169

Styles: Kyokushinkai, Shotokan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 31, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TL;DR - Taking a more relaxed approach to my karate at least for the summer holiday, doing self-defense classes. Need to vent about the way my instructor has been treating me.

Looks like it's been about a month folks but I'm still kicking (no pun intended!). As I mentioned before the dojo is taking a summer vacation but my instructor has decided to do some self-defense classes twice a week. That's been a better rhythm for me and I've also taken some of the pressure off of myself at home... like, it's OK if I don't do a kata every day. I guess I'm taking the advice many of you guys have given me, to just slow down and be patient. The whole reason I'm doing karate is to live a better life, so when training becomes an undue burden and the effort outweighs the rewards, then something is going wrong. I also had some bad news about an exam I was studying for, then realized, I don't even need to technically take that exam right now. It was more of a personal challenge, just like black belt was for me. But right now I think the best personal challenge I can give myself is the challenge to let myself relax. The rest will come, I'm certain of it.

Just wanted to vent a little bit, too. I hope you all don't take this as whining because that's not the point of it. One former karate teacher told us that it can be good to show emotion so that's kind of what I'm aiming for with this. Anyway, I just feel like my current instructor only gives me encouragement when I'm doing well. It's like, as soon as I make mistakes it's like this attitude of "Are you serious right now? Are you stupid?" Those aren't his words but that's how his tone and attitude feel to me. Small mistakes OK but it's particularly when I'm getting in a rut that he gets tough on me (like when nothing makes sense and I can't seem to tell my left from right. It happens.) Like I get that those moments are not what we're after but sorry folks, I'm human and they happen. But I still keep showing up and I still try my best at training despite having off nights.

And it's like, yeah you see me having a rut right now and called me out on it, but did you ever just take a minute and give me some positive words of encouragement? I mean, he does, but it only seems to be when I'm performing well or having a good night. How about the nights when I didn't feel like showing up because I had a freaking awful day, but came anyway and powered through even if it wasn't my best training? Where was the encouragement then? IDK, I just feel like he focuses more on my mistakes than all the things I know that I'm doing right.

Again, I get it, the mistakes are where I need to work. But it's like, there's time where I know why I made a certain mistake, like, because I was focusing on doing a certain part of the motion and then he comes in and says I'm doing something else wrong. It's like, I can't be everywhere at once. Sometimes it feels like he's getting angry about crap I literally can't control. I can't do everything perfect, I just can't, and getting angry at me about it isn't going to wise me up to the point that I don't make these kinds of little mistakes anymore. If only it were that simple. If I were slacking off in the dojo and not giving my all then OK, let me have it, but that's not me. I'm genuinely trying my best, and it sucks to feel like that doesn't get recognized.

I know he's human too and, I'm a teacher myself, and I know that teachers aren't perfect. So like, I know that the way he handles it is his deal and the way I react to him is my deal. Like, I know that I could just be like - "oh, there he goes again getting angry" and just kind of shrug it off and keep doing my thing, calmly making whatever corrections I need to make. I suppose it's sort of my ego getting in the way, like, I'm taking it as a personal attack when really it has nothing to do with me. Much more to do with him than it does with me. But hey I'm human and like I said acting like I'm a robot who doesn't care just ain't the reality.

Thanks folks and feel free to chime in.
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