A Rare Shot

Of me in the dojo!

Like the improvements to my gi? Courtesy of my dojo mate who likes to grapple. Hair-do courtesy sparring headgear.

Have been hitting it pretty hard this week! Have the bruises to prove it. : D Gonna have to wear my bruises shirt lots!

Monday & Tuesday: Lots of tandem kumite practice. Ugh. And ouch. All the katas. Every. Day. Self defense drills. Impossible scenario drills that have my neck muscles totally tweaked.

Up today: All the katas. Self Defense drills. Core work. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.


 My hairy knee. My cat. And the ice pack. Or The adventures of a nearly-mid-life shirobi continue. 

So… my knees hurting from over use and my back hurts from under use. I’m at a loss for what to do. And now, I’m staring at the two-and-a-half months remaining with a lot of panic in my gut. The choices I see are stop now and call it off or keep trying. Might as well keep going I figure. Worst that can happen is that I get that last brown belt instead.  Right?

Running for aerobic exercise is right out. The elliptical thingy at the gym is doable but only for short duration, medium intensity workouts. Oh and ice! Lots. Of ice. So that’s what I did yesterday. Along with some upper body and core work with weights. 

Today I’m working on videoing all the things I need to do on the test. Starting with katas. It isn’t pretty but it is where I am and I need to see it.

If you’re curious: Fukyugatas.  Pinans plus (still uploading). 

Now out to bear creek for a ride!

What Can I Do

Screenshot 2016-01-12 at 2.59.46 PMNot feeling too witty today. Life has been busy. Full. I am distracted.

Knees are my current bodily discombobulation. Or rather knee, singular. Was just starting to feel stronger from the aerobic and strength training. And then full stop. No catastrophic happening. Right knee is very painful. Not sure what to do other than apply ice. Finding it hard to focus on what I can do because there seems to be much I cannot but really need to do.

So. Do what I can? Keep walk/run sequence at the 3/2min level? If knee allows. Keep practicing simple and often? Ice in between?


Any Way

How to you train through the  holidays? Any way. You. Can. 😉 When your body wants to fall apart? Same.


The good: foot is better. The bad: back is taking a turn now. Missed Monday’s workout because of it. Ran Tues anyway. Ran stairs and did strength training at the gym Wednesday. Pic is from the top of garagezilla downtown. We even got a smidge of snow.

Any. Way.

When I couldn’t DO… I listened. Paul Wilson of Karate Cafe interviewed Iain Abernethy. My takeaway: he’s a real guy who is really passionate about martial arts.

Now… off to the gym to run… 3min jog / 2 min walk x 10. Also gonna work on kata between loads of dishes and cleaning. Want to go back to this week’s Practical Karate Weekly to read/listen to more.

One step. Any. Way. Just. Keep. Moving.

Still. Not still.

IMG_1553Still training. Not sitting still. Last week went really well with aerobic and strength training. Now that the big portrait commission is done (whew!) I can refocus on training for the test in April.

Sun, Tues & Thurs last week I ran at the gym. About an hour each time but alternating jog & walk according to the 10k training app. I’m to the half-n-half point and starting to feel it in my lungs. Mon, Wed & Fri at the gym again but doing strength training.

Mon was the only karate class I made it to. We worked on cat stances and “little” things that make you hugely sore the next day. Chose to go to the gym on Tues. Felt like I wasn’t going to be able leave my crappy mood outside the dojo so I ran it out on the indoor track. I know I can’t do that often but it sure did help.

No aha! moments to report. Am feeling a growing sense of anxiety as the test date gets closer. Only remedy I know of is… more training. 😉



Learn how… then right

I’m sensing a theme in my karate practice: Learn how to do it, then learn how to do it right. I’ve spent 5 years learning to do karate and now I’m prolly gonna spend the next 30 learning to do it right. O.o Or at least I hope to spend that long, eh? 😉

Warning… rambles ahead.

In Tuesday’s class we practiced the open-closed fist drill either moving (with opponent who worked on blocking) or against the heavy bag. Realized that I’ve been doing the elbow smash all wrong ALL this time. So worked that with the bag and holey-moley can I feel the difference this morning. My shoulders are shot!

Monday’s class was interesting. 5 of us. First person picked a kata, did it. Then everyone else individually did that kata. Quick critique at the end of the round. Repeat with each person leading in turn.

Why am I still so nervous when everyone is watching me do kata?!!! Gah!

Really getting frustrated with my aerobic plan. Well, more with how my old body has to say about it. Whatever I did to my foot last week, I redid yesterday. Poop. I can’t do nothing ‘cuz that causes just as many problems (and pain). Soooo…. Gonna have to do something other than jog for a while I think. Mebbe stationary bike or row machine at the gym. I’d swim but there’s the whole suit issue… erm… issues. I’ll find the time to make one… eventually.

New Karate Weekly is out. Found this video on it. Interesting to think of a low block as a throw. And this video of Jion Bunkai looks interesting too. We’ve talked about the low block as throw concept in class before too. And I’d rather throw with it than block a kick with it!! Tried once… fractured a finger. Think I’ll work with Sam on what those two videos demonstrate. Then do some easy kata repeats to workout yesterday’s kinks.

Oh. And I need one of the tshirts that Mr. Abernethy is wearing. 😉 “Ask me about my bruises” Hehe.

Today’s another allergy shot so I will read more of the KfD book while I’m there.



What to do when you can’t DO

Couldn’t do karate in the allergist’s waiting room so I read it. 😉

Wednesday. Did a little slow no pause kata work with DD. Pinan Shodan. Working on those new things I learned Monday.

My foot was sharply painful and frequent ice packs seemed to help so the rest of my “training” didn’t utilize my feet… situps, knee pushups and reading. No, no stair workout.

I watched this video on the reality of attacks. Interesting stuff. The self defense drill demonstrated is very like what we’ve done in class for a lapel grab. This guy is also an EMT nurse. His experience in dealing with the effects of an attack was helpful to know. Will likely watch again.

Today (Thursday) foot is painful in general and less sharp pain. I think this is good. ? Might try a jog later. Maybe.

One last thing… That video above was found on this week’s edition of  Practical Karate Weekly. Just started following it. Haven’t read the other articles it links to yet.

Could it be an Arrow?

or is it just another wrench?

Strained something in my right foot while jogging today.  My first thought… oh goody another wrench! But I just saw a quote about an arrow needing to be pulled back before it can fly forward. So maybe… all these “wrenches” are really arrows. 😉

Tuesday’s workout:

  • Katas and pushups with the kids
  • jog 1:30 and walk 3:30 10x with a walking warm up and cool down.
  • Tuesday class worked bo katas and I learned a couple things about shushinokon! I’d been performing two different blocks the same way and doing one turn wrong.


  • katas and stretching with the kids
  • Class: It was a mental beating! But learned a few things about Pinan Shodan. If I can remember those it will be worth it!

Tomorrow…? we’ll see if my foot will agree to stairs in the morning. Fingers crossed. Think arrow-y thoughts!!

This Wrench I chose

Porcupine arm
Next day. Both arms like this.

I can’t complain too much. Walked in there voluntarily but I certainly wasn’t prepared. Allergy testing. Harsh.

Shoulda planned the whole week off to recover. Okay. Maybe not the WHOLE week but at least not going to class that night. Wow. With luck this will get me closer to figuring out some health issues. Eventually. For now, no dairy or aged foods. 😦

Anyway. Why am I here? Oh yeah. Karate.

What DID I do this week karate-wise. Monday class, Tuesday 30 min AM ride, Thursday AM same ride, plus classes. Thursday classes had some awesome stretching I did with each class.

Today: Jog Week 2 Day 3 C5K plan followed closely by every kata up to Wanshu (not sure why I didn’t continue to Rohai) then similar stretching plan to Thursday’s. Boy did I feel stiff! I guess is was the jogging.

Tomorrow…? Thinking 3 7-minute circuits; all katas (video for self analysis) Plan the week!

A New Wrench

Because I needed more monkey wrenches.

Thursday morning hit hard and had us in the ER early. Thankfully it was nothing serious. Still left me feeling wrung out mentally and physically. But thankful still.

Missed the morning ride with DD but did get myself to class. Because I knew it would be the only practice I was going to get in that day (or the next) Even taught the beginning class which went fairly well I think. Had them work on Fighting drills and cat stances. That second item at a student’s request. Alternating between the two. Sensei came in at the end and talked with them about not just doing the drills but using them. Meaning them as you execute them. It made a big difference in their performance.

The adult class I worked again with our newest adult student. We played with ways to help her remember the directions the first kata takes. Sure hope she is getting something out of it (pretty sure she is) because I know I am.

One thing that occurred to me during that time is that  in the first kata… the direction you should go at each turn finds the leg that needs to lead the closest to its destination. Of course the wrong direction puts the wrong leg closest… so perhaps it is not such an earth shattering revelation. But I do believe playing with it in this way is helpful in the long run.

Now I’m going to go listen to an Iain Abernethy podcast while doing dishes. That counts, right? 😀