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? ūüėČ

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. ūüėČ “Ask me about my bruises” Hehe.

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



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. ūüėČ

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. ūüė¶

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? ūüėÄ

Finding Motivation and Inspiration

Just outside t he MRI room

… when life throws you a bunch of monkey wrenches.

Last week was a bit crazy. FULL of bad and good events. Biggest bad: my mother had a stroke. Biggest good: I was commissioned to create 4 pastel portraits.¬†The in-betweens:¬†the passenger-side window motor actuator died, my hair dryer croaked and I broke my daughter’s computer. O.o

Now, the van is fixed, computer parts ordered and someday I’lll get a new hair dryer. Mom is improving. Life goes on right. But it all¬†left me feeling insufficient and unmotivated.

What did I do: Thanks to my daughter’s instance, the usual tri-weekly bike rides continued. Sam was testing¬†so I was helping him with his fighting drills. My WDHAKISA (wonderful darling husband and knight in shining armor) helped me in¬†more ways than I can explain. So I did make it to the weekly stairs run and practiced Rohai.

This morning I found direction and inspiration from this post by Wil Wheaton: Seven Things I Did to Reboot my Life. Nothing new necessarily. Just pointing out connections. That I need to be reading and watching karate like I do art. For inspiration.

Today’s plan: All katas once¬†with 5 push-ups in between (up to p. Godan including Oyotanren with DD) naihanchi’s, wankan, rohai, wanshu and passai (with DS), ¬†and class tonight. Read some in the karate book I borrowed.

Pushing Through the Fog

Stairs!Stairs (pictured). And class. Both went well. That is to say. I went to both. ūüėČ My day between was crazy¬†busy with moving paintings from one exhibit¬†to another. Thankfully that only happens¬†once a quarter!

During class we worked on basics. Advise from Sensei was to begin making the karate moves my own. (move less roboticly more fluidly) Less like I’m copying a move, etc. Tried playing with tension in my legs and lower body between repeats. Not sure if it got me anything other than sore lets. LOL!

Also, worked with an adult white belt one-on-one at the end of class and I came to a realization. Her off square shoulders were largely symptom of improper foot placement. Having her work on her foot placement had better results than reminding her to square her shoulders. How many times has a Sensei reminded me of the importance of foot placement?!! Yeah. Lots.

I am¬†not¬†nearly as tired¬†as I was last week. But as I sit here on Tuesday to write this I am fighting the urge to sit. And stare. But this is part of it. Isn’t it. Pushing past the urge to stop. The discipline to keep going.

Think I’ll work on Ananku after helping DD with math.

First Week. Day One

The Plan:

  • Make ahead breakfast: double batch waffles
  • Cardio: Stair work out
  • Focus Kata: Naihanchi Sandan
  • Study History Decks
  • Monday Class

Made the waffles on Sunday to have them ready for breakfast today.¬†I usually make them as we need them but I’m going to be doing more make-ahead things to free up my morning for training.

Made it to stairs! Usually Bob drives so¬†all I have to do is get dressed and fall into the car. But he was out of town so I had to … gasp… drive myself there.

Focus Kata: Naihanchi Sandan. Working to improve recall. Did the kata anytime I thought of it today. ~ 10 times I think. As soon as Sam showed me the kata, I remembered it.

History Decks: Vocabulary & History

Class: Made it! New adult student too!! Basics. Worked on tension in my legs and relaxing arms.

How am I feeling?

Sore! Exhausted! Fighting the its-not-enough panic. Breathing through it.

Random thoughts:

At the last tournament two very high ranking black belts gave me the following advice. This is not word for word…

  • It is your job to educate your audience as to what you are doing. Be sure you communicate that information.
  • Recoil as fast as you fire.

One of them also mentioned that he would like to be at my shodan test. When I said that I’d be honored he replied “Oh, you won’t like it,” with a grin. O.O He also advised me to know my history.

Knuckle pushups: hate ’em. Should practice ’em anyhoo. Cuz if I don’t, they’ll ask.

Kobudo: (or weapons) Don’t hate it but same reason as above I should practice it too.

Should have name this site “Panic Among the Pines” ; )