Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: August 2010

Monday, August 9, 2010

Getting the 'Goodies'.

Some of my friends like to tease me for going to Karate on Friday nights (what, doesn't everybody?!?).
These friends of course are not Karateka, and do not understand why I have such a passion for this sport.  The truth is, I learn more in one Friday night class than I do any other night of the week - the class is two hours long and attendance is generally lower so there is more opportunity to focus on details. In short, I go to class on Friday nights to get the 'Goodies'.

This past Friday night I worked on my front stance. To the non-Karateka, practicing a front stance for 20 minutes might seem like an odd way to spend an evening, but this is the kind of focus I need for things to sink in. I still need loads of practice before this feels natural, but I'm slowly getting better.
Front stance tip of the night: Forward and down, let gravity settle you into your stance.

I also worked on Kanku Dai for over an hour - all the little bits that bring it together and elevate me from just going through the motions, to performing the Kata with skill. Paying attention to the movements within the movements...or...the Goodies. I'm sure my head will still be in this Kata for the foreseeable future as I remind myself every step of the way that there is only now. Ichi go, ichi eh.
Kanku Dai tip of the night: too many to list here! I just hope I can remember them all.

Some people say practice makes perfect, but that's a pretty lofty goal, so for now I like to say:
practice makes me better than I was yesterday.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Room for improvement.

Each class I attend I do my best take something from it, big or small, I take something. Tonight's class was no exception.

It makes sense that at this point in my training I should recognize things within my own skill-set that need improvement, and consciously work on them at every opportunity. The trouble is, there are so many things that I know I need to work on - basic things - where to start!?
  • Don't lean
  • Relax my shoulders
  • Stances! Knee over toe
  • Stances! Hips rotate to open the stance, not the knee
  • Kata - keep the forward momentum
  • Shuto - don't tuck my elbow so close to my body
  • Don't 'place' my kicks
This is just my short list of things that continue to frustrate me; I'm sure I'll come up with more things to add after next class.
With all this to think about, it's a wonder I'm not tripping over myself constantly. Supposedly there will come a time when my head will stay out of it, and my body will just 'do'.  I guess there is another one to add to my list - Don't overthink.  Aaagh.