Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: What I've been missing.

Monday, May 2, 2011

What I've been missing.

Well, the day finally came! With my rib almost healed I returned to the Dojo for a two hour class on Sunday. I had planned to wait it out a few more days and go back to class on Tuesday, however, after watching a grading on Friday night I was inspired and realized just how much I've been missing over the past seven weeks.

The majority of my time was spent practicing Bunkai which was great, it's the thing I am most worried about for my Shodan grading. Kata, basics, combinations and kicks I can practice on my own, but - I believe I've mentioned this before - I have a tough time remembering things (hence my Notebook) and the thought of having to be creative enough to develop, and then remember Bunkai for six different Kata is enough to make me slightly nauseous.

After about an hour of Bunkai, Sensei Barry transitioned us into one-step sparring. I suddenly found myself standing alone with a line of five students who had been instructed to each take a turn and attack chudan, and for each individual attack I had to think of a unique block or series of blocks and strikes. I blanked! Sensing my distress, Sensei Barry gave me some sage advice - draw from your Kata. Immediately I thought back to a comment from Doug on my Form vs. Function post in March. Draw from your Kata, practice it slowly and figure out what works. So rather than being stressed about being put on the spot, I slowed down and blocked the punches. Not everything I tried worked flawlessly, but then when it came time for the others to take a turn, theirs weren't perfect either - we're all there to learn and learn from each other as well.

I'm so glad I went back a couple days early, it was a fantastic class.


  1. Glad you're back at it! You'll have to show me your 'moves' next time I visit! Hope the rib is perfect by now! xxxx

  2. Thanks Jill, two classes under my belt now and I'm feeling much better. Not 100% but I'll take it easy the next few classes until I'm back in form. Gotta listen to the body. :)