Category: Karate

100 Kata Day

100 Kata Day

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeby feather

So at 0600 Okinawan time today, it officially became karate day. Celebrating this can be done in any number of karate-related ways that make you happy, but the big event is the 100 Kata Challenge, inspired by the ancient adage, “Train hard 100 times.”

Now, having been to observe a significant black belt grading on Friday night and yesterday spent the day in Ottawa for our federation’s semi-annual gasshuku (gathering) for seminars and to help judge/referee tournaments and competitions, I have a lot of things that should probably get taken care of today. Finding two+plus consecutive hours to perform a kata 100 times in a row.

I might, with sufficient focus and time management, be able to sneak 10-15 minutes here and there through the rest of the day to manage 10 sets of 10. And I’ve already snuck in two of those sets, so there are only eight more to go. At quarter after 12, I should be able to do it, right?

For those interested, I’ve selected Seiunchin for the 100 repetitions. A goju ryu kata with deep roots and history, it’s a longer kata, but also may be my favourite. And it’s one of my three focus kata right now. I say right now, but I’m planning to keep it that way for a few years.

So, 20 down, 80 to go.

So, focused on form and fluidity, ganbarimasu!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
What I’m Reading: Martial Arts After 40

What I’m Reading: Martial Arts After 40

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeby feather

I don’t really talk about it a lot on here, but it’s no secret I train in karate, and have been for about four and a half years now.

It’s also not a secret that I’m in my forties, and while I trained for six months or so just before my son was born, I didn’t take up karate seriously until a little while after my 39th birthday. Four and a half years on, I’ve learned a lot and definitely ramped up my fitness level, but I’m not ready to start feeling my age yet, so I’ve been trying to expand my personal definitions of what I need to do in order to keep pushing my limits without injuring myself.

Hence, Martial Arts After 40 by Sang H. Kim.

The book is broken into four parts, of which I’m just starting the third

  1. Beginning Your Journey 1-4
  2. Getting Fighting Fit and Staying that Way 5-15
  3. Your Martial Arts Journey 16-25
  4. Mastery Points

The first section breaks out things like fitness basics, nutrition, and a little bit of motivation. This is the first four chapters. And is light reading, a preaching to the choir section that doesn’t hurt to get you into the right frame of mind.

The second focuses on specific attributes like Agility, Flexibility, Power, and so on, providing important points in each and ten or so exercises targeting each attribute with a slant towards developing for martial arts. Eleven Chapters.

The third looks at fitness in martial arts in detail. This, for me, is the meat of the book. Upcoming chapters target skill development, forms, sparring, and a lot of martial arts specific skills and fitness. This is where I start taking notes, I think.

51e5yJoFdMLThe fourth section is the shortest, and titled “Mastery Points”. I’m refusing to read ahead, at least at the moment, but I’m anticipating the wisdom of the ages here. Or at least some solid advice and ways to think about things to continue to grow in your chosen art as your number of birthdays continues to grow.

Available on Amazon and probably wherever else fine books are sold.

Be well, everyone.

Amazon.ca, Amazon.com

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
The Belt is Brown

The Belt is Brown

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusrssyoutubeby feather

We had a grading at my karate club recently. Every grading is important, a benchmark to test yourself and make sure you are where you’re supposed to be. It can be an exciting, and occasionally stressful, event, depending how you feel about performing in front of an audience. Because there is an audience. Family shows up to watch and it’s usually the biggest class you see every three months. But demonstrations at the end of class are a frequent teaching tool anyway, so there shouldn’t be too much performance anxiety, right?

I can’t speak for other clubs, so I’m not sure if we do things differently or not, but the grading list is posted a couple of weeks ahead of time. If you’re on it, you’re going to receive the stripe or belt listed beside your name. It’s not a foregone conclusion: I believe it’s possible to screw up the grading or something related to it bad enough to make Sensei reconsider, but I’ve yet to see it happen. Sensei is always watching and measuring (as are all of the senior instructors, I’ll bet). If you’re not ready for the next belt, you’re not ready for the next belt and you won’t get it. Oh, you’ll probably add an extra stripe to mark progress, and that’s fine, too. As long as you’re always learning.

In my case, the recent grading was an important one. Brown Belt, the final colour before black. (And grading for Shodan is a different beast, but that’s another subject entirely.) Brown belt, the one that marks you as a senior student for everyone to see. You’re supposed to know what you’re doing and it’s time to start being able to teach for real. Brown Belt is a big deal, at least for me. Yes, it’s just another marker on the path, not a step in and of itself, and I try to remind myself of that. I still have a great deal to learn, and that actually brings me quite a bit of happiness on its own.

The belt is still new. For all I know, it might squeak when I turn around too quickly. Some days I feel like I’ve earned it, and some days I wonder how I managed it. But there are nearly four years of learning and work and sweat invested in that belt and I know the effort I’ve put into it.

That also brings me a lot of joy.

And now it’s time to step it up, start figuring more things out on my own, and get truly consistent in my attendance in classes where I serve as an instructor. Note to the world: teaching kids is not as easy as most people think. Getting a group of five or ten (or more) completely different kids to listen to you all at the same time is both an art and a science, and not to be underestimated, especially when they’re younger. But it’s fun, and I’m learning a lot.

Still walking the path, and looking forward to the grueling trial that will be my shodan grading that still seems comfortably far off, but is probably only a little over a year from now.

Be well, everyone.

Receiving the certificate that goes with the belt.
Receiving the certificate that goes with the belt.
Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebook Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com