Martial Arts Blogs A Journey to Shodan: March 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010

Get out of the school zone and onto the highway.

I focused on Jion for 1.5 hours tonight - the perfectionist in me doesn't like to move on until I've learned how to do everything just right, but let me tell you, it'll take more than 1.5 hours to get Jion just right. Sensei Lindsay enlightened me and pointed out why I lose my balance and why I over rotate - not just in Kata, but all around; I'm moving too slow, trying to get everything in place before the next move.
So after plenty of repetition it became apparent that when I move faster, I don't lose my balance. When I move in the direction of the attack, I don't have technical problems. My upper and lower body need to work together, faster. I need to stop thinking so much and let my body take over.

Tonight I learned the secret to Karate - connectivity.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Karate is practiced from the ground up.

Practicing Karate is like riding a roller coaster; some days leave me feeling sky high on adrenaline because I'm doing so darned great, and others I can't wait to get the hell out of there and forget the experience ever happened. Tonight was one of those nights.
The main difference is that when I come barreling towards earth on a roller coaster, I'm usually waving my hands in the air, screaming with reckless abandon. My emotional plummets in Karate - not so much.

I was feeling OK about our Bunkai tonight, until we had to perform in front of the class - then one wrong move and it all went down hill (a very steep hill). Yes, I KNOW I messed up, and I was frustrated enough with myself that it certainly didn't help when my Senseis pointed it out for the class to see - I understand, it's a learning moment for everyone. I usually don't mind being the centre of attention, but this was not one of those times. Enough already, I know I sucked!

I guess I need to keep reminding myself that I am there to learn. I am fortunate to have the ability to practice a sport I love, and the ups will come with downs. I just have to understand - I mean really understand - that I'm not going to be perfect - oooh, I can feel my eyes welling up...I repeat, I am not going to be perfect. That is one of my biggest challenges on this journey.
Deep breath.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Some of you are confused.

Ah Kobudo. Not my favourite form to practice at the dojo considering Karate means Empty Hand - hmmmm. Anyways. I didn't bring my Bo Staff tonight and of course it would be the night Sensei decided we practice Kobudo. Note to self - always bring your weapon!
With a full class of swinging Bo Staffs, I found myself ducking every now and then to avoid taking one to the head. Even with that distraction, I felt pretty good considering the Bo Basics are relatively new to me - I'd never done them prior to joining Olson's, and they aren't easy! I am slowly catching on and don't have to look at the students around me to see if I'm doing everything right - a major accomplishment from when I started at Olson's two years ago. I might not look as sharp as I would like, but at least I'm getting the hang of the moves and direction.
Patting myself on the back.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Starting to reflect.

Since returning to Shotokan Karate in 2008, after a rather long break (7 years), I have found a renewed passion for this sport. It took me the better part of a year to finally remember what the heck I was doing and reach the point of actually progressing.
Although it was a frustrating year, I am proud of myself for overcoming that obstacle and sticking with it. If I had started this Blog to document my progress back then, it would certainly be an interesting (and probably humourous) read.

While attaining the rank of Shodan is not my main goal, I thought it would be interesting to record my experiences along the way. I'm sure to have ups and downs along the way, and what better way to reflect on my journey than to capture it here.