Friday, April 23, 2010

24 Days Until We Fight

Monday I went for beginner class with my daughter Becky. Then I stayed for sabaki and full contact. I partnered up with Samantha, Sammy, for conditioning. She is about 16 and wants to fight at the tournament next month. She is a sweet kid who can punch alot harder than what she looks like. As she was punching me into my stomach for my conditioning, Shihan walks by and says, in a loud voice, "Hit Patty harder!". Sam commenced to really hitting me hard. I have a ton of bruises all over my ribs and stomach. It is good for me. The bruises are not hurting as much any more. I also know that when the adrenaline kicks in, i will feel no pain during my fights.

Tuesday morning while doing my cardio, I had to hold my stomach whenever I jumped around because the bouncing hurt. I must have looked so silly.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Feeling Weak

This morning my husband wanted to workout. He was going on about how he would like to be strong and fit. So I suggested to him that he do weights. He thought it was a great idea and asked if we could do a program together. I love lifting weights. I usually do a program and keep a chart. I love to see the numbers of the reps get bigger until failure, then I live to see the weights get heavier. I feel accomplished and strong. 

I hadn't done a weight program for about a month and a half. So I was going down all the programs I have, including making one up, when the husband wants P90X, my least favorite. It isn't because it is hard (which it is), but because it takes so long. The ChaLean program I did before, takes about 35 minutes a day. It is really good because it uses compound exercises that hit two muscle groups with each movement. I have done that program twice and when he said P90X, at first, i was trying to talk him into chalean with me, but then I relented. I mean, I do have to change things up. I really need to challenge myself.

P90X is about an hour of push-ups, chin-ups, pull-ups and upper back exercises. As a woman, and I am sure many women have problems with this, I have a hard time with pull-ups. I just do not have the strenghth to pull up 175 pounds. So I did modify with a lat bar. We only have the one pull-up bar anyway.

I digress, the point of the above is that I worked my butt off this morning. I did 55 minutes of chest and back exercises, then almost 15 minutes of abs. My upper back was sore, my calves from the other day are still sore, and I still had karate to go, 3 hours of it. 

Karate started easy enough. I jumped into my daughter's beginner class. Near the end, people started to stream in for sabaki class (fight class). There were more than 20 of us. The windows were steamed up in just a few minutes it seemed. I was sweating bullets and was getting tired fast. After that class about 12 of us stayed for full contact training. I was tempted to go home. I was just so hot and dizzy. 

Bag word started and I was having to stop because of the world spinning, and my lack of enough oxygen. I was resting, i thought, when I needed to. When it was my turn to call the combination, she asked me if I could and if I wanted to. Usually she tells me that I am and which combo I am calling. I must have looked like crap. Near the end of bag work, like three rounds to go, she told everyone to rest if you need to, except if you are going to be fighting at the tournament. If your a fighter, she says, suck it up. Then she looks at me and asks if I need to sit out. 

'Hey I am a fighter!' I am thinking. Whats up with that?

Now I don't mind feeling weak, but showing weak it a different matter all together. I took a deep breath, told her I was fine and busted out as strong as I could go. I wouldn't have sat out, no matter what, but I didn't like being singled out. Maybe I should just listen to her, she knows so much more than I do. I felt like I should have sat a round out, but I just couldn't do it. Pride? Maybe.

I remember when I first started, nearly a year ago. The second night of kick boxing, everyone in the dojo asked if I was okay at some point during the night. Sensei had asked me if I needed to sit out. I felt like no way was I going to do that. I have sat through a lot in my life. I have let a lot of opportunities pass me by while I sat. I will never get better if I don't push through the pain, the discomfort and the exhaustion. Next time I will be less tired, more comfortable and I'll have less pain. 


Friday, April 16, 2010

Week Rewind


Strange, but my karate week started on Sunday. I know most weeks start on Sunday, but karate weeks start on Monday with sabaki class. Last Sunday I went for a hike with Sensei Kris. My daughter Justice came with us. It was a bueatiful hike in Grafton Notch, Maine called Table Rock. It was about the same distance for both of us, about 45 minutes away.

The notch was extreamly windy. We walked across the street, then up the Appalachian trail, walking on thick wood beams to stay off of the wet ground. Sensei's dog, Kiba either ran ahead or behind, for he was nervous of new people. At one point in the hike, we passed a couple of ladies and it took a good while calling Kiba, before he would pass. The dog is awesome. Made me wish my dog Lily could have came, but she has a hurt leg.

We talked alot. I really like being around Sensei and hope we can hang out a lot more. She wants to open her own dojo and said to my daughter that she hopes that I come to it at least once a week. I was thinking I would be there everynight, but said that I would be there at least once a week. Who else would I fight? No one brings out the inner fighter in me like she does. I learn so much from her.

We talked about the dojo, about the exercises we do at kickboxing that we aren't gong to tell Shihan because they hurt, so therefore, he would make us do them at full contact class.

She asked is I was going to fight full contact at the tournament in May. I really want to and have asked Shihan a few months ago. He said that I need a few more fights before I could go full contact. I think if I do well and feel good after semi-contact, and I ask, he will let me do full at the tournament. I hope so. I didn't ask Sensei if she thought I was ready for full contact fighting. I really would like to know her opinion about it, even though it wouldn't make a difference because Shihan is the final say. Probably just looking for an ego boost if I ask, and that is not Kyokushin, so I won't ask.

Sensei said that my fighting abilities are above my belt level. She asked if I could see the difference in my fighting. I really don't know.

I used to come out at the bell and come right at someone , fists flying, a few kicks. The guys I would fight would be surprised. I think mostly because I am a big girl, who doesn't look like I could do much of anything. I would always be hurt after sparring, because I would go hard (just with the boys) and get hard put right back on me. Which I am not complaining. When I first started my karate journey, they guys wouldn't be hard on me, with the exception of Ryan P and Matt H. They kicked my ass every time. I also didn't know I was going hard. I didn't know that I was strong. Yeah, i was told i was, but I didn't believe them. I was told that I could fight, but thought people were being polite.

Since the beginning, I have learned patience. I sometime wait until the opponent comes to me, and counter. I don't know if that is better fighting or not. I have been watching some beginner level fights, orange and blue belts. They seem to all fight the way I used to fight. Straight on, no bobbing and weaving, so sidestepping. I don't know how I'll fight against someone who is straight on if I am doing what Sensei does. I need practice.

The top of Table Rock offered spectacular views. Across from us was a mountain, still white with snow. A low hanging rain cloud covered the top of it. Just to the right, down the notch a little ways, was bright blue sky and sunshine. The wind was powerful at the top and a few times would push me.


Monday night was a good night. Sparring was fun. When I sparred Matt C, I kicked him in the head. I wanted to just put my foot up there because he wasn't blocking. I usually stop just before contact, but this time I made contact. I felt so bad. I know it was just a tag and didn't hurt, but I felt like I needed to have more control. I said sorry to him, and Shihan yells at me to not be sorry.

During full contact class, I did have some problems though, weird ones. Near the last quarter of class, we start the sprinting drills and the leap frogs. I do my best, but leap frogs are not good. I hate them. At the end of that round, I just laid down. Shihan yells for me to get up and I do, but I am so dizzy. I am out of breath. He wants us to do these drills where we do a low squat, kick with our lead leg to the inside, then spin around for a back kick. I was all over the place. I couldn't see straight.

My favorite part of the class was last. We left all of our gear off and sparred lightly. After bag work, Shihan was matching us up for conditioning drills. He match Sensei and I up and when we were getting our gear on, I told her that we were going to get matched up from now on. I said I could just tell. So we are doing the light sparring, and after the bell rings to stop, Shihan mixes everyone up, except us. There were ten people at class, everyone else had a new partner. I had a told-you-so moment.


Last night, Thursday, was kickboxing. One of the little girls in the beginner class wanted to stay. The little girl asked me if she could stay for kickboxing. I said that she would have to ask Sensei. She asked which one was Sensei and I told her and she asked if I could ask for her. Just as I was saying she would have to ask, Sensei walked into the changing room. "ask me what?", she says. The girl started to stammer. So funny becasue I am like twice the size of Sensei. You would think I was scarier than Sensei, but nope. I am just fluffy and nice and Sensei is badass and scary.

After the usuals, we partnered up. Gaylen and I shared a bag, where we were to roundhouse kick at the same time, low, middle high on the same leg. Weirdly it effected my non-kicking hip. After we were done with the second leg, Gaylen was saying how great I was doing. We were doing the same thing, I did just as great as he did. Then we did leg throws, again he commented on how strong I was, but when it was his turn, he did the same thing as I did, for just as long. I have a hard time taking compliments. I really don't know what to say and sometimes even when I deserve a compliment, I feel like they aren't genuine. Like they are trying to be nice. More emotional stuff I have to work through, I guess.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Full Contact Conditioning

Fridays nights are two hours long for the full contact class when we are gearing up for a fight. It works out well that way because my kids go over to the teen center so I end up with three hours at the dojo. (First hour is bo staff class)
So last night the two Matts were there, Matt C and Matt H. Matt C is a light middle weight kind of guy who looks older than he is and Matt H is a heavyweight with a heart of gold. When Matt H smiles, you want to smile too, it is infectious. Sensei Kris was there as well. I swear that woman has too much joy when inflicting pain, i love her all the more for it.
Class started with the usual bagwork, two rounds each of all our combos and then three rounds all mixed up. We were teamed up by gender, me and Kris, and then the Matts. It is only April and already the dojo is getting hot.

Conditioning for the night done in two mintue rounds taking turns with your partner:
  1. In sanchindachi, punched to the stomach 1 minute, kicked to the inside and outside of the legs 30 seconds, kicked to the stomach while doing push-ups 30 seconds.
  2. leg kicks inside and out
  3. crunches, while in the up posistion, getting 2 punches to the solar plexus each time
  4. low round house kicks and raised our legs to block so it was shin on shin
  5. blocking jab/reverse punches and countering
  6. with our backs against the wall, punches to the stomach again

In sancindachi, getting punched to the stomach, and kicked to the legs, with the last 30 seconds doing pushups while getting kicked to the stomach. I was up first. About a minute in a half went by and Shihan called for us to hit to the legs. Then the bell went off for the 30 second warning and I dropped to do push-ups while Sensei kicked me. Ok my turn to do this to Sensei. Shihan must have forgot the time because the warning bell went off and he hadn't called kicks. Oh well.
Now Shihan orders we kick to each others legs, inside then out. I have a spot on my left leg, outside thigh that got wrecked a few times before. Sensei has a round house technique, that even when done lightly, wrecks your leg. The muscle seems to roll off your bone. Whenever she kicks me I am very weary of it and I am smart enough now to get out of the way (usually). Last night I am told to stand there and take it. It took everything I had to not cry. I told her it hurt but really it doesn't take much for it to really hurt. So I tried to just take the hits, sometimes I could.
The other night, Thursday, at kickboxing Sensei did this exercise called a partner leg throw, two rounds.  Everyones abs hurt after that. So at first when I was doing the crunches, the punches didn't bother me at all. I think after the first 30 seconds, getting hit in that same spot, it started to hurt. After a minute i could have shed tears. Then I didn't feel the crunches anymore, just getting hit in the solar plexus. Hopefully all this pain is worth it when it comes to the fight in May.

After some more self inflicted torture, we practiced blocking kicks and punches. I have a really hard time reading kicks. I need to work on all my blocks. When we got to sparring, I was toast as usual. It is been nearly a year of martial arts and I still can't hang. By the time full contact class ends and all the heavy exercises are done, I can hardly breathe never mind fight. That is when Sensei really kicks my butt. I can hardly get out of my own way. Endurance training, I think, is what I need.