Saturday, April 30, 2011

Fighting Tonight GAHH!

Today is the day, well I should say that tonight is the night. This the the worst part, waiting to fight, the sleepless night before the butterflies in my stomach. Wishing it for to be done.

Yesterday was such a long day. We didn't leave until way after the time we were supposed to and it took an hour longer than we planned. Didn't get in Connecticut until after 8:30. When I got to the room Sensei was off training Tim. I should have been with them, but I missed out. Took a quick swim, sat in the hot tub and then I hit the showers.

Sleeping before a fight is harder than the fight. You see in a fight you choose to get on the mat and go at it. With sleep, I chose to sleep, but didn't. It was so very much beyond my control. I tossed and turned. Stupid thoughts and ideas popping into my head. When I did sleep, the dreams woke me up. Dreams, equally stupid as the ideas.

Today I have a kata competition. Last night during one of my sleepless bouts,I imagined myself doing kata. I am supposed to do pinan ni. So I did ichi, ni, san, shi, then blanked out. Could not for the life of me remember what the next 3 steps were. I could remember all of those after that, but those three step drew a complete blank.

Fighting doesn't start until 5ish, it will be a long day.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Teaching Karate ~ My First Class

Last Sunday, at Sensei's dojo in Bethel, the orange belts asked if there was going to be class on Easter. Sensei told them that she was visiting family. She asked how many people wanted to come in and just about all of them raised their hands. I did too. So she announced that there would be a class. Said that if she couldnt find a black belt, that I would teach. I don't think Sensei even asked anyone else.

Thusday she sent me a list of things she wanted me to work on with a huge gap of time for me to teach whatever I wanted. I went over to K4L and asked for games and drills. I watched countless videos on youtube. I browsed many martial arts sites. I made a list of drills and games. I so wanted to make sure that everyone had fun.

Sunday came, I arrived early and practiced my kata for the upcoming tournament. Ray was the first to arrive, 10 minutes early.  Ray was the only one to arrive. sigh.

Ray asked if Sensei found a black belt and I told him that she hadn't. I think he was disappointed. He told me that it would be okay if we didn't have a 2 hour class, that we could leave early.

We lined up, bowed in and did our stretching and kihon. We went through the strikes and block. We then did our kicks while moving. Then in zenkusu dachi, moving, we did a block and reverse punch, trying to get the block and counter to flow naturally.

Kata was up next. Ray wanted to learn Sigogi Ichi but I was told that I should teach juji kata becasue they all needed to learn it and we haven't gone over it yet. Looking at the clock, I was speeding through every thing. So I decided that we would do all of the required katas. We took our time going over sigogi Ichi. Then we did juji kata. I taught him juji kata and he did well. Then I was having him do it without a count. He was going through it without kiai so he could concentrate on which way to go. Sometimes he would forget or he would have to think for a few seconds. Then I had him do it again. This time I insisted that he kiai. So weird, because his mind was on trying to remember to kiai, he did the kata totally correct.

On to the bag work. During kihon I noticed that his side kicks and round house kicks were off. His whole body would not only go back when he kicked but his torso would tilt forward as well. So out went all the drills I had and in came a half hour of kicks.

We practiced in front of the mirror going very slow. I wanted him to get the technique. He was struggling to get his kick high. I made him do the kick to the knee. Told him that in time he will get height but technique is more important. So he asked "I thought we weren't supposed to kick to the knee in the dojo?"

"Well yeah", I said. "Take out my knee and I can train anymore but kyokushin is not about the tournaments, it is about the real world. Take out a drunk muscle head's knee and the bar fight is over before it started."

I got the kick shield and still had him work slow for a 20 count, then I made him speed up. Now that he was all warmed up and the technique was better, I had him kick to the stomach, but I made him do it fast. No time to think and his kicks were so much better. No longer was he falling over.

The two hours was up before I knew it. and hopefully I did well. I wont know until Sensei talks to Ray. I hope I am asked to do it again.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Feeling Like Me Again

During the last month, I have been trying really hard to get into training. I just feel like I am not good enough. So I have been trying extra hard. Weights in the morning, kickboxing in the after noon and 2 to 3 hours of fight training at night. I was feeling exhausted, burnout. Every time I would preform badly, I would work harder.

A week ago last Monday, after fight class, Shihan had us all take a knee. He discussed the ups and downs and the plateaus of training. He asked if any of us were feeling tired. I reluctantly said that I was. We discussed my training schedule. I was told to cut back. Run only once a week, weights twice and to rest.

Shihan knows so much about fighting and the fighters body. If I am doing this for 50 years I won't know half as much as him. He has an instinct to create fighters. The first fight I was in, we went to Connecticut. There were 6 of us. Sensei K fought full contact and the rest of us were doing semi-contact, because it was our first fight. Every one of us brought home first or second.

Shihan was so great. Sensei was supposed to be my coach and I could hear her shouting commands. I was also hearing the commands of Shihan. "Finish Up!" he'd scream. His voice so deep but loud that it seemed like he was just a few feet away. He was sitting with the big wigs on the big table at the front. I never heard anyone but Shihan yell from that table.

I listened to him, I put away my fitness equipment and joined the gym. Now when I am done working out I go home. No more do I look at the weights and whatnot thinking I should do more.

It took a week but last Monday, when sparring, I didn't feel like I sucked as bad. Last night I sucked even less. I wasn't as out of breath, I defended myself instead of just getting hit. I hit the target instead of just swinging. I felt good.

After last night, I don't feel as anxious as I was. I think that after I posted my fight videos, people in class, especially the new one, have expectations of me. I feel like I cant live up to the hype. Maybe that's why I was training so hard. But I am just a girl and sometimes I will lose, but as long as I do my best, it will all work out.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Workout ~ Top 5 Gym Equipment To Avoid

I am brand new to becoming a gym rat. I have always worked out at home. I would scour freecycle, and yard sales for equipment. Friends would give me their year old barley-used cardio equipment. I once even picked up a stair stepper from the metal pile at the dump.

Last summer we had to move from our house, with the HUGE basement and into a smaller duplex, with half a basement and a dirt floor. All of my stuff is dismantled and piled up in the shed. My dining room has a corner in it with red milk crates holding all my weight plates and my table is in with the equipment in the shed so I can have room for the treadmill. There is just no room.

Friday, April 8, 2011

My Sensei, The Dojo Monster

Sensei is a monster. It's true. I wish I could be like her though. Here she stands, 5 foot 6 inches tall, weighs about 135 soaking wet and has all the respect and awe of grown men and teenage boys alike for her fighting abilities, stamina and strength. They look up to her and hang on every piece of well thought out advise, so do I.

Every month she spends the weekend with the US branch chief of our organization. Every month she some back with a new torture drill for us.

Last time she went, we did back kicks for at least a half hour. At first we stood with our hands against the wall. We were to bring our knee up to our chests and opening our hips bringing our leg out and behind us. We then brought them back the exact same route. Our knees were not allowed to go down past hip level. She went to each of us individually and for the first 2 count of every set, manipulated our legs into the correct position.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Wednesday Workout - Quick and Hard

Explosive Power

Warm up with a few minutes of ballistic stretching.

  • Extend, flex, swing, and rotate every joint
    • fingers
    • wrist
    • elbows
    • shoulders
    • neck
    • hips
    • knees
    • ankles
Go for maximum reps, each exercise is for 30 seconds each. NO REST 3 sets
  • Plyo Push-up (clap hands if you can)
  • Jump Squats
  • Sit Ups
  • Burpees 
Finish up with a 15 minute run.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Friday, April 1, 2011

Battered Women In Martial Arts

Recently, I read a post over on about karate and domestic violence. Joesph McDaniel watched a movie where a woman learned a martial art to defend herself against an abusive husband. It bothered him how the movie romantically portrayed this woman as defeating her attacker.

In real life this wouldn't happen. Men are usually bigger and stronger, but more than that, an wife beater is also an emotional abuser. Which is why men can be physically abused too. The only difference between a woman and a man victim, is the amount of damage that is caused physically. The emotional abuse cuts a lot deeper than black eyes.

Anyone could be abused. You wouldn't know. People who are abused are teachers, police officers, housewives, even sometimes black belts. One in every four women either, is or has been, abused.