Nachi's Log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Nachi, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 9th November

    Taiji fan
    I was asked to do the Laojia Yilu warm-up as usual. Then we went through the fan form. As expected, some people did not remember the ending that well (I didn't remember how one move started yesterday, either, so I totally understand), but there was always the teacher or me in the front to copy. We again reviewed some of the trickier moves, the moves we learned last time and learned a couple of new ones. The teacher showed me and Meimei four moves yesterday, but we only did two today. But practiced them like 4 times longer than we did the four yesterday. Meimei and I had an easier time as we knew these or similar ones from the sword form. Anyway, since I learned them yesterday, I was seemingly good enough to act as a reference again for these. I tried to pay exptra attention to not mess them up. After all, I practiced them for like 5 mins yesterday.

    Taiji - 25 moves
    Instructor R is gone and I was there in case I was asked to do the silk reeling warm-up, but one of the teachers did it. I wouldn't complain about that. After the warm-up he sent me to practice the 25 moves with the more advanced group till the other teacher comes. This group finished the third part of the form - 25 moves and we went through it once, then worked on the last new move with the teacher for most of the class. We did the 25 moves once more, too.

    Taiji - 30 moves
    My time to do the silk reeling. Again, I was trying to figure out how to correct my movement. Later, I went to again assist the teacher with the group learning the 31st move today. We practiced the 25 moves sequence first, then wirked on the kicks and on High Patting on Horse when someone asked. The teacher gave space for anyone to ask about any move they wanted to explain again. I was thinking about asking about HIgh Patting on Horse as I can't flow through it well, but being there as an instructor, I didn't . But a friend did, so I was fairly happy. And I did get a correction and explanation of the part I was lost in as a result :) Not that I was able to do it well after that, only a bit better at most, but at least I know how to approach this. We also learned the 31st move and did the whole form up to here once more at the end.

    Stretched and went home. I got a rather uncomfortable stomach ache after dinner, so I went to bed without doing some work I was planning to. Luckily I was able to fall asleep rather quickly, and felt alright in the morning.
  2. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 10th November

    Sensei teachingtoday. We started with Sanchin kata, then Junbi Undo, some push-ups and crunches. The most of the class then was spent as a circuit training with pads and the vests - body padding. Practicing tsuki and kicks to the pads and mostly 3 bunkai of Gekisai Dai Ichi kata with the padded people. I started as a pad holder to sensei and finished with him, too. I did my best to hold the large pad flat against my body to be stable, but well, his mawashi geri shook even my bones, I'd say. But I was doing my best to stand my ground, at least.
    Later we practiced the three bunkais in groups and solo for time - the slowest person is out and does push-ups, burpees or V-ups for each bunkai respectively, until only 1 is left. I never won. I fell out as the fouth, before the finale, in the second I forgot one technique as this was a variation to a standard bunkai and for the third, I was doing a proper hit and push and didn't want to compromise on the technique, which might have made me slower than some. But I didn't care to win, it'd just be stressful. But I had sensei roll his eyes when I messed up and got double the push-ups.... I saw that coming, though. :D I was actually surprised he forgot to double my V-ups later... :)
  3. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter


    I did one Sanchin and one Tensho kata each day. I planned to do some Taiji and more kata training, but I instead mostly worked and went for a walk. Also tried brief meditation each day. I may try to include meditation in my daily routine, if I can manage that. Probably not every day, but it would help my state of mind right now.

    Monday 14th November

    Karate kids
    Game of tag, kihon for the first kata, some stance practice (most struggled with zenkutsu dachi. It was hard to get them to actually bend the front knee and keep it that way, then step into the same stance). And as we planned, we went over the first 6 steps of Gekisai Dai Ichi kata.

    Karate adults
    There weren't many young ones, unlike last week, but plenty of people, mostly adults, so as we planned we did Hojo Undo today and although we didn't plan it, we seized the chance to do some iron-body conditioning in the last 30 mins. It was nice. The only thing I am a bit sad about that Sett and I didn't participate in the Hojo Undo because there were a lot of people already and there were still some young ones and one new person, so we were going around, giving corrections and explaining the exercises again, if needed.
    And katas Gekisai Dai Ichi, Ni, Saifa, Seiyunchin, Shisochin and one more Saifa at the end. I forgot, we did 3 Sanchins at the beginning of the class.
  4. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 15th November

    Morning Taiji

    I wasn't able to come in the past two weeks and since the teacher was asking how comes, I decided to go today.
    I arrived early enough to do two sword forms before class started.
    When it did, we did Laojia Yilu with the teacher in the front, which is always a great opportunity to observe and copy. Then we worked on Flashing Turn to Back again (many groups learn this move lately) and the moves around it.
    For the last 30 mins we worked with the swords. The basic circles first. At this point I was again reminded to try and make the circles smaller, tighter. It is not like I forgot, I was already trying, but apparently my idea of "tight" wasn't the same as the teacher"s. But if I made the motion smaller, I'd either get my wrist in an awkward position, which the teacher forbid, or lead the sword a lot to the side, which wouldn't make sense for any useful movement. However, the teacher saw and told me how to open the arm from the elbow. Lead the circle with it instead of bending the wrist. Which worked! Until I tried a few circles as a whole and realised I can't do it smoothly, there would always be a dead point, if I lift my elbow too soon, so I asked about it. I thought the answer would be probably to just practice and figure it out, but turned out I was just again attempting to make the circles bigger. As soon as the elbow is up, I should turn. It did not come naturally, but the teacher kept reminding me "Elbow! Elbow!" whenever he looked at me and I wasn't doing well enough (so whenever he looked at me...)
    Then we worked on the beginning of the sword form, practicing the first two moves over and over.
  5. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 15th November

    1 Sanchin, 1 Tensho in the afternoon

    This is a bit variable class. Lately I've been spending some time practicing the fan form with Meimei. Meimei didn't come today, but three other ladies came to practice the fan specifically. The teacher was inviting everyone who wanted to do this and finally some came. I was asked to practice with them, which was good. Too bad there wasn'T time for Cannon Fist form as the teacher mentioned, but it was to be expected. And I was happy to practice fan, too. I was helping the ladies, but was told to only do that for half an hour and then go practice push-hands with instructor L. When the time came, I had one question and the teacher explained and let us practice that move again and then the ending of the form, where the ladies were the least sure, so I was told to still help them, but then the teacher came and sent me to do the push-hands finally. We had only 15 mins left, but I think that was enough. I still can't do it well. :/

    Taiji sword
    Instructor L and I were going to this class, too. The teacher caught up and I saw danger! The usual senior instructor wasn't here and someone was needed to lead the warm-up. I tried to physically somewhat push instructor L forward, even jokingly said it was obviously her turn, before the teacher came and decided for us, but she flatly refused and stubbornly claimed she had her spot in the back where she has nice space for Laojia Yilu and Laojia Erlu (Cannon Fist form). The teacher was close by this time and... I was sent forward. I tried "But I don't know the Cannon Fist...", but it was useless. I just really didn't want to be in front when the vast majority of people there were my seniors who knew both forms we were to do now (unlike me). Ah, I hate this.
    At least when we turned aorund for the Cannon Fist form, now I had instructor L in front of me, so I reviewed and copied the part I had learned.

    We did the basic exercises with the sword. The teacher was standing next to me and I had a mirror form the other side, so I kept looking in the mirror, trying to match my movements with his as closely as possible, as he was doing the tight circles he told me to learn. Then we did the sword form twice - it is the majority of the whole form now. Somehow I felt a bit tired already. We then did the form again, by parts and got a few corrections, before we stopped at the newest moves and in the end the teacher taught us the next one. It was is a nearly horizontal circular slash just above one's head. When I first learned and tried this, I, like I always do with any weapon, hit myself in the head so hard it resonated. If the sword was sharp, it would probably stay embedded in my temple... Instructor L came to me today laughing if I brought my helmet -_- Tsk. I, on the other hand, was eagerly expecting to see which poor soul would do the same mistake and hit themselves today. Surely, someone had to, right? :) No one did, though. ...So boring. It looks like this slash will still remain "Nachi's move"...

    Taiji - Laojia Erlu (Cannon Fist form)
    Laojia Yilu at the beginning and then we went through the part of the Cannon Fist we knew about twice before the teacher came to teach. We reviewed some moves, especially the last two, and practiced them for a while. In the last ten minutes we learned a new one. Or rather, only a part of one. There were a lot of people today and I was in the very back and had to move around a lot to not go too close to this or that person. The class was nice, but I felt really tired after. Both my legs, and for some reason also my back muscles were hurting and tired. From my shoulders down to the lower back. No idea why. I even remembered covid, but that was a different type of pain, not sore muscles like now (and I had covid not long ago). Maybe I jut wasn't training that much lately.
  6. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 16th November

    Tommorrow is national holiday, which is the only reason I can think of why my bus took 25 mins to go two stops that barely take 5 usually... Hence I came late for

    Taiji - fan
    ...and joined in for Laojia Yilu at around 20th form. We then tried the fan form twice and spent some time working on the moves that were giving us the most trouble. I was asked to be in the front most of the time when the teacher observed. He had us practice a sequence over and over. And then another one with the low xiebu stance. And we added a couple of new moves that I had been shown last week. They are more or less the same as in the sword form.

    Taiji - 25 moves
    Today I was going to stay for 4 hours, so I wanted to take it easy and didn't go for a particularly low stance. Unfortunately, I always tend to sit down in the stance so somehow I always end up lower than planned. We split in groups and we did the 25 moves twice, once with the teacher, so I tried to copy, then I was sent to dictate the pace. We stopped to practice Striking Down while Twisting Body Obliquely. We usually don't do this with the oblique twisting of body, but today the teacher wanted us to try. I hear about it before, but wasn'T sure how to do it and we got an explanation today. At least a brief one. The teacher wanted the teenagers to do it this way, the rest of us as we saw fit. I wanted to try, too, and I was asked to practice this move with the group over and over while the teacher went to check on another one. Unfortunately this way requires a wide stance. At least we were told to step very far, so I did and didn't dare to slack. So my legs that were already a bit tired from the fan got very tired. So it didn't help when the teacher came back, let us stand in the stance while he went around correcting (I couldn't do it anymore, took breaks), and then he wanted to demonstrate something - on me. So I took the stance again and he would show how to position the body, arms, etc. It was all nice, I got a correction that way, but my legs were becoming shaky, so when the teacher stood straight to explain something to everyone, I looked at him, probably exasperated, so he let me stand up. He still wanted to show something, but luckily decided I had enough so he asked the strong looking teenage boy(young man, whom he wanted to work hard. Poor guy didn't look like he was enjoying the prolonged stance and eventually he had to get up. The teacher went: "Oh, that's the young generation, only knows how to sit at a PC." The boy wanted to defend himself: "I wish, I've been training here all..." "Back to the stance!" XD This class was tougher than usual.

    Taiji - 30 moves
    My turn to lead the silk reeling. Legs were tired, but surprisingly didn't really hurt. Then we went throught he 30 moves with the group. Maybe twice? And practiced kicks. I got some corrections which I worked on and the teacher then wanted us to practice one turn over and over. The turn being a 180° standing only on one leg the whole time, and we were trying to figure out how to use strenght from that very leg to turn, rather than using the momentum of swinging arms or the other let. We were again told to practice this over and over while the teacher left. Again, this was quite tough and one had to use muscles on the standing leg that didn't usually use too much, so it could be felt. I didn't dare pause since I was in charge now, but I was just about the only one, or one of few not really taking breaks. When the teacher came back after a longer time than I'd like, he let us "rest" with doing the 30 moves again. And then had us work on the kicks. Phew, I was tired.

    Taiji - beginners
    Unfortunately, or, well, I was glad, but... a friend from karate who had some heatlh issues lately - with joints, back, some ilness, etc., which prevented her from training, was coming today for a trial class. She showed interest in a qi gong somewhere, so I invited her to come for a trial class here. I think Taiji could really help her. Therefore I promised to stay for this class, too. It was the second class of a beginner course. For the first half an hour we were practicing the wuji stance and meditation. And the teacher also talked a bit. As for the other half, the teacher explained some basic principles of silk reeling, which we tried. I was a bit worries (ok, scared), that when he found out I was staying, he'd use me for demonstrating and I would be silk reeling for the whole class. Luckily, it wasn't the case, this was mostly theory anyway and very basic movements practice. I was only used once so the teacher could demonstrate on me. At the end he also spent some itme talking, so we got to rest. It was better than I thought - as in, it wasn't as hard to endure since I was alread very tired. My friend, however, was shooting me angry looks, leaving hurting all over as she said - back, hips, anle and whatnot. Yep, I think this could stretch her and help the mobility in her joints and back. I wonder if she stucks with it, I would be glad. Even if it means I will have to keep staying for this class as well. It would be harsh, on the other hand, I could use some practice to help me figure out the silk reeling. I always try and do some way, until the teacher corrects me. I have a bad habit in it I am trying to get rid of. Although, honestly, working on the technical aspect of silk reeling after three hours of training when I am already drained is, well, not easy.

    1500 kcal today. I returned home late, just for bedtime....
  7. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 17th

    It is national holiday today nad Sett is celebrating his birthday, so I spent good 5 hours in the morning baking a cake and cooking a nice lunch. Sensei called and invited us to come to the dojo earlier today so we can train together - the kata and bunkai we should be training.

    Karate - black belt training
    We started with Tensho. Tried with sensei, so we could observe, then by ourselves and I had a few questions. Sensei explained the breathing again, which I kind of forgot how exactly it should be done, so that was great. Then we moved onto Sepai kata. Tried again with sensei, then by ourselves, and asked questions.
    Then we had just about time to go through all the Sepai bunkai. I am still not remembering them much. I wouldn't be able to recall them all by myself, but a practice like this helps. Maybe a few more times and I'll remember :D

    Karate - kids
    Since we were already there, we helped sensei with the class. There were not that many children - I think 9, maybe 10. There were nearly as many parents watching, though :) We took the chance there were all of us and split the children according to their grade. The highest was a yellow belt - 9th kyu, so no really advanced students. Still, there were marked difference in skill level between the groups. Sensei was teaching the kata, Sett was teaching kihon and I San Dan Gi Ichi. We always switched the groups after 10 mins and taught the same thing, just adjusted to what they already knew.

    Karate - adults
    Sensei made it a point that we'll finish earlier (well, at the time we officially end, but sensei tends to prolong the training to two hours nearly every time) to go for a dinner to celebrate Sett's birthday.
    We started with Sanchin kata, then kihon and footwork together with Junbi Undo, which took maybe 45 mins. Sensei then called the two of us over to discuss the plan. He wanted to do what we did with the children - split the class into three groups with each of us teaching one thing. We thought sensei should be teaching the kata, Sett took bunkai and I kept San Dan Gi.
    I started with the most advanced group - two guys with brown belt (both 3rd kyu I think) and two teenagers with 6th and 5th kyu respectively. I started with the more advanced San Dan Gi as they should know the first two well enough. We did the 3rd one, which was the highest the two younger needed, so they were practicing this over and over, while I showed the 4th to the other two. One knew it, one didn't, but it is similar, only more complicated that the 3rd. We spent some time with that and I also later explained the 5th, which is actually fairly simple, so it didn't need that much practice. I observed both pairs and tried to give tips and correct mistakes. I thought the 15 mins should be over by now, sensei even sett the timer and he said we will definitely only do 15 mins so we can end the training on time. But sensei obviously wasn't done, yet, so I had my group practice all the San Dan Gi one after another to just get them memorised well and get a chance to practice. Sensei ended this round after about 20-22 mins :rolleyes:

    I soon knew why, though. I had the middle group come to me. There were a lot of people there. It was 10th to 7th kyu. And there were a lot of people who started last year and had 8th kyu and forma very strong group in our dojo, all are very good. Since they would need also Renzoku kumite - which is kata in one line practiced inp pairs, kind of similar to San Dan Gi, bu more complicated, I was instructed to practice this with them. We started the attacking side once, but I noticed there were a few young ones, with 10th or 9th kyu, who haven't done it before and therefore were lost. And I didn't want to spend the whole time just explaining, especially since they didn't need to learn this now, yet. So I picked two youngsters from the 8th kyu group to go forward and be in charge of the group and practice the attacking side (the whole group already knew Renzoku kumite, so this was just practice) and I went and worked on San Dan Gi Ichi with the youngest ones and later returned to check on the big group. I told the girl in charge I shall check now and if I see someone making mistakes, it'll be on their head. But... everyone was actually doing great. One boy struggled a little with coordination as he always does, but wasn't lost. So I intstructed the two just appointed sempais to practice the defending side and left to the youngest ones to try San Dan Gi Ni, so that they learn something new, too. I explained, tried with them a few times and let them practice and checked on the other group. Again, they were doing really great, so, since sensei seemed to be still in the middle of practice with his group, I let my group try in pairs. I didn't get the time to check on them proparly, when sensei was giving the singnal to end now. After at least 20 mins again....

    The last group was the beginners who haven't graded yet. There was one young man, who was training for at lest a year now and probably just didn't make it to the grading, cause I don't know why else he'd be with the beginners. Then one really young boy, who has only recently started coming to the adult classes, but goes to the children ones, too, then one young teenager, who's been coming for about a month and a half and learns fast and one 15 yo former judoka in his second trial class, who's speed of picking stuff up was actually quite scary. I needed to test what this group can do, so we started with the basic techniques needed for San Dan Gi they had already practiced with Sett. I actually didn't need to explain too much and even the new ones were able to do them surprisingly well, so we moved onto San Dan Gi. I had to quickly explain starting with the stances and everything and remind the youngest one how to do the stances after about each step, but generally it worked and we got to try the whole San Dan Gi Ichi a few times, so, especially with regards to the most senior student there, I wanted to try San Dan Gi Ni, too. I told the beginner boy to try and copy, I would explain, but not to worry if he can't do well. He sure can try, though. I worried for nothing, he did great. He did seem a little overwhelmed with all the info and new stuff he had to process in this... what, 20 mins again? But he was able to follow. It looks like we'll have a new strong addition to the dojo :)

    We did a bit of a workout at the end and somehow, the class still took 2 hours again :D I didn't mind, though. I was mostly teaching, but at least got a bit of an exercise, too. And I was also happy that sensei had time for our training earlier today and happy what a nice group of students we have in the dojo. We're kinda proud.
  8. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 21st November

    Karate kids

    I wsan't feeling very energetic at all today. Sett tauhgt the class, I was just assisting - demonstrating and helping individuals with technique. We did a warm-up with a game, Junbi Undo and then Kihon ido.

    Karate adults
    A class of 19 people + the two of us. The dojo is slowly becoming a little small. We worked on Sanchin kata, then did Junbi Undo and spent the rest of the class on practicing the first half of kihon ido. Step by step alone, then in pairs, lastly faster in groups. It was quite fun today, we had a laugh, too. Too bad I didn't participate since we wanted everyone to work in pairs, as I was going around and correcting or helping the younger ones figure out where to move to and which hand does what etc.
  9. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 22nd November

    I skipped morning Taiji. Not that I planned to, but I overslept... I don't even remember hearing the alarm and I have a hard time getting up lately. I also filed a claim of replacement (is that how you say it in English?) for my Polar watch because of the battery life. And I always set alarm on the watch, which always wakes me. Well, unless I swithc it off and forget about it... but I generally don't. Or didn't.

    Taiji Kung-fu
    Not many people today. One group was mostly children practicing with one teacher, then the guys practicing push-hands, thee ladies who came to practice the fan form, and me. The teacher asked me to help the ladies with the fan form for about 15 mins and then I'd go do something else. We practiced the fan form over and over. I thought it was a nice opportunity to simply practice and for the ladies to also remember the moves as they struggled with that. I didn't try to correct them. We did one form after another, I usually asked about something in between and we had a short break each time. When the 15 mins were nearly up, I noticed the ladies taking a deep, nearly sighing breath before the form. And one of them asked: So you're going to practice with us only for 15 mins, right? She asked that sadly, but.... I said that was the plan, but plans tend to change. "Hey, do you actually want me to leave?" They didn't say that, but said somethign that we are practicing all the time, I don't give them any break. What were they talking about? I specifically gave them a break between every single form! They didn't try to argue with that, but they obviously weren't happy about the lenght of those breaks. Well, the teacher came, corrected us and wanted to send me to practice with instructor L, who, however, had to go somewhere, so as expected, I stayed with the ladies and we practiced the fan form till the end of the class. Sometimes only the ending, sometimes the whole thing. I checked the clock when we had four mins left, just enough time for one last form! One of the ladies, however, turned away, with: "No!" What? No morale! I made her come back :D They came here specifically to get additional practice time for the fan form, didn't they? :D

    Taiji sword
    One Laojia Yilu for a warm-up. I was called up front. I didn't even try to resist anymore. What about that there are two other, more senior instructors? No one cares. I'm pretty sure they wouldn't want to come up, so I didn't bother trying to offer their services instead. I am obviously the easiest to bully. I hate this, as I always don't know what tempo to chose. The teacher always says "slow", but when he's in the front, he's always the fastest. And his tempo is comfortable for me, too. But generally, the others, and the present seniors of mine, would practice slowly, so if I went too fast, they would probably practice at their own tempo and that would be awkward, I guess. I just really don't enjoy this. Where the heck is the usual instructor?
    Then we did some basic sword exercises and worked on the form. When the teacher practices with us, he really goes really fast. I tried to keep his tempo, which is fine and actually fun, but not everyone does that, so I had to be careful not to hit or get too close to anyone. We practiced some parts and added a new move.

    Taiji - Cannon Fist
    Laojia Yilu for a warm-up with the usual instructor. I felt tired already. Then we practiced the Cannon fist form, worked on some moves and then added a new turn. This one looked really simple, but when the teacher was explaining what limb did what, all at once, and I was far away nad didn't always see everything too well, I was pretty lost. He then showed many more times and I saw, but I was still very lost. I was quite uncomfortable when he came to watch near my end. My gosh, please let him not see me...! No, I really don't know if I was too tired or had a brain fog, but I just didn't get it. Or rather, couldn't do it. I suppose most of us struggled, but well, I hope I can figure it out by next week. The most infuriating thing was that the turn, when demonstrated by the teacher, looked ridiculously simple!
    Mitch likes this.
  10. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 23rd November

    Taiji Fan
    I led the warm-up Laojia Yilu as usual. When we finished, the teacher hadn't come, yet, so I started the fan form with the group. The teacher arrived soon after we started and we worked on a few sequences with him before we got to the end. I was really expectant as today, we were supposed to learn another fan-specific form, which is very feminine - looks a bit like an arabesque. And the teacher had long resisted teaching the fan form, probably especially because he'd have to teach moves like this one. :D He was feeling really down about it today "I really wasn't looking forward to this at all." He even asked one girl, who knew the form, to demonstrate in his stead. She did, but as he wanted to explain step by step, he still ended up demonstrating, too. He actually looks pretty normal, he can do the form the smoothest and most naturally among us and I am pretty sure he's the only one thinking he looks weird or feminine. But it is awesome how he tries so desperately to avoid doing poses with the fan :D So, I kind of think it was partly to find something "martial" for himself in the move that he said to think of the leg up and back as a kick (some kick that is). Which actually prompted the... probably only other guy there to ask what the application for this move was. :D Ahahahaha, I couldn't anymore. :D The teacher just shook his head in desperation. I did my best not to laugh out loud, this was too much. :D Actually the move is really nice and flowy, too, so I had fun in this class overall. :)

    Taiji - 25 moves
    The second teacher led the selk reeling, then split the two gorups and asked me to go through the 5 moves to 4 directions and then 14 moves with the advanced one. When the other teacher came, he split our group into two as usual, one practicing mostly by themselves. We then went through the 25 moves and worked on Flashing Turn to Back basically the whole class. He left at one point, asking me to drill what we practiced till now, so I did. Over and over again. And we did the 25 moves again at the end.

    Taiji - 32 moves
    I let the silk reeling as usual, then we split into groups. The teacher asked me to do the whole form with the class (the 32 moves). Twice. Then we worked mostly on the ending with the kicks and added one move. Then we were asked to do the whole 32 moves again and continued working on the end. And again the whole form at the end. I was quite tired, but seeing the teenager, who's been here for the previous couple of classes as well, rolling his eyes in slight distress every time the teacher mentioned "whole form again" gave me some energy back. :) Actually, My body was tired, too, but relaxed as well as a result and I felt soft in teh joints, which allowed me to go for the lowest possible stances I could do. So I pushed myself and enjoyed it.

    Taiji - beginners
    For the last class a friend came like last week, but today she brought her ex-husband, too. We started the class practicing wuji stance and breathing. Then we did the basic movements for silk reeling and tried one-handed silk-reeling briefly, before the teacher sat us down and talked for I think at least about 15 mins. Then we tried silk-reeling again. My body ached and was tired, but overall, this was very relaxed class. At the end, the teacher also demosntrated what the beginning of the form - the first 5 moves looked like. Wow, I have seen him doing these moves many times already, but it still looks amazing. And the way he managed to immerse himself in the movement and obviously enjoyed it was very inspiring. His whole body flows softly, but still keeps the firm structure. I really admire his Taiji. I should try to practice like this, too. Just relax, breath and enjoy. However, it is harder to do than it sounds.

    Wow, In September I was planning to only come for one hour on Wednesdays like last year, but... something went wrong. Still, going home I was feeling rejuvenated and couldn't jogging a little to the subway as I just felt like it and it was about 15 mins walk anyway.
  11. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 24th November

    Sensei had to go somewhere, so he let Sett start the class. We did 3 Sanchin and Junbi Undo, when sensei came back. He had us do basic blocks - age, yoko and harai uke. Each we started doing in seiza, then in a squat (I tried to keep the heel of the floor, but it was very hard to do age uke that way, so I followed the posture everyone else did), shiko dachi and heiko dachi. If sensei saw some mistake of we orgot about kiai, he'd have us return back by a position. Either separately or the whole group. As such, we spent quite some time in the squatting position, then briefly moved into shiko dachi and were back to a suat and to seiza soon. It took too long, so I was getting no blook in my feet and they started cramping, too. Everyone was wriggling and trying to relieve ourselves from teh position and sometimes someone blatanly did. It was really very uncomfortable and a bit painful. I tried my best to ignore the discomfort, but wasn't able to. Still had to wrigle or just straighten the leg for a second, etc.
    Then we worked on San Dan Gi. Ichi through Go and then two more that the senseis from England usually teach. Then came kata and Renzoku kumite, but for that Sett and I didn't participate. There wasn't too much space and sensei asked us to watch and give people corrections, so we did. After class sensei wanted to practice something with us, probably, and told everyone they can practice by themselves. Sensei was, however, caught with a question by a green belt and Sett promised the other green belt to help him with bunkai. Therefore I went to check on the remaining people staying - three yellow belts and helped them with kata and Renzoku kumite.
    My group left earlier, so I did two Sepai katas and then third with Sett. And one Kururunfa. I don't remember that one that well again...
    It was a nice training, although I am a little sad I didn't participate all the time. Or maybe in general that the class was more technical, which is great, it is just that today I had a lot of energy and hoped to work-out more. It was over two hours and I only burned 650 kcal. But not every class has to be tough, this was good, too. I am glad we were able to help peopleand it is so great to see everyone's progress. :)

    More exercise is also why I am planning to go and try a Sunday class at a gym specializing in kettlebells, bodyweight (and probably also some barbell) exercises. I really feel like working out more. I am missing a proper strenght training, especially for my upper body (I work legs in Taiji), and I don't have any classes Friday - Sunday and I am itching for some. Also, I am feeling quite down lately, and the trainigs are a really good distraction. Basically my mood tends to get progressively worse during the weekend when there are no classes to look forward to, only work, and this could just help :) I will have to see if I get an answer and could come for a trial class. I really hope I could :)
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2022
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  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday 27th November

    Kettlebell gym - first class

    So I did go to a trial kettlebell class today. This gym (or a group of associated gyms) offers bodyweight and kettlebell training focused on strenght and mobility, on good technique and fewer exercises, rather than many exercises and countless reps. At least that's what I understood from their website. And I went to try.

    There was a female instructor, who apparently usually teacher these Sunday classes. The sunday classes last 90 mins, unlike the usual ones, which last an hour. So she warned me about it, told me I can leave earlier if I felt like it. I joined the warm-up - gentle mobility exercises, mosly on the floor - lying or on hands and knees. Nothing too hard, but it did get me to loosen up.
    Then the instructor told me she will do some exercises with me, but I can also watch the others to see what they do in general. The instructor was caught by someone, but I saw everyone grabbed a kettlebell and did some rotational exercises around their head. So I though I'd just copy, and took a light, 8 kg kettlebell. When I tried a couple of times, the intructor came to me, asked what exercises I knew (I said in the email that I did learn some, but basically I did not touch my bell at home for a year and a half - except for like 3x one exercise with Sett). She asked me abotu get-ups. I did do them, at crossfit, but properly like once. Then I tried at home, too, but very few times, and I probably forgot the details. So we started with an exercise that would probably progeress to a get up. I was shown how to properly pick up the kettlebell from the floor and get it into an outstretched arm. I tried that wa few times. Then there was this... "lever"? exerise, whihc wa basically stretching with holding the kettlebell up. I was asked to try 5 time per side, so I did. I kept the 8 kg kettlebell, though, so it wasn't much of a challenge and let me cheat the technique - not that I tried, but I realised something should have been done differently after I've done it. LAter I did the same, but would let the kettlebell bend my elbow and lower it, hold for like 10-20 s and press it back up, return. The instructor got stuck with someone else, so I was told to try 3x per side and make the intervals longer (holding the kettlebell low for longer), which was supposed to make the exercise progressively more difficult). As she wasn't coming, I did about 7 reps per side, but really, the bell for this was really just too light. I was trying to use the chance to practice the technique, but still. I wasn't going to be the person claiming they wanted to go heavier and heavier on their first session, with bad technique.

    The intructor asked if I've tried a deadlift before. I said I did, but I only had a 16 kg bell at home and I only did the one-legged deadlifts, so I asked her to explain the technique before I tried and she did. I got a 20 kg kettlebell to try this. She wanted me to firs tgo to the position to grab the bell a few times and I got a correction. She said she's sure I could get in that position as I seemed stretched enough, so I tried my best. Then I got to lift the kettlebell, after which I was sent to take at least 32 kg. For a deadlift, this was still light, but I felt it was a good choice to practice the technique. So I tried over and over a few times.

    I did say before I was familiar with swings, but I haven't done them for a while and I would appreciate a help with the technique. So I was asked to demonstrate what my swing looked like. I got my familiar weight for this - 16 kg. The instructor judged it was good enough and since the class was going to do a 10 mins of swinging together, I can join. Yep, sounded good, though 10 mins of swinging kind of scared me. I was happy I didn't get something too heavy for that. But the instructor specified that it was 10 swings at the beginning of each minute and rest for the rest of it. Ah, ok, that didn't sound too hard.

    I did start with the group then. I was facing the wall, so I didn't see much of others, but I think they were mostly going for one-handed swings. I got some tips from the instructor for the first like 3 rounds. Then I was left to my own devices. At about 7th minute she came, said my technique was good, but gave me two corrections. And she also told me to not swing that high - I was used to doing it to neck-height (taught at crossfit), but she told me not to use my shoulders for this, only as far as his could make the bell swing (I was quite confident I did not, though). She tried to stop my kettlebell at a sufficient height, which seemed surprisingly low. I would have ti just try and slow it down? Before I could, though she told me to go and take something heavier, the bell was flying too much. So I got 20 kg for the last three rounds. Well, I was glad, some people looked like they were having a good workout, but I didn't feel the least bit tired. The 20 kg was better, but there was still too much rest. If it was for the last 3 rounds, I guess I should have gone heavier. I'll grab the 20 next time at the start.

    The last 10 mins were spent stretching. I was a bit far from the instructor, but did my best to listen and copy. I still didn't get couple of those exercises. I didn't feel like they would be stretching something. But the guy next to me did moan from time to time. And we were told to do it slowly and breath through it. I found it too easy to find anything to breath through there. I might have missed something, but couldn't figure out what. I'll pay more attention next time.

    Overall the class looked nice, I liked the exercises, but I actually didn't work out much. Didn't even break a sweat. But that could have been expected, since I was learning the exercises today. And there wasn't any cardio, either. Also, they did say they weren't going for huge numbers of reps. :)
    1 hour 45 mins and I burned only 331 kcal :rolleyes: with an average HR 88 bpm. Which is actually.. much less than if I'd been walking XD So it wasn't the much needed work-out I was looking forward to, but it was the first class, I shouldn't complain. Once I learn how to do everything, I'll work myself harder :) I paid the membership for the next 3 months, so I'll be going on Sundays and see what it'll be about.
  13. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 28th November

    Karate Kids
    I was teaching today. We started with a game. Two boys ran into each other when I was jut helping someone else tie the belt, so I did not see. One boy was crying, he was hit in the chin. Why is that, that lately, it is like every single time a teach a class, there's an injury? Or at least tears? Is this karma? Luckily the boy seemed ok and re-joined the class soon after.
    I completely forgot about Junbi Undo and went straight to practicing tsuki and the three basic block - age, yoko, harai uke. And the shiko dachi stane and some push-ups in between. In the end, we tried San Dan Gi Ichi. The children said they were practicing that the last class, which was good, at least we didn't need to explain that much. But spent the first try correcting - usually switched right and left, then did a couple more with higher intensity. And a game at the end. Actually I felt like the class went well, I had a good feeling about it. :)

    Karate adults
    I felt great about the children class, but I am not used to speaking too much, especially so loudly, so my voice was already hoarse and tired, so I was happy that Sett took over. We did three Sanchin katas at the beginning. Today the last - full power - Sanchin felt good. After Junbi Undo we spent first practicing the techniques and then the complete sequence of the second half of Kihon Ippon Kumite we started last week. There was an odd number of people, so I participated, too. It was nice I got to train. :)
  14. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 29th November

    Morning Taiji
    I came right on time. I feel a bit sore from the kettlebell class and aggravated a bit at yesterday's karate. Basically the only sore part are the insides of my thighs. It probably isn't the part I worked the hardest, but I had been aware for a while now that while Taiji helps my outer thighs get stronger, my inner thighs are very weak. Like doing scissors is not really hard, but the insides of the thighs feel a bit painful doing it. So if going to the kettlebell gym can help me strenghten these, that would be awesome. And loosen my hamstrings. That is another goal.
    Anyway, I felt a bit sore and a bit tired, so I didn't push myself too much. And it was a lazy morning. We started with a Laojia Yilu as usual, which I did more relaxedly than usual. Then we worked on one move one lady asked about and spent the later half of the class with swords. First the basic circles, then start of the form and one new move. We got corrections, I also learned another useful thing and then I was left to practice the beginning of the form over and over with the class till the end.
    I didn't even sweat too much today. Maybe I took it a bit too easy....
  15. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 29th November

    Taiji - kung-fu
    It was time, but there were only 5 of us ladies (well, one was a young little Meimei) who came to practice fan. THe teachers weren't there, yet, so instead of slacking, I thought we'd start. We decided to start with a short meditation and did the first 25 moves of LAojia Yilu. Then we worked on the fan form, the teacher was there. Before he got to us, we taught Meimei the last move that she missed. Well, more of less. The teacher then explained in more detail and gave us corrections. He told us to practice for a while, then add the move before, then the one before that and he left. We did that, each sequence practiced a few times, then added maybe a couple of moves (I am not sure where one starts and the next begins, anyway), but we did that nonstop for like 35 mins till the end of the class, we managed to go all the way to the beginning this way. The ladies were happy they finally remember. Yep, I felt more confident, too. It was a great exercise :)

    Taiji - sword
    The isntructor, who usually leads the Laojia Yilu and Erlu warm-up here finally returned after a couple of weeks! I scolded him a little bit that because of him, this duty fell onto me, and I wasn't particularly happy about it. Phew, at least he's here today. Who would have thought that he'd jsut dissappear tot he other group into the smaller room?! Before I knew it, I was sent to the front yet again -_- I wasn't even sure if we were to do only Laojia Yilu, or Erlu, too, so when the time came, I asked. Sure enough, I was the only one who did not know Laojia Erlu....
    Anyway, there was very few people today, about 5, so we had plenty of space. The teacher was still fresh and energetic, so he had us running through the form pretty much the whole class. And when I say running, I mean he was speading up. Like I had to keep my eyes on him and do my best to make the moves compact enough to be able to keep up, which made me run into the others, who were not. Every time the teacher wanted to take a look at us, he ordered a slow tempo. But when he would count for the next move, he'd be the one pushing the speed. Well, it was a tough class. Yet great. The teacher introduced a few more applications and adjusted some of the movements throughout the form to make more sense. Shortened - speeded up - others, so we learned quite a few interesting things and got to practice a lot. Like, a lot.

    Taiji - Laojia Erlu
    I went to the changing room briefly. When I returned, the teacher was in teh door and stopped me: "Hey, instructor L isn't here today." She teaches the other group. So basically, the teacher forgot to mention this, but he asked if I could help. Sure, I had no problem and went to do the silk-reeling warm-up. I was fairly tired, but also felt soft in the hips and managed to keep a lower stance than I would usual. Being soft meant I was able to practice the silk-reeling - still trying to figure it out, so I didn't mind. I was worried, however, what to do once we're done. I didn't even know what group this was, how advanced they were. Luckily, as soon as I finished, the teacher was there, and let me go back to learn Laojia Erlu. It turned out, anohter, senior instructor turned up :) Good for me, I guess.
    In the Laojia Erlu, I was really tired already, we learned a new bit, worked on a few of the latest moves. It was nice.

    1555 kcal.
  16. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 30th November

    Taiji Fan
    We started as usual with Laojia Yilu. Then we went once through the fan form, worked on the ending. We were told to practice by ourselves. I tried to focus especially on keeping the toes pointed forwaed. It is hard, but when I asked last week and yesterday about this, the answer was clear. Considering twisting the body, this seems hard to do. I am probably twisting myself too much, but it feels kind of natural there. In the middle of our practice, a friend called from across the gym " Hey Nachi, where should the toes point to?" I was first scared what she wanted to ask, it is not like I know more about this move than the others, but I could safely answer this one. Then I saw everyone try and struggle the same way. Hm, it's not only me, it seems. Regardless I'll need more practice.
    Later we were taught a new move. Ha, the teacher finally sent to the front someone who actually knew the move before. Good, I got to just practice not worrying if I mess up today.

    Taiji - 25 moves
    Silk reeling with the second teacher, then we split and I went through the 35 moves with the more advanced group. When the teacher arrived, we worked on the ending two or three moves. Then we did the 25 moves again. First by ourselves (with me), then with the teacher who wanted us to practice it very slowly, so he dictated the tempo, and then once more at a bit faster pace by ourselves.

    Taiji - kicks
    I led the silk reeling as usual, then we did the whole about half of Laojia Yilu and practiced the newest moves - the kicks. And added one more. Then the whole form up to here at the end.

    Taiji - beginners
    I stayed, this is the class my friend started going to, but she did not come today. Nevermind, the teacher explains stuff nicely and I could use this chance to improve my silk reeling. We practiced wuji and the basic one handed silk reeling the whole time, except about a 10 min theory interlude to give us rest. At the end we tried the first double-]handed type of silk reeling. Nice class.

    Very tired after all this, 1530 kcal today.
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  17. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday 1st December

    The class was started by Sett. We did three Sanchin as usual, followed by Junbi Undo and a quick review of Kihon Ippon Kumite we worked on the last two Mondays. Sensei then returned, called Sett and I over and we again split the class into three groups by grade to practice for grading. Sensei was teaching Renzoku kumite, Sett... I forgot. Was it San Dan Gi? And I got Kata and Bunkai. We had 15 ins with each group, which... was fairly little for kata and bunkai. I adjusted the program for each group. For the least advanced - no to 8th kyu, we did Gekisai Dai Ichi kata and managed 4 out of 5 bunkai. This was a group of the younger students - up to 13 yo, and one has never done the bunkai before. However, he's a talented boy who catches on very quickly, so he was able to repeat the bunkai well when I demonstrated once or twice. They were working in groups and as soon as I checked on all 4 of them, we'd move to the next technique. The plan was to also go through Gekisai Dai Ni kata and its bunkai, but... it was impossible.

    The next group I had was the middle one - a strong one of 8th kyus, I planned to work on Gekisai Dai Ni kata and its bunkai. However, since these were all adepts for 7th kyu, the Gekisai Dai Ni bunkai weren't yet needed, so I thought mabye we'd just review Gakisai Dai Ichi bunkai. And I spent a bit more time iwth Gekisai Dai Ni kata, since that was their main thing for this grading. When I wanted to move to bunkai, sensei announced one minute left, so... we did the kata once more.

    Last group was the most advanced - two guys with 6th and 5th kyu. Meaning they would both need Saifa kata for their grading and the 5th kyu also Saifa bunkai. I decided to adjust the block to both their needs and spent about half the time on kata and half onthe bunkai. They both did the bunkai before (though probably only once), but these aren't that complicated. We tried each one once for both sides and finished all six just on time. The junior would need Gekisai Dai Ni bunkai for his grading, but it wasn't reaalistic to also do those.

    I did get some exercise in the first part of today's training, but basically none when I was also teaching. So only around 450 kcal today.

    We went for a dinner with Sett and Sensei after that and discussed some things. We will be organizing a big gasshuku next May, inviting 3 out of the IOGKF's 4 most senior active instructors. There won't be any major European event this summer, so this gasshuku (also conveniently in the center of Europe) might actually be rather big! There might actually be senior grading, in which also our sensei(s) could be participating! Therefore, Sett and I should take care of a good part of organizing this gasshuku. Neather of us is good with organizing, or has ever organized anything, but we'll do our best and hopefully will be able to take the biggest load off of sensei's shoulders this time. I hope it won't prevent us from participating in the training completely, though. Anyway, I am looking forward to this event already :)
  18. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday 4th December

    Kettlebell gym
    My seond class today. There was a different instructor. When she saw me, she must have been instructed as she asked: "You're Nachi, right?" We started the class by stretching and mobility exercises, then everyone went do their work, and the instructor spent most of the time with me, introducing me the preparatory exercises. I did the "lever"? I learned last time and practiced it for a while again with the 8 kg kettlebell. It was mostly a stretching exercise used to prepare for the strenght ones. Then I was, along with another guy taught a squat with hip stretching in the lower position. Again with the small kettlebell. It seemed like a good exercise, it did stretch the hips. We were again left to practice by ourselves before we were taught another one - pull over. Lying on the back, legs bent, the goal being to keep the abs active and lower back pushed into the floor while both arms would be holding a light kettlebell (8 kg) and lowering it to the floor above our head. This was a nice exercise, too. And I felt like this lighter kettlebell was indeed enough. We were adviced to do sets by 5 and for the last rep, hol in the lower position for a few seconds, which I generally did with about every rep. I think I did about 5-6 sets before the instructor returned. I was able to go low by this point, shoulders toughing the floor, I brushed with wrists, too. But had to be careful, sometimes, at this lower point, something in my left shoulder would pop a bit and make the position uncomfortable.

    Next I was taught the TGU. At least the first half of it. I did it before, but it was like 4 years ago and I only tried maybe 5 times, so the instructor explained from teh beginning to the sitting position. She corrected my positions there, then let me try with a corc disk to balance on my arm and told me to try a few tiems, then take a light kettlebell. So I went for the 8 kg again and practiced for both sides over and over, trying to check each position. When the instructor came back, she forgot to tell me to always keet my eyes on the bell, which I didn't, but otherwise she thought I did well. Before we continued on, she suddenly asked which sport I was doing. Heh, apparently it was obvious. Well, I am glad, I guess :)

    To let me do at least one exercise with some weight, then, she would review the deadlift I learned last time. I was told to grab the bell I used, so I went for the 32 kg. I wasn't sure about the inicial position, I knew I had some trouble there, and the instructor helped me with that. She said otherwise my form was ok, so I can practice. The rest of the class started their usual 10-min swing EMOM. Looks like I won't be participating today. Never mind, deadlifts are good. And I am sure I will be joining them sooner or later. I wasn't sure how long I should be practicing the deadlifts, though. I practiced not at a hurried pace, but didn't really take breaks and must have done a few dozen reps by now (wasn't counting). I still had strenght to keep going, but my lower back muscles were hurting already. I am not used to this kind of exercise, after all. I had to stretch my back from time to time now at least. I bet I'll be sore as hell tommorrow.
    The EMOM was over and the class started stretching. I was given no instructions, though, so I just kept lifting.

    About 3 mins before the end the instructor then said this weight seems comfortable for me, so I can finish whatever I was doing (I wasn't really doing anything, though, just lifting over and over) or that I could join the stretching. Yes please! Stretching my back looked like something I wanted to do. It was mostly similar exercises to what we did last time and she quickly explained them to me. The class already did these a while ago, so I stretched quickly to catch up with them.

    It was a nice class, again, not hard, but I was indeed just working on the mobility and preparatory exercises (apart from the deadlifts), so it was to be expected. There's no rush, though, I am sure I will be learning the strenght exercises soon. I'd better work on my form before then. The technique is important after all.
    And to be honest, I don't really know why, but I just kind of enjoy coming to a gym as a beginner. It is nicely relaxed, discovering what the thing is about, trying new things. Being expected to suck, so I don't need to worry about messing up or asking stupid questions... :D Even just learning and drilling the very basics. I don't really know why, but I enjoy it.
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  19. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 5th December

    Surprisingly, my lower back isn't sore at all! :)

    Karate kids
    We started with 4 children only. Today is St. Nicolas' Day, so children may be celebrating the event. However, throughout the warm-up, another four arrived. We planned to work on kata or/and bunkai, but the children present were all beginners, with the exception of one, who, however, attends adult classes, too, so we worked on basic techniques instead.

    Karate adults
    Unlike the previous class, this one was very full. 20 people + Sett and I. We started with Sanchin kata as usual and after Junbi Undo we worked on kata - Gekisai Dai Ichi, Ni and Saifa. And then bunkai. The majority of people needed only Gekisai Dai Ichi bunkai for the upcoming grading, so they formed one gorup. A few people only needed to practice the first kata and I took the remaining two to practice Gekisai Dai Ni and Saifa bunkai together. We were done in time, but Sett took longer with his group, so we prolonged the training by about 40 mins.... today. I was mostly teaching today, not getting much exercise, but at least I worked on Sanchin :)
  20. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 6th December

    Skipped morning class.

    Taiji kung-fu (Fan)
    Five of us gthered to practice the fan form. So we got to it right away. We practiced pretty much the whole class. The teacher stopped by once I thing, helped us with the last couple of moves and told us to drill the last. So we did, over and over. He was away long, though, and it wasn'T certain if he'd return, so I was a bit bold, since I was coordinating the group, to add the previous move as well and after a while the couple before that. Then we had a brief pause as the teacher wanted to shoot a short video of us with the fan. We spent maybe 10 mins in front of the camera, maybe even less, and then did two more forms before the end.

    Taiji sword
    Laojia Yilu with the teacher today. I tried pushing someone to the front before I'll be sent there (unsuccessfully), but the teacher took the lead himself. Great! I did as he did, then. Same with the basic sword exercises. Then we worked on the sword form. We are nearing the end. Practiced a few parts and learned the next bit. Looks like when we're finished with the sword, we'd still be polishing it, but apparently should start learning the broadsword form in January. Awesome! :) Not that I am not learning enough new things. I am a bit scared of that, but mostly I ma looking forward to it.

    Taiji - Laojia Erlu
    Laojia Yilu for a warm-up, then practicing the moves we learned recently, and a new one added. I was looking forward to this one - it should be the Cannon Fist - but I am always so tired in this last class of today, that my fajins really sucked. And they seem to be such great fajins, too! :)

    I spent 15 mins after class stretching, mostly legs, especialyl hamstrings. Lately, they are somewhat achy.

    Tempo Training+ today, over 1600 kcal.
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