Nachi's Log

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

  1. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Saturday, September 9


    I wanted to go visit Japanese day in a botanical garden just outside of Prague. We were to meet at a tube station to hop on a bus, but we actually met sensei with his family there, inviting us to join them for a “family run” - you register for free, walk/run to the final destination - an Aquacpark very close to the botanical garden, and get a free aquapark ticket. Couldn’t say no :) It was around 8 km in the end and we got a little lost then navigating to the garden, so the walk was around 12 km and then around 1,5 km back for a bus. A nice day, though we were quite tired from the sun shining on us and going mostly thirsty and hungry :) But it was a very nice day in the end
  2. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday, September 10

    Kettlebell gym

    Mobility and then warm-up exercises with 16 kg kettlebell.


    I went right for the 28 kg. The first rep felt hard, but it was getting better. I was again focusing on keeping my wrists - especially the right one in a good position. After 5 reps on each side, I took the 32 kg bell again and tried just the first pose - pressing it up, but staying on my back. I held it for a bit, then lowered it down - definitely not feeling like trying to get on my elbow. I ended up doing 5 reps per side - alternating. I think I discovered what will be one of the problem parts for a TGU with this weight - keeping the wrists straight. I always felt liek my wrists were not too strong and as I discovered in the TGUs lately, they tend to bend uder the weight. And 32 kg is a weight that really pulls them back. I think it is a good idea to stick with 28 kg for now and then do a few reps with 32 kg like this at the end, strengthening my wrists. It would be even better if I could do one of two more positions, but I do not think I am there just yet.

    Deadlifts + pike push-ups

    Doing a few more presses with the 32 kg felt like a good excuse (to myself as well as the teacher), why skip the horizontal bar today again :D

    So I only did my usual 5 rounds of 5 DL (68 kg bell) + 5 pike push-ups.

    Single leg DL

    Then I had a bit more time left before swings so I tried the 1 leg DL again. This time I took a slightly heavier - 24 kg bell. I think I was actually able to keep balance better with this one.

    The instructor came to check, she said it was fine, but she would have a few tips for me. Originally this exercise was taught to me by a different instructor and as both said, there are different variations. This instructor (my usual one) wanted me to change the position of the free hand and of the kettlebell relative to my foot and even turn it 90°. She also warned me not to use arms, but rather work from the hips like in a deadlift and gave me back the lighter - 20 kg kettlebell so practicing the technique is easier. I think I managed 4 round by 5 on each side (time-wise).

    Swings EMOM

    I took 28 kg bell again to practice technique - I am working on eliminating a small movement I do in hips when swinging up - I start it like a squat. The movement is small and it takes a lot of focus to eliminate it and I can’t really tell myself when I am doing it wrong or right.

    I was trying, but asked the instructor in the 5th round if I could take a heavier kettlebell - I think I will not be able to eliminate the mistake just like that and I wanted at least a better work out. I thought the instructor wouldn’t be too happy about it, but she said sure, maybe the weight will actually help you.

    I therefore used 32 kg for the last 5 rounds and did my best to focus on my hips. I tried one way I thought may be right, but I still needed the feedback from the instructor. At the end she told me it looked quite good :)

  3. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday, September 11

    Karate kids - teaching

    Today is my turn to teach the classes. We did some fun team running, in the end it took half an hour. But I thought it would be good to make the classes at the beginning of the school year still a bit more playful.

    Junbi Undo and then we split the class. I got only four kids who were beginners - no grading done yet, most of them were completely new, so I practiced tsuki with them in a few exercises for about 15 mins.

    Starting from now we have a help at the children classes - a sempai - assistant instructor. We asked three teenagers from our adult classes and so far one arrived - a 15 yo boy with 3rd kyu. I asked him to go and hold pads to the kids when they were practicing. I think he will make a very nice addition to the instructor team

    Karate adults - teaching

    I found a nice article in the IOGK magazine about the importance of practicing kihon - basic techniques - ad nauseam. I translated the article and put in online for everyone to see.

    In the beginning of the class I asked if everyone saw my translation of the article. Non everyone did. Well, a pity, what what can I do. Then I asked, if perhaps, there was someone who did see it, but did not read it. I got several reluctant hand up. Aha! 20 push-ups! :mad: You know I spent time and effort, right? For your good, right? (It was a really nice and definitely not long article). Actually more people got down than admitted to their mistakes at first! Tsk.

    I didn't want to spend much time with the warm-up so I told everyone to just do 30 push-ups, 30 sit ups and 30 squats for a warm-up. I got a few: "Whaaat, more pushups?" from the slackers. -_- Honza has apparently been too soft when teaching :D

    After Junbi Undo (durign which Honza kindly read my translation of the article aloud, since apparently nobody read it) and we stood in a circle, 14 people in total and I asked everyone in turn to first come up with a bodyweight exercise to be done 10 or 20 times (depending of difficulty or if it was something to alternate sides) and then come up with a kihon technique which we would do to everyone’s count to 10. After the person counted to 10 push-ups and 10 techniques, the next person came up with the next exercise. Oh, looks like there's been a misunderstanding. The technique was to be counted to 10 by everyone. For every technique, everyone counts to 10. 14 people -> 140 reps of 14 techniques. When I explained this again, the next guy went: "Whaaat?" at me again. What a low morale! :D
    Anyways, there were not any surprises anymore.
    We did kicks, strikes, blocks, two rounds were techniques in shiko dachi. This took us nearly and hour and a half. 14 techniques done 140x + 10 reps as a bonus -> 2970 techniques today + at least 250 bodyweight exercises. Actually the morale got better and people were encouraging the others to come up with a nastier technique or at least do the low blocks or low tsuki in shiko dachi and then they'd count slooowly. That's it, yes! :D

    It was a nice work-out that got us all sweaty. I said some details about each technique being performed - mostly for the two present beginners and some more difficult details for the rest to focus on.

    The general goal was to not give in to exhaustion and push through and no matter how little or how well we knwo the technique and how tired we are, focus on the details to perform the technique correctly. It sounds easy when we read about not to give in to lazyness and get tempted to stop, but finish all the reps you promised yourself you would do and do not lose focus and make mistakes. So I gave reminders about that as we progressively indeed got tired and had to exercise more mental strenght to keep doing the techniques hard.

    The atmosphere was great, people pushing to do stuff in shiko dachi on two occasions. I had fun, we also sweated a lot.

    Karate advanced

    In the last 20 mins we had an advanced class of 3rd kyu up. Except for me and Honza we only had one boy there today. Regardless, while I talked to the beginners, Honza went with him through Shisochin kata and then we together practiced the first four bunkai of Shisochin.

    What a pity my chest strap ran out of battery (even though I checked at home and it looked ok…), as I believe I would have nice stats today :)
  4. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday, September 12

    Taiji fan - teaching

    Only 5 people today. We meditated, went through the form 3x, practiced the steps across the gym a few times again, reviewed a problematic part - I saw some things to improve in the 2nd and 3rd move, then we reviewed the last one and I taught a new move. A quick and relatively simple, once you figure it out. But if you don’t have it figured out, there are quite a few details to pay attention to. So I explained bit by bit, adding points and the class practiced, obviously not having an easy time. But I think this is the kind of move that is hard to do at first, but would maybe settle a bit till next time and eventually with a bit of practice could become relatively easy. We’ll see.

    Taiji - sword

    Not too many people today nad none from the less advanced (broadsword) group, so the teacher taught us some new basic exercises. Starting next week, he will be starting a new sword group and we will be taking turns practicing the form and the basic exercises and applications in pairs as we also did today. We learned some nice moves that took a few minutes for me to figure out, but then seemed not that hard. Except for when I had to do one circle in the opposite direction.

    We were also encouraged to try with the left hand and I did, I think being quite successful there, too. By all that I mean I figured it out roughly,, but there would definitely be details to work on. We also tried in pairs.

    And the sword form twice at the end.

    I later spoke to the teacher and these are things he is learning through online courses that he has never learned before nad as he said aren’t even practiced much in China, or at least in Chenjiagou. But he also learnes from a friend who teaches the japanese sword, etc., putting things together and confronting them with the techniques found in our sword form. I think that is very commendable. The stuff he teaches makes sense to me and I am happy I have the opportunity to learn it. I suppose finding a teacher to learn any kind of applications with a Chinese sword wouldn’t be easy.

    Taiji - 108 moves

    We started by doing the 108 form (Laojia Yilu + Laojia Erlu). We didn’t do many sword and no broadsword forms before, so I still had plenty of energy and tried for lower stances. I messed up the form in maybe 3 places… Shame on me. I should practice more.

    The teacher then had us work on Qi Gong within the first 5 moves - the most basic part. Especially the second move. It was similar to what we did last week, but maybe as this is a more advanced class, he focused more on working with the energy, shared more details of the the reverse breathing, etc. I had a few questions and didn’t hesitate to ask just to try to understand the part I had a bit of trouble with.

    Part of the class was also spent on the theory of 8 energies (I think it was called that), the teacher promised would also be our topic for the next few months along with perhaps some applications (I hope so). The explanation was very understandable with easy to understand examples, so I just focused on not forgetting any of it.
    Very nice class.

    Taiji - 14 moves

    Since event he last class was not very exhausting, I, for once, still had energy left and decided to stay for the next class as well. Everyone was silk reeling outside and I used the empty gym to do one more Cannon Fist form, tried the sweep I struggle with a few times.

    Before joining the rest, I went to the changing room to get more water. When I was on my way back and opened the door, a friend stood thare, breathing out in relief to see me. I had no idea what it was about and she started talking about a lot of people there and what to do, before I realised - it was again the very nice, yet timid friend, who was apparently tasked with leading the silk reeling, but when she was done, the teachers were still somewhere where we had no access to and she was about to go search for them as she really isn’t the type to order the class about and start something, although she, for sure, has the ability to. Before I could say much, I was led out, she let me in first, thanking me. Dang. At least I just checked the timetable and read there should be two groups practicing 5 and 14 moves respectively…

    I didn’t know if they were to stay outside or go inside, so I just started the 5 moves to 5 directions - a save thing to do, before the teachers arrive. And of course, they did just a short while after we started…

    When we finished, we were all brought inside, I joined the group of 14 moves and was then tasked to go tot he front when practicing the moves. We worked on some details, then the teachers switched and the head teacher also explained stuff, had us practice and then tasked me to repeat he move we were working on over and over again, until he came back. It was a nice, relaxed class as well. And the move we practiced - the 8th one, is one I struggle with. I got some corrections lately and can’t figure it out.

    After class I was caught by the teacher and we chatted, which was nice. But then I realised I only have 10 mins to catch the tram which is around 6-7 mins of walk away from the building, so I changed super quick and did a nice night jog….
  5. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday, September 13

    Taiji - fan and double fan

    The time was up, teacher nowhere, so I started the class as, well, usual. He appeared shortly, but then let us practice some more. When he returned, he helped us correct several moves at the beginning of the form.
    In the later half of the class, we took up double fans. A few more people returned, who weren't coming in summer, so we worked on the first part of the form only. I definitely wasn’t agains, as the teacher gave us more details and ideas about it. Great class, I’d say.

    Taiji - 33 moves

    I didn’t participate in the silk reeling. But it turned out only one group would do it outside and I was sent to practice the form with the more advanced group. Actually the teacher joined us for the first form and then observed the second. When I had the chance, I did my best to copy from him as best as I could.
    Then we worked on the 17th move most of the class. I don’t think anything new was mentioned that I hadn’t heard before, but it definitely was good to practice. I noticed the teacher was doing something a tiny bit different, so I asked about it. Looks like I got something a bit wrong in the end, indeed.

    Taiji - 14 moves

    My turn to lead the silk reeling. At least for one group, the other was the first class of a new course today, so they were taken by the second teacher.

    We were told to focus on breath in the silk reeling, the teacher wanted to focus more on it here, too. I tried, but considering I had a rather hard training on Monday (while being sore from Sunday kettlebell training), did 4 taiji classes yesterday and it was already 3rd class today, my legs hurt and I had a hard time focusing on keeping my back straight, stance proper, working on the correct hip movements, count the circles to change to another form of silk reeling every 8 circles and then focus on breath on top of that… it was just too much.

    We then did 5 moves to 4 directions and worked on the remainder of the 14 moves after that. Drilling the 6th move. The teacher explained about phang energy and did the form swiftly, light on his feet and when demonstrating, it looked so easy. But it totally wasn’t! I worked on this move on a few occasions by now, so I had the idea how to do it and did my best while we practiced over and over. Asked a question when I wasn’t sure if my idea was right and turned out it was. Or at least that it was one of the possibilities.

    Taiji - 8 moves

    Anyway I thought I may try the next class, still. But I definitely wanted to skip silk reeling and stretch my aching muscles instead.
    The previous group left and the group coming to start, but somehow, formed a circle around me as if expecting me to start. No, no, no, what social pressure! :D The teacher came to ask if I was going to do it, and, ehm, although I really want to help where I can, I admitted I’d really rather not (I wouldn’t be a reference worth following, honestly). He said it was fine, though, and went himself.
    I took a short break and stretched a bit and joined for the 5 moves to 4 directions, with new energy, so I went for low stances. Mor the most of the class we drilled the 6th and 7th move again. I had a spot in the back and although I wouldn’t mind helping with anything (other than the silk reeling), the teacher left me be. Which I didn’t mind, either.
  6. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday - Saturday, September 14-16

    I had a sore throat and although I felt ok otherwise, someone from the dojo had sorethroat before me, didn’t feel too well and said they met their friend a couple of days before he tested positive for covid…

    Therefore, I decided to skip class today. Also I wanted to get healthy this time as next weekend we have a karate seminar I’ve been really looking forward to and I absolutely refuse to be sick :D

    I planned to do some home training, but only did 9 kata on Saturday…

    Sunday, September 17

    I did a covid test, just to be sure, it was negative. Sore throat went away today and I felt fine, so no reason not to go to the gym.

    Kettlebell gym

    Mobility exercises, then preparatory ones with 16 kg kettlebell.

    5 rounds with 28 kg. This time I did one rep per right, then per left side right after and only took break then. Before I was taking breaks between each rep. The weight still feels heavy, but I can do the TGU quite safely now.
    Like last time after I finished I did 5 rounds with 32 kg - only the first position - meaning, pressing the bell up using both arms and I paid attention to keep my wrist in a good position. I relaxed my torso and tried to just hold the bell up for 5 seconds at least.

    It felt much better than last time, actually. In the second rep I thought I could perhaps try to push myself on the elbow, or just try to start the movement. I did try on my right side and this transition on the right is the most problematic part in my TGU. So I kind of feel like I should practice, but this weight seems fairly heavy. Anyway, I tried just to push myself a little bit up, but immediately, my elbow bent and the kettlebell was falling. So I just slowed it down and directed it away from my face.

    Anyway, my wrists did a better job than last time, keeping the right angle. I am in no rush to up the weight, I will just take my time getting used to it and perhaps attempting the first position. When I get through that and if I could do it a few times, the full TGU would be much easier, then.

    KB deadlifts + push-ups

    5 rounds of 5 KB deadlifts with 68 kg. And 5 (this time) normal push-ups. Focusing of form. They feel harder than pike push-ups…

    As for the deadlifts, last time and today I caught myself doing more of a squat then a deadlift. So when the instructor came by, I asked if she could check my form. I paid attention then and she gave me a few tips to make sure I do everything as I should.

    Single-legged deadlifts

    Not much time left, but in order not to forget the technique I did at least 3 rounds fo 5 reps on each side with 20 kg, focusing on form.

    My right, previously injured hamstring felt tight and uncomfortbale, so I took a few mins to stretch and rest before:

    Swings EMOM

    Today I took 32 kg frmo the beginning. The instructor came to check if I improved my form. I focused hard on doing what I thought was working last time, but the instructor wasn’t completely content and had me adjust still. I just can’t figure how to get rid on this tiny move I am doing and should not be :D I focused hard on that and adjusting while working, I was quite tired by the last 2 rounds.

  7. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday, September 18

    Felt sick from getting some (very little) blood drawn yb a doctor today. I nearly fainted on my way home and wasn't feeling good for the rest of the day, so I skipped class….

    Tuesday, September 19

    Taiji fan - teaching
    Finally a lot of people gathered! I heard the students got a call whether they were going to continue with the fan class, otherwise, if too few people remained, it could possibly get cancelled. BUt today, Definitely more than 10 people arrived, which I think was the desired number. And at least one regular was missing.
    I taught the class as usual, meditation, form practice,then steps, then I reviewed the problematic part which were the latest two moves and the last one that I only taught to a few people last time. We worked on that again.

    Taiji - sword
    We started with 3 forms. Today, a new sword class started parallel to us, so we only got half of the gym and today, many people came in both groups, so it was a little crowded. Then we worked on basic exercises we did last times - both groups together. Then ours practiced one exercise in pairs with wooden swords and finally we did 2 broadsword forms. We divided out group of 9 in two in order not to hurt each other :)

    Taiji - Cannon Fist
    We started the class with meditation, Laojia Yilu and Laojia Erlu. Then the teacher wanted to work on those forms - putting together a 108 form, bit by bit. So we started from the beginning, and spent the class working on the 1st and 2nd moves. The teacher demosntrated the applications, but unfortunately, there wasn’t a chance to try it out ourselves (that would be done in the Thursday classes that I can’t attend :/). I lucked out, though, the teacher would pick me for some of the demonstrations so that I would show how to push in a given stance with him providing some resistance. And I got to try the application in this way, also. When the teacher wasthe one demonstrating, though, he’d pick a guy for that. Anyway, I got to try stuff and got some corrections, which I was fairly happy about ^^

    I stretched a bit and joined the class that practiced… I don’t even remember now, 7 moves? Or something like that. Perhaps 13?
  8. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday, September 20

    Taiji fan and double fan

    I started the class as it was time and the teacher comes whenever he feels like it (he came just a minule later today, though), we did the fan form I think a couple of times, then went through it segment by segment. The teacher didn’t have huge corrections, but some small and we practiced some things over. Then we stopped at a difficult kick in a 270° turn. Great practice, I think I got to improve some things. But I should practice to remember and focus on all of that.
    In the last 25 mins we worked on the double fans. A bit of a review for those who were not coming in summer, but we did get basically to the end we had learned. And drilled the last couple fo moves in the last few mins. I also got correction, which helped improve the flow.

    Taiji - 34 moves
    I was a bit confused abotu the not typical organization of the groups today and I skipped silk-reeling, though I should have probably taken it...
    We worked a bit on a jumping kick and then finally started the next move - Protect-the-heart fist. Which is not an easy one by any means, so we drilled only the first (easier) part for the rest of the class, even that posing some trouble. The teacher announced that we’d practice it further next week, but I realised later he had a seminar planned and he most likely won’t be here. I’d better study my notes for this move! I suppose the second teacher will most likely take over but better to be safe than sorry.

    Taiji - 7 moves
    I led the silk reeling today. After quite a long time I got to do it in front of a mirror today, so I got a great opportunity to check on what I was actually doing :D My legs hurt, so I didn’t push the stances, but I focused on the body structure.
    Then we did 5 moves to 4 directions, twice, then worked ont he 6th and later 7th move. I was put forward when the teacher asked us to drill it for a bit, and, again(!) a friend - the teenage boy with plenty of questions - J - came to ask me a question. And then another one. Dang it, leave this for the teacher! :D

    I left after this class, I still had some plans today, so I did not stay longer as I normally would have.
  9. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday. September 21

    Karate Kids

    Sensei apologized today that he couldn’t make it. So it was Honza’s turn and I was just assisting.
    We played the game of tag, then Junbi Undo and we split the class as usual. I took the more advanced group - around yellow belt of getting ready for yellow belt, to practice Gekisai Dai Ichi and a bit of Gekisai Dai Ni kata for the more advanced.

    Karate adults
    Sanchin kata 3x for a warm-up, Junbi Undo and then the class was spent doing various exercises in groups of three, some pads, work-out etc. A generally fun class.

    Karate advanced
    We finished the previous class late today and there wasn’t much time. We only had two brown belts who would come, but they apologized that they had to leave already. At least Honza and I went through our Sepai bunkai.
  10. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Saturday, September 23


    Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura (8th dan, Kanada, IOGKF World Chief instructor)
    Sensei Ernie Molyneux (9th dan, England, World Vice Chief instructor)
    Sensei Henrik Larsen (8th dan, Denmark, World Vice Chief instructor)
    Sensei Kayle Larsen (5th dan, Denmark)

    After a year, as is a tradition, we went to Trenčianské Stankovce to Slavakia for a Gasshuku, this year with 4 amazing instructors - several of the best instructors IOGKF has. So I was basically looking forward to this event for the past several months, ever since the last gasshuku

    Nakamura-sensei: Junbi Undo

    There were probably over 60 people from several nearby countries and we started all together with Junbi Undo led by Nakamura-sensei.


    Sensei Kayle Larsen: Women’s gasshuku

    The organizing sensei was asked by women from his association to organize an event for women. I have been to a class like that before and it was awesome, however, this time, I was a bit reluctant as it was in place of training in groups divided by grade and I would lose the opportunity to learn intricate details of kata or do kakie and joint locks etc., which it the most interesting to me at such gasshukus.

    This seminar was, however, in the end made mandatory for women, so there was no choice. I was a bit sad about that, but Honza made notes of everything and promised to show me everything later. That eased my mind.

    That said, I was looking forward to the ladies training, I only regretted it was not done as an additional training outside of the main training hours, as I then only had one block each day when I was in my grade’s group.

    I have never met sensei Kayle before, but I had no doubt she was very skilled. She tauhgt a group of 13 women of varying grades, from 9th kyu to 3rd dan or maybe even 4th dan, I think. We lined up in two rows and sensei Kayle had us practice how to avoid, quickly, yet effectively blok an attack, work with distance, and be ready for counter attack. How to disbalance and attacker and what to pay attention to when we practice or go against big men.
    Sensei’s points were relatively simple, but practical and really nice.

    Sensei herself was of a small frame, but very lean and from the way she moved it was obvious she is incredibly fast and strong. A very inspiring woman, indeed. And it was a pleasure to learn from her.

    Standing in front of sensei and being one of the black belts, I was very fortunate that sensei would pick me for her demonstrations. In fact, she was alternating between me and K, a friend, and my sensei from our dojo, who has a 2nd dan, like me, but has been a 2nd dan already when I first stepped into the dojo. She is strong and has really good technique and I would never have guessed that nowadays, she basically practices karate only a few times a year on seminars, as she is a mother of two little kids.

    So when it came to demos, I was either sensei’s partner and if not, two of the Slavakian girls would come to my side to have me translate for them.

    For the practice I partnered up with K and when I saw a brown belt standing alone on the other side of the dojo, I beckoned to her to join us. We were to finish the block and strike with some sort of joint loke, take down, etc. I didn’t have much of a fantasy, as usual. But K was just snapping one cool and precise technique after another. She does know this stuff as her first sensei was also proficient in Aikido and it looked like she did not forget anything.

    At one point sensei Kayle came to K and me and asked us: “So, who’s the strongest?”
    Obviously, K and I each pointed at each other: “She is!” :D
    We had no idea what sensei was planning with whoever she picked, and each of us had different strengths, but since K was not practicing regularly these days and was obviously not particularly fond of the intensity of sensei's attacks. Therefore I thought taking a beating was my job, so I volunteered. :D

    Indeed. Sensei saw some people were doing the drills unnecessarily hard and strong and tense, so she wanted us to let off some steam by a brief kote kitae (iron body conditioning). I already got to do the leg kicking with sensei, now she wanted to demonstrate uchi uke - forearm conditioning. We did only a bit over 10 reps, and I think I couldn’t sync, or rather, align the strikes well within that frame, so we did not go all out. And sensei pointed out to me that I do the movement way too big and I should make more use of my back muscles. I usually didn’t think that much about technique, so I didn't realise my mistakes. I did my best to focus on that. And I will work on that for sure.

    I feel very lucky I was able to try trainig with sensei sensei. It was a great learning opportunity for me. One can indeed see what is possible to achieve with hard work (though I suppose talent is also included). Anyway, sensei was really amazing and to be honest, it is not that often when I feel wary of a woman smaller than me.

    I also noticed how precise sensei was. It goes without saying that the more experience one has, the more precise his strikes are and if punching to the head, and stopping in front for example, with more experience, a person is able to stop within a shorter distance of the target. I trusted sensei as, while strong, her techniques were very well controlled, so I was ready for whatever was coming my way, standing relaxed and not flinching. I was internally rather surprised and in awe, though, when she finished a combo with a punch to the eye, and she basically put my eye right between her knuckles, the strike ending with a touch and a very gentle push to my eye, while it started fast and strong. What control!

    Sensei Kayle demonstrating a different type of kick for conditioning on me.

    Sensei Henrik Larsen: Sepai kata

    My only block today split by grades. I was hoping It would be something technical with some nice juicy details :D And it was.

    Our group consisted of 3rd and 2nd dan people - 12 in total. I absolutely didn’t want to go the the back as I tend to not see stuff and I was totally going to catch every detail I can this time! So I stood approximately in the middle of the gym, leaving space for the 3rd dans. But no one went in front of me and our Czech group, so we made space and moved a bit forward as the first line. Not that I minded. I will see! The front row ended up being me, K, Honza and another friend from our country, who was the only 3rd dan among us. Sensei Henrik arrived, and only commanded to get ready, bow and announced Sanseru kata.
    I was a bit out of sorts not ready for such an abrupt start and… I haven’t practiced this kata since August… Shame on me. I didn’t do too well, but at least didn’t mess up the steps.

    Then sensei told us to get ready again and do the next kata - Sepai. I was a bit more ready now. We apparently did well enough with Sanseru and stopped at Sepai. Sensei then had us do a few steps, before he’d stop us and explain those steps.

    Standing in front of sensei has its merits, as usual. As he was watching or passing by, he’d often correct my hand’s position, told me to straighten my arm a bit more, not sift shoulders, pay attention to my feet position, and generally gave me many corrections on details or imprecissions that I hadn’t realised I was doing. On top of correcting the techniques and explaining the details in general to the whole class. I, of course, wasn’t the only one sensei was correcting, but I got quite a few corrections, so when we were then trying the kata and I had like 6 things altogether to pay attention to in one or two subsequent steps, my brain was steaming. If sensei kindly corrected me, I’d better fix it. Focusing on everything made me stop or stumble on an occasion during the kata.

    Then sensei told our front row to turn around and the two back rows to retreat and watch us perform the kata to give us a bit of a pressure. Exactly what I didn’t wish for right now! :D We got to try the kata with the corrections probably no more than 2 times. Sensei was grinning, however. Oh, I would have laughed had I been in his place, as well... Dang.

    When we finished our kata, we made to go to the back to make space for the second row to now demonstrate their kata. But sensei stopped us. From the rest of the group, he assigned two people to each of us. Everyone was abit confused, not understanding what was to come. Then sensei told the four of us to make space. We were still confused, so sensei grabbed me and pulled me to the back, the two people assigned to me followed.

    It turned out sensei wanted the four of us to do the Sepai kata, while the two people would stand behind us, shadowing. Now from the back I had trouble hearing all the explanation and looking back I am glad that was the case, as Honza later told me that sensei said that it was natural to learn from the more experienced. And something about since according to seniority, the people in the front row are the most advanced (which, in this case, should mean they had 3rd dan), the rest would follow their lead in the kata. Oh my god! :eek::confused: I am so glad I did not hear that! :oops:I would feel even more awful! Among the four of us in the front row, only one was actually a 3rd dan…. I am not sure how many 3rd dans were in the group, there was at least one more I knew, but maybe there were more. And if so, they were just made to copy kata from juniors! My gosh, that was embarrassing. :oops: I will think twice about going to the front next time! :confused::oops:

    Sensei Henrik: Final kihon work-out

    We had around 15 mins left, so we all made one group and sensei Henrik led the final work-out. He had us do a combo of three punches, then another one and then a combo of three kicks. Then he put the first two combinations together, then all three and we would have to do as fast as we could to count of ten on each side.

    It was tiring, but also fun and I wasn’t going to hold back. So I did all I could, I finally got completely sweaty, pushing my HR to today’s max at 184 bpm.

    Over 1700 kcal burned today. It surprised me. Sure, it was 4 hours of training, but with 3 at least 10 min breaks and it didn’t feel as intense (except for the final kihon).
  11. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday, September 24

    Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura (8th dan, Kanada, World Chief instructor)
    Sensei Ernie Molyneux (9th dan, England, World Vice Chief instructor)
    Sensei Henrik Larsen (8th dan, Denmark, World Vice Chief instructor)
    Sensei Kayle Larsen (5th dan, Denmark)

    Sensei Ernie: Junbi Undo

    The usual routine, kihon was not a part today.

    Nakamura sensei: Ladies Gasshuku

    We separated into our ladies group today, and sensei Nakamura was teaching the first block. We worked on kihon - basic techniques. I was a bit regretful I could not have Nakamura-sensei for a block about more specific, more advanced techniques or kata, as this group was of very varying grades, but as expected, he managed to make even basic technqiue sinteresting and gave us a meaningful message with them. I was lucky, as I was standing in front of sensei, that I was picked several times for demosntrations as well. I found it a great opportunity and did my best not to mess up :D Although, honestly, not much was required of me... It was cool to get a feel for the technqiues sensei was showing, though.

    Nakamura-sensei worked with us on kihon kombinations of three blocks. Then he taught us some self-defence principles and combinations, having a talk about kyusho and explaining several pressure points, how, and why to attack them. Then we tried in pairs. Or, in my case again, in a group of three. This time I paired us with two older ladies - one from Slovakia and one from Denmark - actually a very amazing and special lady who has been coming here for years, usually driving on her own all the way, and always working hard, despite the fact that she is, if not the, then one of the oldest students at this seminar. It was totally my goal for this gasshuku to work with her at least for a bit :) She's an inspiratin. :)
    When Nakamura-sensei sat us down and talked about principles, like yesterday, a few girls from Slovakia appeared clustered behind me so that I could translate for them. Sensei noticed, and kindly made pauses in his speech. Like that I didn’t miss anything and could translate all he was saying easily.

    This block was very nice, as usual. Nakamura-sensei is very positive, so it is a pleasure to be taught by him, and he can also explain things comprehensively. I noted down the combinations and theory I remembered. :)

    Nakamura sensei taking a selfie with the ladies group :D

    Sensei Kayle Larsen: Women’s gasshuku

    Women's group, this time sensei Kayle focused on kumite. We didn’t do any free sparring, but focused on combinations a bit similar to yesterday. Again, I was picked by sensei several times.

    Today for practice I paired up with K and again, would make a group of three. Sensei Kayle, however, made some changes to the arrangement and switched our third person for a friend, or rather, and acquintance from Poland. A 2nd dan lady as well, good and tough :) I have been partnering up wth her since I was an orange belt, but it has been a while since I practiced with her last time! :)
    It was fun and I enjoyed practicing with these two And again, great experience getting to demonstrate with sensei. She's a beast.

    Sensei Ernie: Kururunfa

    For the last block we finally went back to our group by grade, women and men combined. Our group got sensei Ernie, which I was really happy about, as that was my last chance to attend his block.

    With the experience from yesterday, being mistakingly taken for seniors as we stood in the front row, I made very sure not to go there today. :D I remained in the second row, though, so I could see and hear :oops:

    Sensei let us choose if we wanted to do kata or something else and as people didn't say anything and I was thirsting for kata, I guess I decided for us :oops::cool:
    Since apparently the black belt group so far was able to go through Shisochin, Sanseru and Sepai (I missed so much!), sensei said he could do Kururunfa with us. But seeing that Kururunfa was a kata for 4th dan grading, and our group consisted of 2nd and 3rd dans, sensei asked about who wasn’t familiar with it. There were only a couple of people and sensei asked them to go to the front line then, so they can see when he would quickly explain it bit by bit.

    When he explained the kata step by step, he had us go through the kata a couple of times, this time asking the two who didn’t know the kata to go to the second line instead, so they have people all around. Basically, I ended up in the front again :D
    Not that I am very proficient with Kururunfa, but at least I do remember the steps (actually I struggled with its techniques quite a bit, but improved it a little in August's kata challenge). I tried to go slowly and made pauses in the kata, when I noticed a friend behind me was indeed shadowing me as he was just learning the kata.

    Then we moved onto Kururunfa bunkai. Sensei actually picked me up as a partner for the demo as well! Woohoo, what luck I have this weekend! Sensei Ernie is, well, obviously, really amazing. His technique was fast, hard and precise. After viewing the photos of this event later, sensei Ernie had a few action photos there. And on every single one from this and even our last gasshuku, he has perfect (from my point of view) posture and body structure. Sensei is obviously able to work well with his center of gravity and centerline and make each of his movements very efficient and therefore quick and strong. I am quite in awe of this. Of course, Ernie-sensei is one of the only two 9th dans in IOGKF after its split last year. And from what I can tell, I think his recent promotion was very well deserved.

    Sensei Ernie usually demonstrated once or twice and if I wasn’t his partner, it was Honza (with one exception) and I stood to his back and didn’t hear much of what he was saying. I practiced the bunkai with Honza and we usually somehow figured the techniques out. But as I didn’t hear sensei and he was showing two variations of one of the bunkai and said that for those of us who aren’t familiar with the bunkai, to just do the basic one, I wanted to do that, but didn’t catch which of the two versions that was. Honza wasn’t sure either, and then we got a little lost between the two and asked sensei, when he came by, what the version was and how it went. Sensei replied with: “You guys try the variation, that is actually smoother and better in some ways. Or you just practice both.”
    Looks like there was a misunderstanding about our level, again, though. “Sensei, we do not know the bunkai. This is our first time trying it.” And sensei left with: “Oh. Then just do the basic one.” XD Dang. Which one was it? :D

    This has repeated itself when sensei showed the last two bunkai we had time for - both at once - and we were to practice both. Before we got to the latter, we forgot it. There was a complicated crossing of arms and we couldn’t figure it out. Sensei said the attacker can either do two jodan punches or two chudan punches.

    When sensei finally came close to our corner, I asked if he would be kind enough to show us the last bunkai again. And sensei’s response was something along the lines: “Oh, you guys can try something else, you can do a gedan, then a jodan strike and…”o_O
    I give up! :D
    On one hand, I was flattered sensei believed in our abilities and had such high expectations of us, but… we weren’t exactly able to match them :D:oops: When I explained we didn’t know how to, sensei explained the easy version again, though, and we understood then. :oops:

    It was a speedy learning, but that was something new from the advanced curriculum I have learned this weekend. And six bunkai was just enough not to overwhelm me. We'll have to practice to not forget :) Luckily, these bunkai very closely follow the techniques from the kata, so they won't be that hard to rememeber, hopefully.

    It was a nice block, we covered a lot of stuff. Sensei Ernie isn't long-winded when it comes to explanations, he gives more time for us to practice. Therefore we were able to cover quite a lot of things. :)

    When we finished, before we went on a break, the Slovakian girl I translated for and had just done Kururunfa for the first time asked if I could help her with the ending, so I explained the latter part of the kata briefly and we went through it a couple of times. I couldn't give her many details, but she needed to just cover the steps, which I hopefully wa able to help with.

    Nakamura sensei: GDI bunkai work-out

    We had 20 mins left, so we all practiced together in a final technical work-out. Nakamura sensei had us do Gekisai Dai Ichi bunkai that probably everyone, or at least the vast majority, knew. We practiced solo and in various directions, in various ways, first slow, then always adding speed, until we were sweating hard. Then a short stretching before, sadly, the final etiquette.

    Before we left, as we planned for the past half a year, Honza and I went to Nakamura-sensei to ask a question about technique. It was about the mechanics of moving and changing directions in Neko-ashi dachi, which Nakamura-sensei talked about it detail on the black belt gasshuku in Germany in April. His explanation was clear, made sense to me and I thought it was cool... Until I talked about it with Honza, who apparently understood the meaning differently. Actually, I was fairly certain his understanding was wrong. And thus started out argument lasting a couple of weeks :D We went back and forth making arguments. Admittedly, although I was fairly certain of my truth, he had good arguments and reasonings. In the height of our bickering, we were ready to record a video of the question and send it to Nakamura-sensei. Otherwise we would tear each other apart sooner or later :D But we didn't want to bother sensei and it would be inappropriate. We did ask our sensei, but he didn't remember what exactly Nakamura-sensei had said. Therefore, Honza and I decided to not talk about this anymore, and ask Nakamura-sensei personally when we see him a few months later -> today.

    We went to ask and explained our argument. I reminded sensei of the occasion and some specifics he had said so he could remember. And…. his answer was clear: I was riiiight! Yesss! Oh my gosh, such satisfaction! :D
    I will totally have to find ways to make some remarks to Honza about this sometime at least, hahaha! :D ...I should have made a bet...

    We then said our goodbyes to all the senseis. They were very nice to us.
    I am really, really, looking forward to the next gasshuku. Sensei Nakamura, Sensei Ernie, and Sensei Henrik are all amazing karatekas as well as people and I was really happy to meet them and learn from them again. I met sensei Kayle for the first time this weekend. She is really cool and I am happy I was able to learn from her and try a few things with her. Hopefully I will get that opportunity again :)

    After this weekend, I've made up my mind to go to the Miyagi Chojun Festival in November. Most likely as the only person from my country. Four days of intense training with many IOGKF's senior instructors, and the opportunity to visit the new honbu dojo. I already can't wait! :)

    All participants of the gasshuku :)
  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday, September 25

    Karate kids - teaching

    Many children today. Around 22, I think. A game similar to game of tag for a warm-up. Then Junbi undo and tsuki practice. Then we split the groups, my turn to take teh beginners, which was roughly a half. I made use of our new assistant instructor, and I wanted the kids to practice tsuki, and mae geri and avoid strikes, so we did that and I and the assistant were going around with pads.

    Karate adults - teaching

    Game of taga and variations of it for a warm-up. A lot of fun. Then Jubi undo and after, I wanted to focus the class on kakie. We have two new students, so I explained from the beginning and we practiced three types just like that, than with a basic pull and before I knew it, we only had 10 mins for kata bunkai I planned form the kakie. I planned to do GKI and GKN bunkai. The latter has only 4 bunkai, out of which the first one is for a kick and thus I skipped it, and I think the three were just what we had time for.

    Karate advanced

    Both usual brown belts stayed today. It was my day of teaching today, but as we agreed, instead, Honza told me (us) and showed us the stuff they (my black belt group) had learned in the gasshuku this weekend, while I was with the women group. Which was some joint locks from kakie and escapes from them - hazushi waza. Interesting new details from kata Shisochin and Sanseru and a few more info on other stuff here and there. We tried the joint locks and escapes, but briefly and I will probably need a reminder later. But I did my best to at least commit the kata details to memory to note then down later.

    I had fun today, just too bad I couldn’t participate much in the training - I was odd and I needed to go around helping people, especially the beginners.
  13. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday, September 26

    Taiji fan - teaching

    Again, not many people today - around six. We worked on the form, on the steps as usual, reviewed the last couple of moves and I added two new ones, which were relatively easy. Apparently, the parts that I found were really easy turned out not to be for the rest.

    Like, and I really cannot understand this, they couldn’t do this one stomp. And in fact when practicing the fan form with the other group or the same move in the sword group, I think I am pretty much the only one stomping. Apparently, although I have no idea why, people find it hard to the heel down when pulling the front foot back toward the body on the floor and thus stopping the movement. People kept asking how to, but... it's pretty much: "Just put the heel down." There are sooo many complicated things in taiji, but people would struggle with this. It caught me by surprise.

    Taiji - Sword

    One sword form. As there is a new group for sword, the gym was fairly crowded and we really didn’t have space.
    We then worked on the newly added basic skills with the sword, which will take me some time to do well, it seems. and then we practiced in pairs with wooden swords. Three of four techniques. It was nice

    Taiji - Cannon Fist

    Laojia Yilu and Laojia Erlu for a warm-up. I felt fresh for the former, but slowly my energy was leaving me in the latter. After all, I am (as Polar says) overtrained from the weekend, and I didn’t get much sleep at least since Friday. And I was feeling it. I’d better go to sleep early today.

    Then the teacher, as promised, would go through these two forms with us bit by bit. Last time we worked on the 2nd move, today, we went back to the first :D The teacher had several things to say about it. And included an application and meaning of the later part of the move, which I had not heard about before (only mentioned last time). We pretty much spent the class practicing this. The teacher asked if it was fine by us, worried that people wouldn’t enjoy the course much if we would spend classes going back and dissecting the form to the tiniest details. I, however, and if not all than apparently at least most people, really enjoyed this. Going more in depth seems more valuable to me.

    I went home after that, I still had strength left, but had some work at home.
  14. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday, September 27

    Taiji fan & Double fan - teaching

    The teacher is away on a seminar, so I took the class. We first did three single fan forms, then I asked if anyone wanted to practice anything specific. One lady asked for the second half of the form, so we did it slowly a few more times, and a friend wanted the Stepping Back. Which I totally struggle with. But a couple of weeks agot he teacher gave me a correction and this and we looked into it, so I think I knew how to do it well, at least in theory. So we practiced.

    Then we worked on Double fan. I really have nothing to teach here, so we only practiced, I told everyone the changes the teacher wanted us to do in the form a few weeks before, as I think not everyone was present and we mostly, yet again, practiced the last two moves - jumping turns. They really are difficult, but they are pretty much what we were working on the whole summer, so, although my version is far from perfect, I am getting a bit more confident and I remember plenty of things the teacher had told us about it. Then we still had plenty of time left (10 mins), so we then just went through the form over and over.

    I was really really not feeling like exercising much today. Polar says I am pretty overtrained and my cardio level actually goes a little down even through all the training. I, yet again, slept badly, just over 4 hours, and I had a headache today and was really worn-out. But the teacher was away nad I promised I’d be here.

    Taiji - 34 and 5 moves

    I completely forgot that the other instructor who takes the silk reeling is also at the seminar! I didn’t go to start the class, but the teacher left the group in wuji meditation and sent me to do the silk reeling with them.

    I started it after jumping around with the fans, without the calming meditation, so it may have been a bit too fast, so I tried to slow down, and my pace was probably uneven. I also couldn’t get the flow right, my legs hurt and it wa a struggle today.

    Then I was sent inside with the more advanced group to do the form (34 moves, so about half of Laojia Yilu) 3x. Then the teacher came to take over and do the theory and sent me to the other group to do 5 moves to 4 direction 3 times, to drill.

    I through I’d start the moves with them, but when the class turns back to me, I would stop or take it easy. But one older lady and maybe one more person obviously didn’t remember and kept looking for me, so I had to always go to the other side. No break for me... :(

    Taiji - 7 moves

    The next class had also 2 groups, one of which were beginners - a second or third week, so they didn’t know the silk reeling well enough, yet, and the teacher would have to spend the whole time with them.
    I, therefore, took the other group to start silk reeling. the teacher even explicitly said I could give the task to someone else if someone more advanced came, but… there was no one…

    I was just about to start, when I saw instructor R and a friend who is also now tasked with silk reeling sometimes, come through the door! :cool:
    I was already standing in front of the class, so there was no way to do this discreetly, so I spread my arms in glee: “R! You’re here! Come, come! Do the silk reeling. Pleeease! My poor little legs hurt!” XD

    At least it gave the class a laugh and I got 15-20 mins break ^^
    We then did 5 moves to four directions three times, each time with focus on one or two more details. I directed the class towards focus on how to push from the legs and how to move/turn the feet in order for it to work. This is becoming my go-to topic that I feel comfortable with and a little tired to think too hard :D

    I think the class went well.

    I left with a headache and really tired. We have a national holiday tomorrow, and some plans were cancelled, so I am going to use the day to get plenty of rest ^^
  15. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Saturday, September 30

    We spent the day in an Aquapark to which we got free tickets from a hike/walk earlier in September.

    Sunday, October 1

    Kettlebell gym

    The gym I was goint to - the building - is going to be demolished. Therefore, by the end of September, we had to leave. The chief instructor of the gym is probably going to move away and in any case, decided to discontinue the classes (what a pity).

    However, the instructor teaching the Sunday classes I was going to decided she’d find a new place and would continue the classes. She would leave the original franchize and maybe adjust the classes slightly. She definitely wanted to continue our Sunday group. After much searching and discussion with us and others, she rented a couple of hours a week in an already established gym, which I thought was the easier and the best option. Today we had the first class there.

    We did the mobility as usual and the instructor added a core/belly exercise. Namely dead bugs. We would work with arms, then legs, then both, then move one side (arm and leg), while on the other side pressing hand agains leg. In total we did 50 reps and two series. However, the instructor forgot herself and the second series was of 60 reps. Her plan is to add 10 every class. This should get tough really soon :D


    5 rounds per side with 28 kg as usual, then only 3 times just press up and hold with 32 kg. Today my right wrist felt strong, for the full TGUs I managed to keep it in a very good position, then even in the 32 kg press-ups. For the left hand with the 32 kg it felt much harder and I couldn’t do it well. That was the reason I stopped at 3 reps.

    The instructor checked and since I am not using the 24 kg anymore (for the first rep - a warm-up of sorts), she said I was doing ok trying out the 32 kg slowly nad gave me a task to try to shorten the time needed for my 10 get-ups with the 28 kg. Ideally do it within 10 mins. I am not sure how long I take, but it’s definitely much longer…

    One-legged deadlift + push-ups

    I couldn’t do my usual deadlifts with a kettlebell as I used 68 kg and they don’t have that weight here. So I went for the one-legged push-ups I am learning, with my usual 20 kg. And 5 push-ups in between.
    The instructor gave me some corrections for both and told me to try 24 kg next time. In the end I took it for the last 2 rounds. I only remained with the 20 kg since last time she checked, she said it would be better for me to figure out the technique before I move up with the weight.

    Double-kettlebell squats

    I was running out of exercises since I skipped deadlifts and wanted to skip horizontal bar :D …my hands were hurting a bit. I skipped last week’s class due to the gasshuku and felt my palm’s skin more today. also was maybe a bit tired.
    I only had time for 3 rounds of 5 2x16 kg squats.

    Swings EMOM

    10 mins, took 28 kg today. They have different kettlebells here, ones that seem more slippery and I wanted to adjust first nad make sure I wouldn’t throw the bell. Also I was tired.
    I focused on bending hte hips instead on knees as instructed. Instructor checked on me in the last round, gave me another tip.

    axelb likes this.
  16. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday, October 2

    Karate Kids

    Honza teaching today. There were many children, around 23, It think. Probably more than I remember we ever had here.
    He had the kids run with some obstacles, then Junbi Undo, then we split the class on those who do and do not know the kata. I took the more advanced, we walker through the kata a couple of times and I wanted to work on the last two technique, which give tehm some trouble. We had 20-25 mins and I basically wanted to drill that without making them bored. I hyped them up a little with “Mo ichi do” = Once more in japanese. After a while they were crying: “No, no more Mo ichi do!” So I taught them the only acceptable answer to “Mo ichi do.” was “Hai, sensei!” :D And thus I spent the 20-25 mins shouting: “Mo ichi do!” and the class responding: “Hai, sensei!” :D :D :D

    Aww, how obedient they suddenly sounded :D I, of course, always added a detail here and there, started by counting the techniques separately, then all as once, then trying both sides symmetrically, and topped it with once count for 10 reps :) Lol, they spent so long drilling one technique without rest without even knowing how :D :D :D I think it helped, though! :)

    Karate adults

    We started with a light playful sparring warm-up. Then Junbi Undo, some partner work-out and then most of the class was spent drilling simple block (age or yoko uke) to a jordan or a chudan punch and whatever counterstrike asap. We were going around helping mostly the beginners. Finally some pressure testing.

    Karate advanced class

    No brown belt could stay, but a friend with 1st dan did. I haven’t seen him since June, he has come to his second class since the beginning of September. Honza and I planned to go through all the bunkai we knew. We invited the friend in, but he preferred to go through his kata. So we did the bunkai ourselves. From Gekisai dai Ichi all the way to Sepai and first 6 bunkai of Kururunfa we just learned last weekend at the gasshuku Altogether 61 bunkai. I think.
  17. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday, October 3

    Taiji fan - teaching

    Three forms at the start, walking across the gym in Protect the Knee (or what the move is called), then I checked the form agin, confused on feet position which was wonky in more people in some places. We practiced that a bit, then we worked on the latest moves, I explained them again as not everyone was here last time.

    I did my best to answer questions and had the gorup do two more forms at the end. I have to say, they keep improving and it looks pretty good, if I may say so! I am feeling proud of my students ^^

    Taiji sword

    We started with basic exercises as usual, then our more advanced group took wooden swords and practiced a couple of techniques in pairs. I paired up with instructor L as usual :) It was fun.

    Two sword forms at the end.

    Taiji - 108 form (Laojia Yilu + Erlu)

    We started the class with one Laojia Yilu and Erlu. We spent the last two classes reviewing the first two moves of the form. Today, we moved tothe second part - starting with 6th move. We… managed to do 6th and 7th.

    But we got useful corrections, I got a few, too, and was able to ask some details I was uncertain about

    I stretched a bit (I felt stiff since Sunday’s kettlebell work-out) and had to go home.
  18. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday, October 4

    Sensei has moved jobs to a new school and he decided to add one more training day and start classes at that school. On Wednesdays.

    Sadly, I promised to help with Taiji and I am learning Taiji fan on Wednesdays, so I told sensei, I will not be coming on Wednesdays. Two days of Karate and two days of Taiji seem to be a good balance.

    Honza, on the other hand, would be going there and except for once a month, he should be coming regularly and probably help with the classes.

    So what a surprise it was when I got a call on Tuesday evening fro sensei, saying something came up and neither him nor Honza could make it to the last class tomorrow, despite it being the day the new classes start - the very first session!

    Therefore, it would not be a good idea to cancel the very first training. -_- In the Tiaji school, both teachers should be there, so I would not be really needed, so I apologized and went to karate today…

    The children class was taken by sensei, who also started the first adult class, but had to go in the middle. Honza would teach the rest of the hour-long class and leave then, while I would teach the last class intended for people over 30 years of age.

    Karate adults

    All people present were from our dojo. Sensei, Honza, me and 6 students. We started with Sanchin kata and sensei had us try some kata for cardio at the beginning. then he left.

    But before then he asked me if I could take one boy with yellow belt aside, who has come for the first time after a few months, and work with him on yellow belt and next grading techniques. He was losing motivation with karate as he was behind in classes. Well, he is actually quite talented, I would say, and has always seemed interested in karate and details, etc. But because of that, although young, he transferred from children to adult classes and unfortunately, adult classes are a bit faster-paced when i comes to techniques, and he had trouble catching on, so I ofter took him and other youngsters aside. And apparently he felt bad about himself. Which is unfortunate. Now we made the adult classes strictly from 13 years or from 7th kyu grade. This boy will be 13 in a month, so he would still fall in with the adults.

    Therefore I helped him wiht his kata. It was good, just a few details we practiced several times. Then I wanted to do bunkai with him. We had barely time for 3 out of 5 before Honza had to leave slightly before the end of the class and I had to take over. I had everyone practice bunkai, though, so this boy would get a chance to practice - up to the 4th one.

    Karate 30+

    We had no idea if someone would come. One brown belt - nearly 30 would stay, but other than that… Therefore I invited those other 5 that were her to stay, we can work on their kata or something. Unless someone new actually comes. And one person arrived, a man probably around 50. Very tall. He just watched a children class where his two sons participated.

    I did some intro for him - what type of karate we practice and what is the intention of the class for people over 30. In the end, I let the younger ones stay for the class, though half of them had to leave half an hour later. So I could use them as partners for partner drills. I taught basic tsuki, then oi tsuki and oi tsuki ; gyaku tsuki. We then practiced this in pairs, with simple blocks and finally one counter strike. A very simple combination. We did 10 crunches. There weren’t any open windows nor any sign of any mechanism to open them, and it was hot. We did the combination slowly, but although I urged everyone to stay relaxed, it is sometimes hard for beginners and this man tried uite hard and he actually did pretty well, but at one point he got out of breath or dizzy.

    I then made a theory break and we shortly covered hiza geri. And in the last 8 mins or so we did stretching.

    The gentleman will probably come next time, at least he said so, so it would be up to sensei to teach more. Hopefully more people would come, too.

    I think this type of class will be a new experience for all of us (well, I won’t really by going, so for sensei and Honza mostly), as we have never had classes geared towards older people. The idea is to make it more about self defence, healthy type of movement, working for healts both physical and mental, introducing japanese martial arts culture, the philosophy, etc.

    When we had the IOGKF senior instructors in Prague, I used the chance to ask questions about their classes, organizations they build up with many many menbers and their general experience. They had said that they (unlike us) actually have quite a few people come to classes at an older age. For example they have students that first started karate in their 50s and now are in their 70s and are instructors. Senseis said that traditional karate is actually perfect for older students as it is something meant to be practiced for the whole life. The goal isn’t to be the fittest, fastest and beat opponents in competition, but improve oneself.

    And this idea stayed with us, our sensei, who decided that he in his 40s and Honza are finally old enough and experienced enough to provide this type of classes where older students would not be intimidated by teenagers jumping around, working out and doing stuff an older unfit person may struggle with. So this class was opened with the age limit being 30+. I indeed wonder how it will go. :) I hope students will come. I am a bit sad I will not be able to attend these classes, too. At the taiji school, older people in classes are common, so it would be interesting to teach karate to this age group as well. I think it takes a bit of courage to start any sport after years of doing potentially nothing, and especially one like karate if one doesn’t know what exactly to expect. So for anyone that comes and for the dad that came, I have great respect :)
  19. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Thursday, October 5


    We started 15 mins late. We did several rounds of play-sparring of different types. - Open handed, striking shoulders, then shoulders and thighs, then only head, but standing in place, not moveng feet, then the same with one person being back to a wall, then with that “cornered” person using one hand only, then both using one hand only. Of all these types we did three rounds and 5 push-ups in between each round.

    Then we did some kicking practice in pairs and some more kumite combinations, black belt ending with a couple more techniques or a joint lock.

    Karate - advanced

    Brown belts up - sensei and three of us, we worked on shisochin kata.

    Sensei told us what they had also learned/heard from sensei Henrik in the seminar in Slovakia. I asked question about what I wasn’T sure about and we practiced, sensei gave us some corrections.

    Then, as they did with sensei Henrik, we were told to do Gekisai dai Ichi - the first kata as hard and strong as we could.

    Then try to transfer the feeling and hardness into Shisochin kata. Which doesn’t have only strong simple strikes and is not as familiar. It was a cool exercise. We did Shisochin kata like this two times. Then the correction I received was to do it even harder, like Honza. Dang, I was tired doing a few kata full power like that, but I did my best. Although I felt I was wobbling in my techniques, which is something I notice I do when I for example recorder myself - meaning that if I strike hard, my whole body waves slightly. I’d like to get rid of that, but I can’t …. That wasn’t what sensei told me, though, but I was sure I was doing it again :D

    Sunday kettlebell class cancelled, instructor caught cold.
  20. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday, October 9th

    Karate kids - teaching

    A prolonged game of tag with variations, a fun partner work-out challenge. Short Junbi Undo and we worked on kicks - hiza, mae, mawashi geri before a game at the end. There were around 20 kids, they were loud. I do not blame them, it is expected especially during the game, but I shouted all I could and had to shout explanations, until I couldn’t so after asking to quiet down, I had to start giving push-ups. Or Honza would help me explaining hte push-ups. He’s louder after all. That was exhausting. Otherwise the class went well, I think :)

    Karate adults - teaching

    After some time, our friend, O, came to class. The friend who actually does karate longer than I do, but hates kata, as he is mostly Muai Thai, BJJ, Judo etc. guy.

    If he came I promised to do a training without kata and with some partner work or something more physical in general.

    We started with a work-out it groups of three - two people on the opposite sides of the dojo, one running in between. When the middle person arrives to the first person, he does a technique and runs to the second person. When he does that, the first person does a push-up, when the middle person does a technique at the second one, both of them do push-ups. One round was one person running and doing 10 techniques at each person. They would do a round with jordan tsuki, then gyaku tsuki, then mae geri. Then the people in the group switch and the next person run. By the end, everyone would have 90 push-ups under their belt. So we did 10 more in the end to round it up

    Due to the number of people, Honza and I didn’t participate. I thought I would run along, but when I was getting up from seiza, something in my knee moved and it hurt a little, so in the end, I did not feel like running. But I did the push-ups with the group nearest to us, at least :)

    This… took about half an hour :O Along with the inicial etiquette.

    So I only did short Junbi Undo. After that, I got inspiration from our last Kettlebell class and we did 2 series of 60 reps of dead bug variations.

    In the remaining time, we did Kote Kitae - Iron body conditioning, in pairs, always changing partners in line - everyone would work with everyone. We did each technique 10 times with three partners - so 3x10. I forgot about this plan of mine initially, but after 7 or so partner changes, we started doing 10 squats after each 10 techniques. We did push-ups for the upper body, dead bugs for the core, now was the time for legs.

    I had plenty of kote kitae techniques prepared, butwe did not have time for all. But we managed to do the ones I wanted to do the most I planned to do more dead bugs or a Sanchin kata at the end, but we did not have time. There is still and advanced class!

    Karate - advanced

    We had two 3rd kyus there. One knew Shisochin kata, one did not. So I helped the one behind and explained from teh beginning - bigger half of the kata and we practiced by bits. The other guy wanted to practice this kata with strength as we did last time with sensei, so I let him. Honza checked on him a couple of times, I think, so I paid attention to the other.

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