Posts

Old School Melancholy

I just got back from my trip up North and returned to cold weather and snow.  Since the Rose City isn't particularly known for it's snow it's a bit of a surprise.  However the drive in to work was easy and quiet because of it.  The drivers around here take it easy when anything out of the ordinary happens.   

My visit up North was filled with nostalgia.  Seeing friends after a four year void was emotional and exciting, but my highlight was visiting my old school.  Since I've been gone my old teacher has decided to pilot his own style while keeping the basics from Tang Soo Do.  The hyungs/katas are the same as well as the blocks, punches and kicks, but after that there is a divergence. 

He decided that after some analysis he would eschew the wait for the attacker and simply try to execute all moves into the attack or avoid the attack but both need to the defender to have very good timing.  This is thing evolving thing for him and the class, but they all seem to like the…

First Night Of Adult Class!

I shouldn't expect that something like this would be so exciting to me, but last night was our first class of adults only.  After several years of working in and around the children that made up majority of the class I was having a hard time imaging how the class would actually flow. 

It's been over four years since I've been in an adult only class.  At my old school we had grown so much that we had split due to space considerations.  The adult class always remained fairly modest, while the kids class swelled so much that my old teacher had to make two kids classes. 
Here, due to the time we have in the space, expansion isn't going to happen easily.  Our main class ran from 4:15 to 5:15 so bringing in new adults was going to be extraordinarily difficult.  I figured the new adult class we be relegated to a small number of people until some recruitment could happen.  I was fairly surprised when we ended up with twelve people!
Two brand new folks and a host of others from …

A Cup Of Tears

The jokes around the water cooler are often filled with my stories about the previous nights Karate class.  I had always been sensitive about sharing that part of my life, but recently the tears of the young students give me a desire to vent in the coffee room with my friends.

Knowing that the time with the kids is coming to an end due the advent of the adult class I'm now experiencing a moment of sadness because I realize a lot of kids will stay with the class for many years and I won't be there as a constant. As much as they vex me so their constant excitement is something I do enjoy.  It's just that it turns into a lot of screaming really quickly.
When I got to class I thought it was going to be test prep again, but I think Reed sensed it might not be a good idea to grind it in just before the big event.  So he took one piece of the lower belt kata and made a game of it.  This created a lot of enjoyment for the crowd and I thought it was a wonderful way to get a lot of e…

Pre Celebration 2018

I'm fighting a cold, but my weight is up pretty high so I felt driven to get to class and get a minimum of exercise.  In retrospect that probably wasn't a great idea.  I hadn't slept well on Sunday night so I was swaying on top of what felt like a slight fever.  As usual I checked my blood pressure before hand and was appalled by 156/92.   The doctor is going to have a field day with me next Monday. 

Celebration prep is in full swing.  So the class schedule was side-lined to make way for a "station" model to run the kids through.  Each of us black-belts had one station.  I was bunkai, Mark was kata, and Kyle was elbow techniques. 
Although we had a rough start the bulk of the time went fairly well.  The oldest of the group at 13 years old looked absolutely polished compared to the 10 year olds or younger.  Even with their exhausting friskiness most of them looked fairly good once they were reminded what they were doing.  And it does make you appreciate the really…

Whiplash Hustler

Even though we are preparing the under belts for the upcoming celebration/test Reed Sensei is still trying to focus on keeping the class consistent.  So it was self-defense night which means the moves we practiced were going to be in their test anyway.  As usual, I'm deeply impressed with all the things he has to keep track of during a class.  Each grouping of children have to have their specific technique for the test.  Since we had fourteen kids split into about four levels this can be very complicated.

I got to be the Uke and take the hits and falls last night.  These aren't necessarily a big deal in the sense that I just throw a punch and then eat the floor.  If I do the technique correctly I fall well and it looks good, but Reed is a big, strong guy and wants to do the technique correctly so it can get a bit painful at times.  With this in mind I was trying to be conscious of how I fell.  On the first go, I almost took out the front row with my legs because the hardwood w…

Birds Of A Feather

I felt a little shaky last night before class.  I wasn't sure if I was coming down with a cold or just experiencing some ill-defined nervousness.  My wife had been fighting a cold for the last week and I'd rather not get it if possible.  So my hypochondria kicked in to review every little pain.  Great.

Mark and I went up to the classroom and found an aerobics class in session.  There had obviously some rescheduling at the health center.  Now Mark and I would have to sit around before they cleared the space. 
While we waiting I used the blood pressure machine they had in the corner.  It's the kind you sit in at the grocery store.  I normally have to sit quietly for a moment and relax before I get my taken.  It was the worst I'd ever seen.  168/90.  Well into hypertension.  I couldn't believe it.  I had Mark sit down and take his BP and his was only moderately high, but still good.  I've got to call the doc today.
After warm-up I was given the new black-belts and g…

Tears And Progress

It had been a week since I'd been to class and that feels like a hundred years.  I wonder about how the shared training and the stresses it brings can create such a powerful drawl to the group.  I may not like all the people there, I might not like training some days, and I can feel my frustration clearly due to the division of training others and practice myself, but in the end it all pulls me back like a vacuum and when I walk away I feel so much better mentally and physically.

Last night was typical in that Mark and I arrived early to warm up and end up chatting.  He then pointed out that the last couple of classes had been trying in that the new boys were just running around out of control. Neither Mark nor Kyle had been able to keep them in check.  Apparently they were disruptive enough to even warrant Reeds attention.
I groaned thinking this was going to be another lost night with kids who could care less, but mentally pulled up my boots and focused on the task at hand.  After…