Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tekki Shodan

Come to think of it, I haven't practiced this Kata for awhile. I will have to polish it up a little before demonstrating it in front of you...!

Just like other Kata videos, I picked up a few here for your reference:

August 21-27, 2011 ...and KYU TEST!

I have to admit that I was kind of nervous today; did I prepare you all well for this exam?? As a chief instructor it's my responsibility to train you for events such as this. As you all know due to the opening of this new dojo combined with a constant flow of new students coming in, it has been a big challenge for me and Jon to maintain good classes. No, I'm not complaining because this is really great, but it's just different from how it used to be.

I'm glad that all of you did well today. Unfortunately a few of you didn't get where you wanted to get, but I'm sure you will come back stronger. And to those who passed, it does not mean you scored a perfect 10! Keep on training, the exam gets harder and harder as you go up...!

So this past 1 week, we were obviously gearing toward the exam requirements. I still covered timing drills in class but even those were in relation to the Kumite part of exam. Some of you might remember that Ron once commented on our Kumite being a bit weak (counter attack timing was off) in a past exam? I didn't want him to make the same comment again, so I specifically focused on a quick counter attack in my classes, and I'm happy with the results!

What were the comments Ron made this time? I remember kicking. Get ready, you will be kicking a lot for the next 4 months...!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Wednesday 8/24

A great beginners class!
For the most part all our members are beginners. In 4-5 months that will change as quite a few of you will hit the intermediate level of your training...brown belt. I think it is great so many people came tonight - it was a record I think - 12!! Hmmm...there must be a kyu test around the corner...
We had one brand new person Britani join!! This always makes me feel great - and I have been feeling great a lot lately as it seems someone joins every other week!
Our "little" dojo has 28 adult members now(including The JET - Jon, Eiko and Taichiro)!! It's great to read news letters and see VMAC or VTK in there! We have really made a name for ourselves and continue to flourish.
Come to class, train hard and be critical on yourself. Remember it is not your job or concern to be critical on others. The time you spend judging someone else is less the time you spend improving yourself. Oooh...that was a good one! I think I'll post that on Facebook!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Sorry - same goes for me as far as posting.
I've been very busy as well.
Helping to run a dojo is a bit more than a part time job plus my regular job...which will be finished in 2 months, if not sooner. I can't wait - then I'll have more time to devote to the dojo.
Also - I'm not sure if anyone reads I'm not overly inspired.
Needless to say our dojo grows!! We are getting a lot of calls now. People are funny. Lots of people say "I'll be there Wednesday." And then I never hear from them again. I try not to get upset or too excited when someone does this but I can't help it.
Kyu test is coming and I have to say looking at the attendance I'm somewhat worried...are you? We always said we were not a dojo that gives belts away. I hope you all take that seriously and don't get upset if you are asked to retake this kyu next time. But remember kyu tests are not mandatory. You are asking us for our opinion...not the other way around. Be strict with yourselves. If you need more time with this kyu take it!
I am mostly focusing the Sunday class on kyu test of course. At the same time I'm trying to build more endurance - running, repetition, situps, etc. We need to be in shape to really feel good about ourselves. It's a catch 22 I know...but you have to work - there is no other way. Also what you do at home is very important...
6 days until the kyu exam!!! BBQ to follow!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

August 14-20, 2011

Today we had a regional seminar / fund raiser in Redondo Beach, and 6 from our dojo attended. It was 5 hours of training, started on the beach! Everyone made it through, and I'm sure we all learned a few things. We might host a seminar or a tournament in a few months.
In our class we have been working on Kata and Kihon a lot for an obvious reason. One more week till the exam! Are you nervous? Then come train more! Training at the last minute may not greatly improve you, but it will for sure give you a peace of mind. The floor is open for your self training at least 15 minutes before the class and 30 minutes after the class. We're available for private lessons, too.
After the exam, we will spend more time on Kumite/timing drills, and perhaps some set-up training. On one hand I want more new students, but on the other it's so much easier to teach when there is no absolute beginner... It's really not up to me, so I just have to do my best out of the given situation.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 7-13, 2011

Now I can say that I finally finished with most of the "settling down" work, and am getting back to my normal routine. It's so nice to come home (or to the dojo) and not to worry about "oh, I have to fix this, paint that wall, buy this thing...". I'm even keeping my word and blogging on a weekly basis!

Attendance hasn't been that great lately. Especially those of you who are testing, please come train as much as possible for the next 2 weeks. It will be the exam day before you know it, and the last thing you want to do is to be not ready and say "I should have trained more instead of doing (insert your second favorite pastime here)." Practice builds confidence, and confidence shows when you're under pressure.

We will continue working on the basics for the exam, as well as some basic timing drills. Work on your kata daily if possible. Stance, hip position and elbow connection are the main issues/weaknesses I see in general. Pay attention to what you're doing. I used to videotape myself doing kata/kihon and analyzed what I was doing wrong. We have a big mirror at the dojo, too, in case you didn't notice...

We're having a regional seminar next Saturday in Redondo Beach, so no 10:30AM class that day. This will be a fundraising event and I really wish many of you can come. I'll even buy your lunch if you come!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

VMAC Grand Opening! and...

Oh my god, it's been almost a month since I last posted on this blog. I'm sorry. It has been on my to-do list, but I just never had time or energy to do it. While I'm a full time employee, I've been involved in this dojo opening matters as well as regular teaching, and on top of that I was moving. I really felt that I had 3 jobs (and all of them are pretty physical) and never felt fully rested until only a couple of days ago. I lost about 4-5 pounds without trying.

As you know I used to post after every class. Now that I'm teaching 3-5 times a week it's just very hard to keep up. I think I will have to decrease the frequency of posting; I will post at least once a week about what the main subject matters in my class are, plus occasional special notifications when we have some events.

So we had a great Grand Opening Party on July 23! The best part was all the beers that were left over which we've consumed almost nightly for 2 weeks...! Just kidding, but we really had a great turn out and it was pretty successful. Thanks to all who helped, brought food/drinks, cooked and served. We were hoping to have more prospective students, but we did not do well reaching out to those. But in any case, we've been having new students joining us constantly, almost one new student a week! Having to teach a big class is a new challenge to me, so please be kind/patient if you feel that you're not getting enough attention or that the class is not as well organized/smoothly ran as it used to.

OK, what are the training focus for the past couple of weeks and for this week? Obviously we are going over the exam requirement many times. It's not as exciting as the sparring drills, but it really builds your foundation and we all have a lot to learn from it. Another subject is a basic timing of "Sen". Since we have many new students, I thought it's a good idea to focus on the very basic timing concept, which is Sen. Get this concept absorbed into your guts and bones, and it'll serve you well in sparring for the rest of your life!

3 more weeks until the exam!