Sunday, September 25, 2011

September 18 - 24, 2011

We will have a lot going on at our dojo in the next few months:

October 23: Kyu Level Tournament
November 6: Sensei Nishiyama Memorial
November 25-26: ITKF PanAmerican Championships in Chile (I know it's not at our dojo, but I will be competing!)
December: Kyu exam TBA
Western Region Dan exam TBA

We also may do something for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas...! Wow, it's that time of year again??

There also will be a national seminar in New York early November. Check out the AAKF website if you're interested.

And now for the weekly dojo blog: we've still been doing a lot of kicks, but I'm trying to shift it to more timing drills. I was also going to spend more time on Kata but haven't been able to, so perhaps one of these classes I will have to spend half the class on Kata. The problem is, I sometimes want to change the topic based on who showed up, so the plan does not always work. I wish EVERYONE will show up EVERY CLASS... But wait, maybe I should be careful of what I wish for, now that we have so many students!

I think I finally started seeing some improvements in you kickings. I like it. But applying it on a moving target is a whole another matter. Let's continue working on it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 11 - 17, 2011

As most of you've heard, we will host a Kyu level tournament on October 23. That's only a month away. Remember, a competition is just a part of training; you'll learn how you perform under stress, facing an opponent who is eager to get you, surrounded by many people who watch your every move for entertainment or to criticize... Sounds fun, doesn't it?? :-) We will probably divide it in 3 levels: White & Yellow, Green, Brown. We may mix men/women for Kata if there aren't many competitors. But I hope there will be many from other dojos, as well as most of you here at VTK!

I will NOT do any special training for the competition, since the regular training is the best training. I don't want you to stress out about the rules, how well you're prepared, how judges score you, whether you lose/win, etc. It all comes down to on the day whether you did your best or not, and if you could learn from your mistake or success.

Just try to make it to the class as often as possible. We'll continue with more kicking, different timing drills, and perhaps spend a little more time on each Kata. Ask us for any advice, and if you need more in-depth / personal attention, schedule a private lesson or two.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 4 - 10, 2011

Most of you learned your new kata by now. Keep on working on it for the next 3.5 months! It's nice that you can graduate a kata every 4 months; I've been doing the same old Nijushiho for over 15 years...!

We've been working on the kicks as I promised you, and I've thrown in Ushiro-geri (back kick) just to get a kick out of it! :-) Actually 3rd Kyu exam will have a back kick in Kumite, so I need to get some of you prepared. I must admit that it's my least favorite kick, both in doing it and in receiving it (boy it hurts!). I spar to test my skills including how well I can control a technique, and I don't like it when someone tries a technique that he apparently cannot control. Accident happens and I rarely complains even if I get hit, but I try not to hit anybody. Back kick can be a very strong technique, but it can also be very dangerous or difficult if you can't control the momentum. I need to practice it as much as you do...!

Let's continue working on kicks, basic Sen/Go-no-sen timings, and some advanced timing concepts/drills. Also I welcome any suggestions or requests!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

August 28 - September 3, 2011

Now that the exam is out of the way (for a few months, at least!), we can try different things in class. But of course, we have to continue working on the points we learned from the exam, especially while the memory is still fresh.

Anyway, we started working on lots of kicks. I hope you all like them (but if you don't... too bad!). Get the correct posture/stance, proper course of action, appropriate body dynamics, right angle and lastly, add a bit of power to it. But remember, "karate power" is not a push but a snap and the ground force. We're incorporating the kicks in timing drills, but this is not easy (for me either).

My plan is to gradually shift into more advanced offense strategies. But again, with a constant flow of new students it is extremely difficult to try those advanced points... Hmm, time for an advanced level only class?? We should think about that once we have a few brown belts. It could happen in 4 months!

Those of you who have not learned your new kata from me, please try to come to the class and learn it asap so that you can practice it on your own or repeat it in class. You can certainly learn it from Jon, Eiko or anyone who are higher rank than you are, but there could be some minor differences than the standard I set. Those differences are NOT mistakes, but rather, some minor varieties. It is now so much easier to teach a new kata though, because we have the dojo and I can spend as much time on just one kata after the class! I LOVE IT!!!