Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 22 - 28, 2012

It's almost the end of month! That went pretty fast, and we only have 11 more months before the next year... Or how about only less than 3 months before the next test?? Come train more often. Make it up by taking private lessons if you feel like you're behind.

The same subject continues this week: Sasoi-waza. Any offensive strategies are advanced subjects and this one is no exception, but I think you're all picking it up pretty well. Let me know if you're confused or not sure about what we're trying to do during the drills.

I've been thinking about making some kind of instructional material, either videos (online or DVD) or books. I know some had asked me to make a Kata video (actually I already made one when I was in Japan, but it wasn't very well made), but you can find a lot of decent Kata videos online and I don't want to repeat it. How about the exam requirement book (with photos)? I've looked around but didn't find any. The summary is included in our handbook, but it's not easy to just "read" it without any visuals. Let me know what you think about this idea.

By the way our region is going to host another seminar on Saturday, February 18. It's a bit pricey because this is mainly a fundraising event, but I'm sure you'll be happy with the amount of training/learning you'll receive. It will be at Redondo Beach; let's carpool if we can.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 15 - 21, 2012

I feel that the attendance is generally low this month... What happened to your new year resolution?? The holidays are over, it's time to get back in shape. I gained a few pounds over the holidays, too (though I didn't eat much, I did not train as usual), but I've been losing gradually now that I'm back on the regular routine of teaching and training.

We've started another offensive strategy, Sasoi-waza ("inviting" technique). This is to cause your opponent to attack you (by giving him a fake attack) and once he is committed to an attack you counter attack him (catch "Sen" to his attack, block it or shift/avoid it then counter). It's easier said than done, just like any other karate technique we practice...! The hardest part for me is to read opponent's intention and to use this strategy appropriately. The drills are rather simple and anyone can get it, so let's keep on practicing for the next 1-2 more weeks. We are adding some variations to this strategy as we go as usual.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

January 15, 2012 - VMAC update

Wow! I can't believe how time flies! I have not blogged in 2 weeks...
Yesterday's adult karate class was very small...strange. The Sunday classes are normally big ones. We are changing the time to make this class only 1 hour from 11-12. I promise to make it 1 hour of good hard training!!
We have had a few people join our dojo this year already - but as always we do not stop there! Keep spreading the word. As of now Adult Karate still leads the pack in numbers. Kids karate is close behind and my personal goal this year is to pass the adults # by adding more and more little guys!
Jiu-jitsu has had a sudden surge! Kids jiu-jitsu is 2 weeks in so we'll see how that progresses. Yoga is still getting its bearing too. I highly recommend yoga before karate - I've been taking every class and feel that it is really helping my back and flexibility. One way to keep fit and energetic is to stay loose.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January 1 - 14, 2012

I already wrote Happy New Year in the last entry, oops.

And this blog update has been only every 2 weeks instead of every week without intention. Sorry, I'll try my best to post once a week.

So we started out a new year, and we already have a few new students. Very nice! I hope you'll all like what we do here and continue progressing. I'm confident that you will keep getting better as long as A) you keep training, and B) you have the right attitude/mindset. Unfortunately I've seen quite a few people who are kind of plateaued with their progress. It could happen to anybody. To break out of this, only "training hard" is not enough; you have to pay attention, be open-minded, think what you're missing, and work for it diligently.

We just completed the Winter Special Training! Jon B, Emmanuel, Jon M, Chris and myself received the certificate of completion. Emmanuel requested that we should continue having classes at 6AM; let me know if anyone else is interested... To me, this is a special "once a year at the new year" kind of deal, and I don't necessarily enjoy getting up at 5 in the morning every day. We're hoping that we can host it at our dojo next year, or at least to have our own version of it for 1-3 days possibly.

As far as our regular training is concerned, we will move on from Koroshi-waza to trying another offensive strategy. Most of you got the new Kata sequence down (but if not, look at the Book of the Month on our kitchen bookshelf or check my recommended youtube videos. We will continue refining your Kata in the coming months.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December 18, 2011 to... HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I thought I already wrote 12/18-24 entry, but I guess not. Sorry, time flies. And we're in 2012 already!

We've been working on new Kata, plus practicing Koroshi-waza quite a bit. It's a great offensive strategy to compliment "Sen" (defensive/responding) timing we regularly work on. We're expanding it as we continue, including close-distance Koroshi or a failed Koroshi switching to combination attack. We'll do this for another week or so, then move on to another offensive strategy, I think.

Thank you very much for those who helped us clean the dojo at the end of last year. Tiffany, who failed to show up, agreed to do it all by herself at the end of this year. It's on the blog, so it's official...! The dojo sure feels clean and we started out the year very fresh. Thanks again, everyone.

Some exciting things are gonna happen this year. The national championship will be held right here in LA in June. Hopefully I'll do well and be able to compete at the World again (this time in Poland in November... COLD!!!). We will probably host a couple of Kyu tournaments again. Many of you will keep advancing in the rank (exams in April, August and December). Advanced class will start this Saturday. I'm gonna get married... Just kidding, just checking if you're paying attention. But maybe someone else will. And someone will have a baby. Very exciting year indeed.

I put out a new "Book of the Month" on the bookshelf. It's a Kata learning book which is a great learning tool to look at when you just started a new Kata.

Don't forget, Winter Training is going to be this month, 9th to 14th. Some of us participated and completed the whole week last year. Who is in this year??