Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 11 - 17, 2012

Exam is coming up in a month!  It's time to come train everyday if you can.  We will be going over your exam requirements in class, so don't miss it.  Also, if you want to self-practice the Kihon (basics), get this book at the dojo for $10:

Also, we continue with our Enbu (choreographed fighting) training.  Per request, below is the sequence that we practice.  We have covered #1 and #5 so far, and #2-4 will be introduced over next 1-3 months.  The total of this Enbu sequence will be about 1 minute.

VTK Enbu

1. L Punch face    >>>    Slide back
    R Punch stomach     >>>    L Down block
    L Outside block    <<<    R Punch stomach
    R Hook punch face     >>>    L Rising block

2. (coming soon...)

3. (coming soon...)

4. (coming soon...)

5. R Step punch face     >>>    L Sweeping block + R hand on his L shoulder
                                               R leg steps behind his R leg
    Break fall     <<<    Push with R hand + control with L hand + Sweep (twist)
                                  R Punch to face or stomach
    Roll, then stand up     <<<    Push away (release L hand)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  The dojo will be open as usual this week except for Thursday.  If you plan on eating a lot over this holiday, come burn some calories before and after.  We all just wanna relax during holiday season, but we all know that it feels good to come and sweat!

OK Leroy (and anybody else); I will be visiting Japan April 4-13 next year.  Plan your trip if you want me to show you the dark side of Tokyo only the local people know...! :-)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

September 30 - November 10, 2012

Long time no blogging!  ...Sorry.

Since the last blog update, these events happened:

1.World Championships in Poland
2. AAKF Western Region new officers selected
3. Kyu-level Tournament
4. Nishiyama Memorial

1. World Championships
  I placed in top 8 in both events I competed in (Kata and Fukugo).  I learned a few things that I need to work on, and I know I can get better.  Some people ask me for how many more years I will be competing, and I usually tell them that I will compete for another 4 years.  I don't know about that for sure, but I think I will continue as long as I can get better and can motivate myself to improve as an athlete.  Sure it's nice to win and to be able to call myself a "world champion" but the chance of me winning a gold is not that great.  But I still have a few things that I want to improve (concerning competition matches), so let me see what I can do and take one year at a time...  Next year we will be in Argentina for Pan American Championships.

  By the way, competing and trying to win is only less than a half of the reason why I enjoy going to the international tournaments.  The other half or more is the socializing part.  I meet so many karate enthusiasts from all over the world and I'm so glad to be a part of this circle of friends!

2. Western Region New Officers
  Our regional office has had the same officers for over 2 years, and now that we successfully completed the responsibility of hosting a national championships, it's time to select a new group of officers.  The Big Ron served as Regional Director and I was his assistant.  There also are Treasurer and Secretary positions.  We recently elected Tati (a long-time NKI student) to be the new Director.  And I nominated our own Manny Yumul to be the Secretary and he was elected!  Good for him!  Most of us don't see what the regional office does, but they host some regional events (seminars and exams) and to keep active communication between the dojos in the region.  I hope Tati, Manny and others will put some new and fresh ideas to vitalize our region!

3. Kyu Tournament
  Too bad we had no participants from other dojos this year, but it was fun and great learning experience, I thought.  No one got seriously hurt.  Thanks so much to all the judges who worked hard to support this event.  I forgot to introduce them at the tournament, so here I go:

Aric Levin, 5th Dan, a long time Nishiyama student and an instructor at TKA (Avi's dojo)
Juan Balmaceda, 4th Dan, a long time Nishiyama student and the instructor at TKI in San Diego
Robert Dobes, 3rd Dan, a long time Nishiyama student and an instructor at NKI
...and our own Jon and Eiko.  Thanks Kyle for serving as a timekeeper.


Lower Division (10-7th Kyu) Kata
1. Artur
2. Leroy
3. Shamane

Upper Division (6-1st Kyu) Kata
1. Jon
2. Makoto
3. Nate

Lower Division Kumite
1. Leroy
2. Artur
3. Tim

Upper Dvision Kumite
1. Jon
2. Leroy
3. Nate

  We had 20 Kata matches and 27 Kumite matches!  Again, the main purpose of a competition is for you to learn something from the experience.  You're under stress.  You want to look good in front of friends.  You want to win.  You want to beat up someone...  When your mind is not so calm, bad habits kick in and you can't perform your best.  Your body doesn't move as quick as it should.  You feel sick to your stomach.  Then you truly realize what your flaws and that you need to work on them.  It's great that your hard work paid off and you win a medal, but I'd rather you try your best, lose and learn from that experience than you do a mediocre performance, win and think that you're invincible.

4. Nishiyama Memorial
  Many of old-timers at LA Central Dojo got together at Sensei's grave site this morning, then came over to our dojo and had a good training conducted by Ron.  We had about 20 or so people training, a little less than last year but still a good number for our floor space.  And it's always nice to have different faces from different parts of town/country/world getting together for a common reason = Sensei Nishiyama's karate.

It was pretty busy month and half for me.  Luckily (?) I have no family here in the States so I'm not busy during the holiday seasons; it's my time to relax a little.  Speaking of my family, I will visit Japan in April for 10 days.  Let me know if you want to come with me to carry my bag, etc. :-)  I'm actually planning to teach a small seminar while I'm there.