Tuesday Karate Class – 4/29/08 – Two classes, twice the work.

What great classes. I know that I say that lot since almost all of the classes that I take are great but some days are greater.

First class:

We started class with a good warm up and then Sensei Noia called everyone over to go over exam results for the past weekend. My son tested on Sunday night and he was a 4th kyu with two black stripes. For those of you that are not familiar with my club, the kids work on a stripe system. The younger kids need six read stripes to move up to the next rank and the older kids, like my son, need four black stripes to move up. My son really pushed himself at the test on Sunday and I feel that his spirit was better than ever before. His examiners agreed and he ended up receiving three black stripes which moved him up to 3rd kyu, brown belt with one black stripe. I am extremely proud of him and hope that he continues to progress like he has over his past few tests. On a funny note, he is now a higher rank than my wife and I since he has one stripe on his belt and the adults move up half rank or full. He is excited to be able to line up ahead of us again.

After that came the hard work. Sensei Noia had doing kihon for most of the class. We did all of the movements for our examinations. Combination blocks and punches moving forward and backward, back stance, knife hand block, front snap kick with spear hand, inward block, into horse stance, elbow strike and backfist were just a few of the movements that we did. We also worked on our kicks, moving forward double front snap kick, roundhouse kick and combinations such as front snap kick, side thrust kick, back kick, roundhouse kick and finish up with a reverse punch. That movement used to be so hard for me, it still is but less hard than before.

We finished up class with some kata. We did Heian Shodan and then moved into our own belt kata. Sensei Noia had us do Heian Shodan very slowly and then we did a full out kata of our own. I did Jion and felt strong up to the first kiai but did feel to well on last third of the kata, it wasn’t awful but it didn’t feel like my best either.

Second class:

I wasn’t going to take second class but my son had missed a class while he was out sick the week before so he wanted to take it. Since the last class is reserved for brown and above, he was now able to take it and he wanted to take advantage of his new rank. I was sitting on the side watching him and Sensei Noia split the class up into two lines. I noticed that they were on person short of 20 so I asked Sensei if he wanted me to help and even out the group. Sometimes, I always love to extra Karate whenever I can but I didn’t know what was coming when I offered to step in. Sensei Noia had us get into a low front stance, had our partner sit in the floor, hold are back foot in place with their leg and put their finger on our knee to keep us in the right stance. While were were holding this stance, he had us do three sets of ten block and punch combinations paying extra attention to our hip rotation. It was very hard. Holding that stance for that amount of time took more mental focus than physical but either way, it was tough. Next, we did the same thing with a different block and then again for a total of 180 combinations while holding a low front stance. This took close to 35 minutes to complete and my legs were screaming.

After that, we finished up class with some conditioning exercises. I couldn’t do all of the pushups because my ribs were still sore but I ended up doing over 20.

We then did some v-situps and Sensei called us all over to talk to us. He made some very good points and said that we should not hurry to get to black belt. We should spend as much time as we need, train hard and work toward that goal but don’t get caught up in moving up in ranks just to move up. I have been content in moving up a full rank each time I have tested since I taking taking Karate almost four years ago but once I made it to 3rd kyu, about six months ago, I am starting to realize that I really like to train. Even if I stay 3rd kyu for some time, I don’t see that as a bad thing any more. I enjoy Karate itself, training and assisting with class so no matter what rank I am, I am doing all the things that I set out to do and getting my black belt is still a goal but not the end all be all any more.

About doug
Doug is a Shotokan Karate student that enjoys sharing his Karate training experiences with everyone. He is a Computer Consultant, an ISSA Certified Personal Trainer, blogger and a freelance writer..

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