Sensei Plocharczyk had us work on sparring drills along with some conditioning drills.
Three person Kumite…
Sensei had us start with two partners and by chance, he was one of my partners tonight. I have seen few people move like him and for every attack of his that I could block, he would have four, five or six more to follow it up with. We started out with one partner in the middle and the other two on the outside. For 30 seconds, we would spar one partner and then switch to the other partner for another 30 seconds. The middle person would switch with one of the others and then the other two would rotate. This really kept the heart rate up and switching partners with really different styles was rough.
Between the sparring drills, we got a little rest and during that time we did some conditioning drills. We started with sit ups where one partner would hold my feet and the other would add resistance to my shoulders as I sat up. Another drill that we did was sit ups while one partner was punching our abs. As our back went down, our partner would hit our abs to make sure that we were tightening up.
We finished up class with some free sparring and a relay race. The relay race was all conditioning. It started out with two of us jumping up and down 10 times off a pad about 18 inches off the floor. Next we ran to the other end of the dojo, grabbed a swissball and did moving planks across the dojo. For there, we ran through a series of obstacles on the floor to the finish line. Luckily, I won and didn’t have to do 25 push ups.
It was a great class but really hard.
Testing has come to and end and I am satisfied with the results.
My wife was the first to test and she did an excellent job. She cleared her keri and is now a full 1st kyu. My son also did an awesome job by getting four stripes and is now a 1st kyu also. I am also happy with my own results, I am now a 1st kyu keri.
I went into the this test with a different attitude then ever before. I was visiting Doc Pusateri a couple days before my test and he told me to “just go there and instead of trying to impress the examiners, just show them what your Sensei’s have shared with you.” That is exactly what I did and even though I had a lot of injuries and mental baggage going into this test, I was able to come out ahead. For the first time, I had the attitude that I am here to take my rank not ask for it and my family and friends who saw me at the test said that I did just that.
I am satisfied and hopefully over the next six to 12 months my wife, son and I will be ready to wear black belts around our waists.
Even after five years, I am still unsure about the criteria used for rank examinations. I am finding that ability to perform the techniques precisely seems to be more important than effort or knowledge of the techniques and Karate in general. Either way, I am glad it is over and am already working on many of the technique issues that I need to improve on over the next six months.