Saturday, 27 February 2016

Where I have been today

First- I want to say I love my 11 000 views that this blog has gotten.

This Saturday my routine was taken off course when I volunteered to attend a WKF referee course at this awesome dojo in Hazyview. I have just downloaded the rules as well since there are actually a lot of them.

Bottom line- refereeing in this sport is much tougher than competing. What surprised me, though is how much Shotokan has come to resemble Kyukoshin over the years. Sure- we still wear mitts and so forth, but full body contact is now allowed. The rules make it clear that the Federation is not too okay with face contact, but I have just found that by a liberal application of the rules you can actually win by knockdown.

From sparring sessions I have experienced thus far it seems that its possible to finish an entire match without tasting your own blood in your mouth. (I had a lot of that with Shukokai and JKA in the past...) That does not mean I am completely at ease, though...

If you are curious about WKF rules- I have a link for you down here:

Now- about the Hazyview Dojo:

You can read a bit about it on this page:

This is what I want to share about it, though:

Sensei Danie Janse van Vuuren and his wife (and senior) Sensei Sandra have taken a part of their spacious property and what looks like what used to be a tobacco shed and converted it into this Karate Heaven!
This obstacle course for the kids is something that you do not often see at karate dojos in this area, mostly because few schools own the space on which they teach.

 The outside has lots of parking and I am told that our local tournament is going to be hosted here as well.

The racks at the wall hold training weapons like plastic knives and pistols and also more traditional Japanese weapons like Shinai, Bokken and Bo. Another rack holds batons.

This place is truly awesome and I am really proud to be a part of this school. The dojo in White River is also quite a sight to see from what I can hear. I'd be happy to share some photos when I visit there (which is bound to happen since there is this 7am training session on Saturdays to which I have been invited, but have not gone to yet. 

I got back home today at about 16h30 and then got out the weapons for our weekend rendezvous.  After that was Qigong and Meditation. Then I got around to writing this post.

I'd say that is a weekend well- spent. 

:) This week is the last before the tournament. Until then- train well!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

My visit to Nan Hua Temple in Bronkhorstspruit

I have completely forgotten to share this post last week! :D

Part of the festivities at our beloved Temple here in South Africa is a show of multicultural performances. This is usually where the local schools of Chinese Martial Arts get to perform in public and where we who attend get a glimpse of these martial arts that are really not as well-spread throughout the country as arts like Karate and MMA are these days...

Big surprise this year was when a Taekwondo group also gave us their performance. 

From the display of high kicking, somersaulting and rolling I got the impression that an evening in their dojang would be really interesting to experience.

Oh! And- if ANYONE out there knows the name of the song playing in the background of this video, PLEASE tell me! 

And- that's the news for now.

Train well, everyone and keep posting!

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Super busy week

My body is still a bit tired from this week, but I am grateful. I am grateful because this week my work did not prevent me from spending this much time on my martial arts training. I realise very well that the next big trial or complicated case will have the training move aside for a while, though. For now- however- I am glad I managed to have trained as much. 

For one thing- our dojo at Lowveld Shotokan Karate is abuzz with preparation for the upcoming competition on the 4th of March 2016! Kihon hand kata have now made room for kumite- and some kata...

This has me working on my fitness. I have come to realise that kumite tends to make the 38 year old me tired much quicker than it did the 17 year old me. :D Still- this all means that Sensei Louw Venter is giving me something at the dojo that I have not been getting for myself at home. I am really glad about it.

O! To get my routine kata into shape for the championships I am now making a conscious effort of pulling back that bloody hikite! The Sensei has been very patient with me so far, but I have no intention of testing the limits of that patience. 

Well- that accounts for Monday and Wednesday... So what was I doing on Tuesday and Thursday?

Umm... Well- you remember that self defense group about which I have posted a couple of weeks ago? One of the ladies from that group has asked me to teach her kickboxing. Now because this is not something I know how to teach while sitting on my arse I have been getting a good workout in the evenings as well while sharing the experience of martial arts training with a completely uninitiated novice. 

My early morning workouts are still taking place and the Saturday and Sunday sessions are also still going on.

Somewhere next month there will be another self defense class- if circumstances permit.

Before I close this post I want to share a video of Jade Xu!

She is just awesome!

I wish everyone out there a good week and rewarding training. :) 

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Going to Nan Hua Temple! Happy Chinese New Year!

It is the Year of the Monkey and already I imagine that SunWu Kong springs to mind with many martial arts fanatics- who are as crazy about Chinese culture as I am.

In the town of Bronkhorstspruit we South Africans have our very own Buddhist Temple. Nan Hua Temple is a significant landmark on the N4 and on the weekend closest to Chinese New Year's Day it hosts a huge celebration.

In 2014 I was able to see a martial arts demonstration. I dug this up among the photos and videos I took that day:

Tomorrow morning I will set off on the N4 to attend this year's celebrations.

To all my Chinese friends a happy and prosperous new year.