Saturday, 10 February 2018

A brief change of scenery

This year is the year in which I will turn 40.

Looking back at how I have trained ever since I have joined my first karate class at the age of 14 I am grateful for always having had a way for my training to continue, regardless of moving to another town, another house, changes in work hours or whatever life threw at me.

I have always found a time and a place to train.

And- I always will.

Don't be surprised if I end up starting a martial arts class in the old age home when I am 94!

Getting between me and my training is about the same as getting between a hippo and the water. If you live in South Africa and know the bush you would know that doing so is a very bad idea.

Today my usual training space was occupied. Lots of tree cutting being done and so forth...That did not mean that I was not going to train today, though...

I just took the weapons to another part of the yard and kicked off my training there. The usual exercise with the coffee tins filled with sand got replaced by the brick catching exercise. I found a small space between a shrub and the house (not the space shown in the video) and found that I had enough room to kick, punch and evade as I attacked the shrub. Not touching it, though- There is really no glory in destroying shrubbery. :D

Still- an added challenge was getting my roundhouse and reverse roundhouse kicks to pass over the shrub, which stands about as high as the one in the video.

The staff did not join Patrys and myself today. Still- the jian (Chinese Sword), bokken (Japanese wooden sword, nunchaku (you all know this one), tonfa and sai all got some time.

If you do not remember who Patrys is- she is the bullterrier who has been supervising my training since 2013! Here she is in the background. :)

She was quick to follow me to our new temporary spot and faithfully waited for me to finish.

The shuriken of course also got a turn.

My usual multidirectional attack practice did take place in a smaller space, but it is good to be reminded every once in a while that we can also fight in confined spaces. Still-
as this video shows- I have been used to training on a lot smaller surface before. The space I had today actually felt much bigger.

I don't think training is real training if I cannot throw a couple of high kicks in the process. :D They tire you out quickly, but that is sort of the point. Scary thing is- I am used to kicking like this now. I can comfortably kick my own head's height, but it starts being a strain if I go higher...

This is actually overcooking it a bit and actually slows me down. I have since decided to prefer speed and power when I fight and to practice these high kicks when I am not sparring or practicing fighting.

During the week I take two days of the week to practice martial arts and the other two for weight training. On each of these martial arts training days I do any two of the following Shotokan kata before stretching and meditating:




Kanku Dai

Bassai Dai

Gojushiho Sho




On Saturdays, however, all 5 Heian katas and all 3 Tekki katas get their turn.

The Tekki katas, which move only sideways, were really easy to do on a narrow paved walkway.

The Heian katas, though, needed some adaptation. These kata usually move in that I shape that karate teachers often mention. Now- having only a fairly narrow rectangular space I started near one of the corners of that space to give me enough room to completely make all the strides needed for the part of the kata that moves to the front end of the floor. The sideways part was made slightly diagonal in places to allow for long strides to be taken when performing this portion of the kata. Kata in a high stance does not serve any purpose for me.

Well- before you know it an hour has passed and then it is time for stretching, qigong and meditation!

Now what better way is there to start a Saturday?

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