Nachi's Log

Discussion in 'Training Logs' started by Nachi, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 4.8.15:

    The head sensei returned from the European Gasshuku and had plans to do some work at the dojo. A friend and I came to help. Although the work planned sounded easy, it took about three hours. After that I chatted with the friend over a pot of tea until early morning. And didn't manage to do my daily Sanchin :(

    Wednesday 5.8.15:

    The muscles finally hurt less today, I have a better range of movement, but anything resembling wide stances still hurts quite a bit. Tomorrow I'm leaving to the seminar/action karate weekend till Sunday. There was a possibility to go horse riding, and if so, I hope the muscles stop hurting until then :(
    It looks like there will only be 6-8 people, out of which 2-3 senseis. It's bound to be great :)

    1x Sanchin
  2. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Karate training camp in Orlické Mountains


    This weekend should have been mostly about self-defence for women, but because it was advertised probably too late, only karate people came, so we did karate instead of self-defence. We were accomodated in a big house with a pool. One sensei, one visitor sensei from Poland who is going to open a seventh dojo of our association in a city close to Polish border, and 5 students, 3 of which were beginners, so the trainings were usually focusing on basic stuff.

    As for Sanchin, we did it 2x on Friday, but no Sanchin the other 3 days.

    Friday 7.8.15:

    Morning training outside about 1,5 hours: basic techniques, focusing on tsuki; San Dan Gi Ichi & Ni; Renzoku kumite; kata: Gekisai Dai Ichi, Ni, Saifa, Seiyunchin

    In the afternoon we were going to do something fun and decided to visit a climbing center (I hope that's the right name for it - I mean the place where you have to clear the obstacles made with ropes you have to walk on high in the trees). They had 4 possible trails of different levels with increasing difficulty: relaxing, sportive, expert and champion. We were looking at the map of the obstacles and were pondering whether to choose the relaxing one or perhaps dare to go to the sportive (none of us has much experience with this). We weren't sure what to pick, so we left the decision to sensei.... Who, of course, picked the champion level for us....
    This level had 32 obstacles including the most difficult ones that made some of us resort to a somewhat hysterical laughter when stuck in the middle of something nasty. We gained some torn blisters, grazes and a few bruises, but none of us fell or gave up, so it the end it went quite well :) After maybe two hours of climbing we were fairly tired, though.

    Evening training near a pond under the stars: Explanation of Gekisai Dai Ichi and an introduction to Gekisai Dai Ni. + 1x Sanchin

    Saturday 8.8.15:

    Morning training in the water in a pond (the weather was too hot to train outside, it was supposed to reach around 38°C today): Basic techniques, focusing on blocks.

    Evening training in a pool
    : Kata bunkai (applications). Explanation of the bunkai for Gekisai Dai Ichi; after that everyone did all the bunkai they know (Gekisai Dai Ichi, Ni and Saifa for me). We also asked sensei if he could at least show us the bunkai for Seiyunchin, since we were taught the kata and wanted to have a better understanding of the moves there. He thought it was too early to "teach" us, since these bunkai aren't required until we grade for 2nd kyu, which won't happen sooner than two years in the future. But he did show us and let us try.

    Sunday 9.8.15:

    We were leaving at noon, but managed to sqeeze a short (half an hour) training in the pool again. Doing a lot of underwater kicks and other techniques, so we were hot even in the usually rather cold water. Then again practising Gekisai Dai Ichi kata and shortly Gekisai Dai Ni.

    The time there passed all too quickly. It was a very enjoyable weekend with friends and we had a lot of fun generally :) Now I need to get some sleep...
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2015
  3. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 10.8.15: 1x Sanchin

    Tuesday 11.8.15:

    Today I was promised one of our senseis would do a training for us. When I confirmed he's really going to, I found out, to my horror, that during the weekend in the mountains (most likely from the helmet I wore at the climbing center) I caught lice! :( Don't they desinfect them?
    I wrote sensei I might actually not come in the end, which wasn't very nice since I was the one to ask him to come in the first place. He had a positive attitude, though, that I'll get rid of them fast. He was right, it looks like I did - I washed my hair several times with various stuff, brushed it well and I was even complimented on how my hair is unusually smooth and shiny today :D. So in the end went to the dojo. I just met sensei at the entrance. He appologised that he had to leave for the hospital he works at because he was called he needed to come right away. :(

    In the end there were again 3 of us and trained for 1,5 hour:

    - 3x Sanchin
    - Pads - for each side:
    - 10x kizami tsuki + gyaku tsuki (punch from the frontarm and from the back)
    - 10x mae geri (front kick)
    - There was this moment where the pad was taken by the beginner female friend and before I though of it, I kicked so she had to take several quick steps before she fell backwards on the wooden floor. Luckily, she was cool, found it hilarious and laughed it off. It was indeed kind of funny :D
    - 5x kizami tsuki + ura tsuki + hiza geri (punch + short punch to the stomach - again, not sure about English terms + knee kick)

    - Kata bunkai (application): Gekisai Dai Ichi, Ni & Saifa
    - Kata: 2x Gakisai Dai Ichi, Ni, Saifa & Seiyunchin
  4. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 12.8.15: 1x Sanchin
    Thursday 13.8.15: 1x Sanchin + leaving for a children karate camp
  5. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Children Karate Camp

    Thursday 13.8. - Sunday 23.8.15:

    My sensei organizes a karate camp for children every year. This year, however, our only female sensei said she couldn't come, so I was asked instead, because they wanted at least one female instructor.

    I went with sensei and his younger cousin and his friend from Slovakia. We left on Thursday - a day in advance - and spent the night at sensei's mother's house, who was very hospitable ...and had a breeding station of British Shorthair cats - very cute British Shortahair cats :love:
    The next day we spent roughly four hours on the road driving from one aquintance to another to pick up various equipment. And one more student. The car was incredibly stuffed, we were completely buried under various stuff including guitar, medieval armor, swords, torches, sausages, loafs of bread for dinner and big speaker boxes with no space to move while it was also terribly hot. We did all the necessary preparations on Friday before the kids came on Saturday morning.

    Apart from me and sensei, there were other three instructors - all guys aged 18-20, yet at least by a head taller than me :mad:. In the end, our female sensei came too, but had to leave for two days. Including our senseis there were 3 black belts. Apart from the games contributing to the medieval storyline there were supposed to be karate trainings each morning. Both for kids (aged 8-13), older teenagers (14-16) who also helped with the organization, and us instructors. We were divided into 4 groups by grades: beginners + 10th kyu; 9th+8th; 7th+6th and 5th+4th kyu.
    I found out the guy with the black belt I didn't know too well also fights and thus trains in MMA and JJ. He wanted to do a bit of MMA with the two more advanced groups because all the students there were at least 13. I thought it could be fun and I was looking forward to it, ...but it turned out I was actually the fourth teacher... D: (Yep, 3 black belts, 4 groups, and I still didn't find it suspicious! That maths! :cry:)
    We were supposed to have training blocks with one or two groups per training and I was told to lead the training for all the groups except the highest one, where they obviously had higher grades than me. That scared me a bit, but luckily sensei changed his mind and only let me teach the first two - up to 8th kyu. I wouldn't be too happy about trying to teach people of the same level. In fact, there was only one other person with the same grade - 6th kyu, but whatever...

    So now some of my impressions from teaching:

    Sunday 16.8.:
    Teaching beginners:
    Just before the first training I got a couple of tips on what to do with the two groups from sensei. It wasn't much, but somehow, I think the training actually went quite well :) I started with the beginner group (30 mins) and practised footwork while trying to keep the excercises fun and competitive. Then moved on to practising punches. I found it much easier to explain stuff to adults at our dojo - the children had more trouble with coordination and repeating what I was doing after explaining, showing them and as a last resort physically moving some of them while explaining. They also tended to compromise some things, for example hikite (simultanious elbow strike to the back), which wasn't too surprising. So I went to stand behind each of them trying to make them hit me as hard as possible while also focusing on the punches to the front (an exercise shamelessly copied from my sensei :D). They were all boys and were hesitating to hit me, especially the older ones, but by the time I had a second training with them, they seemed throw these worries away, trying to prove to me that I can't take their hits for too long :)
    At the end of the first block one of the older boys (who is a nice guy, but always talked and stated all his opinions before I could even finish what I was going to say and was perhaps a little too enthusiastic at times) sighed that it's a pity I won't be teaching them for the next block as well. :love: Saying it didn't make me really happy would be a pure lie.

    Teaching 9th+8th kyu group:

    One of the tips sensei gave me was about what to do with this group. He told me I could teach them the first bunkai for Gekisai Dai Ichi as he was practising the kata with them just now.
    I started with the same footwork exercise as with the previous group, but did it much quicker, not wasting too much time with this basic stuff. I asked them to show me how well they can do Gekisai Dai Ichi and moved on to explaining the first bunkai, letting them practise in pairs. I also got some assistance from a friend who's 15 yo (a big guy with the looks of a college student) and although he's a 9th kyu, he probably started with karate at the same time as me or even earlier.
    At the end I wanted to challenge the yellow belts a bit with the kata, so I proposed they do the kata, stop after each technique and do 2 push ups. When they finished and weren't as tired as I'd like them to be and we still had time, we did the same with 2 squats instead of push ups. I participated in that, too. As soon as they finished they started to search for a good place to sit and rest a little, which was more or less what I was looking for :evil: And the training just ended, so that worked out well, too :)

    The first weekend, just as the last month or more, it was disgustingly hot and as it wasn't raining for a long time, the grass was dry, and we couldn't even do a bonfire or use the torches, because any manipulation with open fire was strictly forbidden. Luckily there was a shallow river (because of drought) that we could bath in. On Monday, however, it started raining and the cold and wet weather lasted till Wednesday. Meaning there was only one training on Tuesday that was inside the central tent and because of the lack of space wasn't divided into groups and block, so I participated as everyone else in practising strikes and sequences in our respective kata - Saifa in my case.
    When the sun came out again, there was also a joint training in the river, a challenge to do a 1000 strikes under water (tsuki, nukite tsuki, hiki-uke, etc.).
    One day when the ground was still a little muddy, but without raining we had one training outside, practising various strike and block sequences in pairs. We weren't divided in groups this time, so I participated normally as a student, too.

    Half or more of the training was joint for everyone, so there was only one block (45 mins. though) left for the separate group teaching. I had the beginner group. I briefly went over what we were doing last time and tried to add some tsuki or mae geri to the footwork + some turns (mawate). Mawate - crossing the legs and turning on the spot - turned out to be more difficult to grasp than expected. One of the boys pleaded we do the kata. I didn't have much prepared in advance, so why not. Only one of the boys ddin't know the first kata at all, but the others weren't exactly perfect with it, either, so I started with explaining the steps, than added hands and helping them memorise the whole kata. We practised several times with me always showing what to do. When they more or less knew what to do, I tried the same exercise with two push ups after each technique. Some of them really wanted to try Gekisai Dai Ni, claiming they know it, so I let them at the end, but it turned out none of them were really sure about the steps. I'll probably be seeing some of them in class in the dojo, so I'm looking forward to see how they progress :)

    On Friday the visiting sensei was at home and the other one left for half a day because of some urgent business, too, so the training was left to us. It was led by the remaining black belt and after the warm-up divided into 3 groups. The third group was given to another student - another one of the 3 instructors, who has 4th kyu.
    I taught the yellow belted group. We were advised to finally make use of the pads we brought from Prague, so I took 2 and in two groups of 5 students made them practise tsuki, hiza geri (knee kick), mae geri (front kick) and mawashi geri (side kick) and various combinations of them. And their own combinations of at least 3 strikes at the end. On the previous days they were taught all the five bunkai for Gekisai Dai Ichi, so I let them briefly practise. I had one other fun exercise prepared for them, but the training was ended sooner than expected... :(

    That was about all the trainings. Unfortunately We only did Sanchin twice on Tuesday...

    Apart from trainings and preparing games, we also participated in some. There were two noteworthy that made me sore all over the next day.
    One was about two teams with territorries with pieces of cloth the other team needed to steal without getting caught and imprisoned. One of the other instructors, the tallest guy there was chasing after a thief in our territory. I wanted to help by running towards him, too. We both caught him, just before the thief turned left and the two of us ran full speed into each other and fell backwards. I hit my face against his shoulder and chest and as we were rolling on the ground, moaning, him holding his shoulder and me clutching my face I couldn't help but laugh, because despite the pain, it was so stupid and must have looked so funny that I just couldn't help it :D It left me with a bump on on the forehead, bloody nose, small, but pronounced bruises high on the chest and scratched shins, while he was complaining his shoulder was weirdly clicking for the next hour and was worried about me because he was sure he heard something crack, probably my nose, which was luckily just his imagination... There was basically a battle between us instructors. The black belt guy had his temple heel kicked by sensei in an accident and was complaining he felt a bit sick for a day...
    Then just to make it fun we played this again - us 5 instructors against roughly 25 kids. It was impossible to win, but we thought of a similar game that worked in favor of a person's strenght so we could come out victorious :)

    The second game was about a fight between two people. The goal was to either wrestle them out of the ring or steal the piece of cloth hanged like a tail. In the free challenges I was challenged again by the tall guy (30 cm taller than me and 20 kg heavier). Because I was sure I couldn't possibly guard both my position and my tail, I proposed to take out the tails altogether. And somehow, I managed to wrestle him out of the ring first just before we both fell down. Yay for the lower centre of gravity! :D Right after that I was challenged by the other instructor, who must have been even much heavier. Lower centre of gravity or not, I obviously had no chance there, but it was fun to try :)

    For Saturday all the parents were invited to come. They played a game with their kids and brought a lot of snacks (+beer) and baked delicious cakes that were shared at the evening bonfire (finally allowed). We tried to make it more lively by playing the guitar and singing the evergreens. The atmosphere was great. Also the other 4th dan sensei from our association came and I got to spend a good hour talking to him about the upcoming World Budo Sai in Okinawa and the Gasshuku (seminar) in Vienna next weekend and other possible abroad trips. This is the sensei that will examine me for the next grading, because there is an agreement that beginning with 5th kyu the grading must be done by a sensei from a different dojo. And since there are only two 4th dans - who usually do the grading - it's quite obvious who will be my examinator. He told me to be prepared for some of his strategies, like his urge to do Sanchin Shime whenever he sees someone performing Sanchin, although the shime shouldn't be theoretically done until grading for 4th kyu.

    Anyway, the week there went by very fast. I spent the evenings with the guys and sometimes one of our senseis and it was a looot of fun. We laughed until I couldn't laugh anymore from my stomach hurting too much. I didn't find the time to ask the black belt to show me a bit of that MMA, but I'm certainly going to next year! :)

    ...Wow, this is longer than I expected. But I'm full of impressions from the camp and especially my first "official" teaching :)
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2015
  6. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    heeheee! someone is being scouted out as a future sensei, i see :D
  7. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Looks like it :)
    In fact, starting from September, me and three other friends were asked to help teach in our dojo. Sensei said he's especially counting on one of those friends and me to be assistant instructors at the beginner children and probably even adult classes. Which is something that sounded good and something I'm looking forward to. We were asked a few times up till now to come to teach when senseis were busy. Now they'll be counting with at least one of us to be always present at the children class and available should something come up - as I understood it.
    Two weeks ago or so sensei also came with a special challenge for me - he'd like to make a new class for kids of age of 4 to 6 that would probably be "mine" alone. I can hardly imagine what it would be like, but I said I can definitely try. I'm kind of scared of it, but also somewhat excited at the same time :)
    That plus our adult trainings, self-defence class and the new "fight club" and I'm probably going to be spending an awful lot of time in the dojo :)
  8. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    haha! niiiiice. teaching is also something that helps massively with one's own understanding of things, because you need to sort it out inside your own head before it can make it come out coherently so it goes into someone else's head :p (or with a more poetic flair, in teaching others you also teach yourself :3)
  9. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Yep, that's what my sensei said, too. It will be a new experience for us, that should help. I can only hope it will go well :) I'm most afraid about how to catch the kids' attention and make it fun for them and think of all the exercises...
  10. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter


    do a search here for kids classes or children's classes, there have been several threads throuhout the years asking precisely that :p
  11. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    There have? Thanks, I'll certainly search, then! :) I've googled a bit, but that was before I was told about teaching these small kids. That's going to be even more challenging, I think.
  12. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Monday 24. - Wednesday 26.8.15: 1x Sanchin each day + studying for exam and no time for training :(

    Thursday 27.8.15:

    Passed the exam (last one, finally! :)) and decided to organise a training in the dojo again. We're going to visit our Austrian neighbours to attend their seminar with a guest sensei Bakkies Laubscher (8th dan), so I thought I need to be prepared (I didn't have many proper trainings recently).
    Our sensei wasn't available today, but the new season is going to start with the new school year, so we can still manage on our own for now :)

    Sensei-less karate training (3 hours)

    - 3x Sanchin
    - stretching
    - 3x Saifa
    - 3x Seiyunchin
    - bunkai for Saifa

    - Hojo Undo (maybe a bit over half an hour?)
    - Makiage kigu - reeled it up and down 7x
    - Tetsu geta (3 kg kettlebell) - raise it slowly in a front kick movement 10x for each leg + raise in up with a stretched leg, when on all four 10x
    - Kongoken
    - stretch arms with kongoken above head + fall into shiko-dachi 15x
    - steering wheel + fall into shiko-dachi - 16x
    - push-ups with one end of the kongoken resting on neck - 15x
    - Miyagi's garden - bring the 9 stones to the other side of the dojo, moving only in shiko-dachi, back and forth
    - Chi-ishi
    - Belly work-out at wall-bars:
    - 100 half sit-ups
    - 50 with elevated bent legs
    - 20x swinging extended legs up and down
    - 20x right and left
    I hadn't done Hojo Undo for quite some time until now so the exercises made me feel tired quite easily... It is almost a tradition, though, that before a seminar, sensei will do Hojo Undo with us, so it felt appropriate to do it today, too :)

    - Pad work:
    There were 5 of us training and we took turns in who holds the pad. When one held it, the others thought of a combination of techniques each of us did 4 times - so 4x4 different combinations, each repeated 4x

    - Kihon:
    - Again, each of us made up a combination (or a single axe kick in my case) to be repeated 50x, so 5x50

    - Kata again:
    - 2x Gekisai Dai Ichi
    - 2x Gekisai Dai Ni
    - 4x Saifa
    - 2x Seiyunchin
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2015
  13. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Austrian Gasshuku with Sensei Bakkies Laubscher

    This weekend there was (if I remember correctly) historically first Gasshuku (seminar) organized in Austria, with a guest sensei Bakkies Laubscher (8th dan). I've never been to a seminar with sensei Bakkies so I wanted to go, especially when the seminar was held in Vienna - not too far away from the borders.
    From our dojo, apart from me, also Sensei and a friend decided to go, together with 5 people from another dojo in another city, and as it turned out, also several people from a different associacion also belonging to IOGKF in the Czech republic. The Austrian IOGKF just celebrated its 10th birthday and it seems the association there isn't too big. On the seminar there was roughly 70 people, maybe half of them from Austria, while the other half was made of people from the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

    We decided to only go for one day (Saturday 29th), although the seminar was from Friday to Sunday. We wanted to save money, for accomodation for example, so we left on Friday (I managed 1 Sanchin of Friday, at least) and stayed the night again at sensei's mother's house, because the place is much closer to Austria compared to Prague. We had a great evening, barbecue, etc. The next day, however, we had to get up at 5:15 AM, which wasn't very nice, but the journey to Vienna would take another maybe 2,5 hours, so we had to leave early to be there for the seminar that started at 9:00.
    We missed the morning Sanchin session, but made it to the official start just fine. The seminar was actually held on a big ship on the river. There was a nice big gym, but it was really hot in there. They opened a roof window probably, but there was no sign of any breeze, anyway (and it was sunny with probably over 30°C still). Basically from the start till the end, I had annoying drops of sweat continuously running down my face, no matter how often I was wiping them away. Even after the first 90 min. block, I had my karate gi (including the belt) wet, though not as much as the guys who usually sweat more. However some of our senseis were prepared and brought 3 sets of karate gi so they could always change during a break and start with a fresh dry gi again. Too bad I only have one... If I want to go to the World Budo Sai at Okinawa next summer, I will probably have to buy at least one more :(

    We were warned sensei Bakkies likes to do his seminars mostly practising basic techniques (kihon), even with the highest grades. I don't have a problem with that as my basics could definitely use some work, but from my experience, the kihon at the seminars tends to be the most physically engaging part, so I was a bit afraid I'll be exhausted too soon.
    A while back I wrote about a doctor finding out I have a little trouble breathing and prescribed me some medicine that should help prevent any trouble and would help me with not getting out of breath during sports. So this weekend I didn't take any chances and took the medicine two days in advance. However, during the first 90 minutes of the seminar, I started having trouble already. As I suspected, Junbi Undo (something like a traditional warm-up) can be easy but can be also a hellish thing as sensei Bakkies proved to us. Moving the joints etc. is not bad. But we continued with a lot of knee kicks, then some footwork and moving around with more knee kicks and kiai - basically going all out. After that sensei, who is in his sixties, wanted us to do some Neko Undo. It's like a special variety of push ups, but much harder - at least for me. Sensei, however, held in a pushup position - already down - and was calmly explaining what it was all about and then showed us several Neko Undo in a very agile manner. I sure wish I was this fit when I'm in my sixties. Well, I wish I was this fit even now :(
    Anyway, we did several Neko Undo on sensei's count, then on our own, first slowly, then fast (not sure which is worse) and with kiai - shouting and spending even more energy. Right after that we continued with normal push ups. Again on count and on our own. And with kiai each time we go down. Then push ups with arms doing two steps sideways after each push up. And kiai. Then push ups with hands wider apart and shifting the weight on the right arm, then on the left. And kiai. Any more push-ups and my arms would probably give out. After that mountain climbers. With kiai. I was counting seconds and praying the end was near. I have to say, though, I was quite pleased that the guys (the majority of people there were men and the higher the grade the less women you'd find there) around me seemed to be having trouble as well. And the blackbelts didn't look too happy about all this, either (while sensei had a pleased expression) :)
    Immediately after this push-up session we were supposed to squat - get up, do a front kick, get down, wait and again. I was actually reaching my limits there. The air was hot, terrible, and to me it seemed completely devoid of oxygen. So when it was finally time for basic techniques, I had trouble doing even punches. I had some trouble breathing and my head was spinning. The organising sensei, Raoul Vögel, was going around and told me to just go sit down if I'm not well. I was thinking about it, but decided I'd try to continue. I did. I was going slowly and half-heartedly with some techniques and sequences of moves etc. and gave up on kiai altogether (I didn't exactly have air to spare :) ). I managed to hold out till the half an hour break. Thank goodness. I used my inhalator after some time and got better.

    In the next part, we were divided by grades. Black belts, brown belts, white and yellow belts and our group of 7th-4th kyu. Our teacher was sensei with a 4th dan, a student of sensei Vögel (who's a student of sensei Bakkies). His basics and the way he moved looked very impressive to me. From 11:00 to 13:00 (with a 15 min. break in between) we were practising San Dan Gi Ichi - a sequence of punches and three basic blocks + some footwork. Not too advanced stuff, but not something overly easy with all the exercises sensei came up with. It was quite fun, though :) I think I could get inspiration from him, because these things could be a nice exercise for the children we might teach at our dojo.

    Lunch break 13:00 - 14:30. We went out to search for something to eat and chat in the biggest shade we could find. most of the people from out group took their gis out to dry them in the sun, because they were wet. Completely.

    After the break there was the last 90 minute block. Everyone I met seemed exhausted. Thank God I wasn't the only one :) The last session, we were all in one group again, again taught by sensei Bakkies. Again started with Junbi Undo. When the thought crossed our mind we might go through the same exercises as in the morning, I could feel cold sweat gathering on my back :D But after some warm up we formed pairs and did various joing locks, etc. Incorporating some self-defence stuff. Sensei always explained and showed the techniques on one brown belt he picked. Poor guy. He was slapped, hit, thrown, his limbs put through all sorts of locks and we all were happy sensei didn't pick us. At times the guy was being thrown around and hit in a way we couldn't help but laugh. But the techniques sensei showed looked quick and easy. They weren't as easy when we had time to practise, but the way sensei performed them and explained was really great. Towards the end, he teased us saying to go to our places for the final push-up session. Luckily he laughed it off when he saw our pale faces :D

    Then for the final exercise we all performed Gakisai Dai Ichi kata on count. It felt really nice to be a part of a 70-man "army" stomping the floor and shouting "Kiai!" together.
    For the final hour, the Austrian black belts had a demo showing what we train in traditional karate - some Hojo Undo, body-weight exercises, pads, Sanchin + shime etc. Also three people performed Sanseru kata with it's bunkai (some of which looked really nice). Sensei Raoul (6th dan) showed Kururunfa and finally sensei Bakkies performed Seisan (I think). Very cool to watch.

    After that we said our goodbyes and went back to Prague, this time skipping even the evening Sayonara party (apart from sensei none of us speaks German and he decided he wouldn't go alone, making us wait). I got home at around 10 PM and went more or less straight to sleep :)
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  14. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday 30.8.15: 1x Sanchin
    Monday 31.8.15: 1x Sanchin

    Tuesday 1.9.15:

    Finally, September is here and the new season with regular trainings as well :)
    Sensei made the new timetable of the trainings and it looks like I'm going to be spending a lot of time in the dojo. Like, a lot! If I go to every training I'm supposed and/or want to participate in (as a student or assistent instructor), I might actually be training between 11 and 13 hours a week. I'll see how it goes...
    Oh and yes, you read that right! My friend and I have been introduced as the new assistant instructors and will help with the children and beginner adult classes.

    16:00-17:00 - Tuesday this time will be a class for small kids (4-6 years) I was asked to teach. Sensei was there today too, but since today's training was announced quite late, nobody came. Sensei said he would help me - not leave me in there alone, but he found out he has job until 16:20 every Tuesday. Oh well...
    No class today, so I at least helped with cleaning the dojo a bit. I was told I don't have to pay for the classes, since we will be helping out, but cleaning of the dojo is now part of our responsibility, which isn't much of a burden (or something completely new, either :))

    17:00-18:00 - class for children up to 8th kyu and/or 13 years of age.
    Our first class as assistant instructors. It was a little weird to be sitting beside sensei during the ettiquette. It felt a bit out of place, but kind of cool at the same time.
    We started with warm up and Junbi Undo. Sensei then came up with an exercise so the boys can practise their kihon and left to talk to some parents. We took over, which wasn't too difficult and this point, as we only corrected the mistakes. At the end we participated at the final work out. A few push ups, 80 sit-ups + 100 mountain climbers.

    18:00-20:00 - Advanced class for adults and older children
    As sensei promised, this is one of the classes that became longer - to full 2 hours. He also said he would do the training a bit tough. And he didn't lie...
    The dojo seemed full of people. 7 students, 2 of whom left sooner and 2 senseis. Usually, if 2 senseis come, one leads the class while the other assists, but generally participates as a student too - does all the exercises with us.
    It was still awfully hot today and the air was heavy just before the rain, so it made the training even harder and pools of sweat could be clearly seen on the floor under the guys :)

    - Warm up with a kicking game of tag
    - Junbi Undo
    - Quite a bit of knee kicks (more or less as a part of Junbi Undo)
    - Belly work-out
    - Footwork practise - transitions - sliding on the floor, or how to desribe it - still a bit of a warm up
    - Knuckle push-ups. Sensei was counting to 30. He was doing his push-ups at an inhuman pace, though, so I managed about one push-up while he counted two or perhaps even more towards the end...
    - More knuckle pushups - go down, stay a bit and up - only 5x or so
    - Still hold on the knuckles and take one arm up - all the weight on the knuckles of one hand (no tatami today, all of it done on the wooden floor... ouch). I wanted to do it all properly and forbid myself from doing normal pushups instead, as the other girls did...
    - Plank for about 30 secs.
    - San Dan Gi Ichi 2x
    - A little modified San Dan Gi Ichi 2x
    - San Dan Gi Ni 2x
    - Renzoku kumite (kata in line) - solo, attacking and defending side, both probably 4x or 5x. Sensei said (and several times before) he'd like us to be able to do Renzoku kumite really well. Maybe a bit like a "signature of our club", because it's basics and we should be able to do it well.

    As a side story about Renzoku kumite, I have a really nice memory from a few months ago I'd like to share. :) In March we went to a seminar in Poland, lead by the World Chief Instructor, sensei Tetsuji Nakamura. At one point he said to make pairs. Every black belt had to find a partner with a kyu grade to practise Renzoku kumite with, later kakie with some locks etc. My partner was a sensei from Slovakia. He didn't seem particularly happy about all this and practised the Renzoku kumite really slowly with me. Then, towards the end, he suddenly started speeding up, until about as fast as possible, hitting hard (but I'm already a bit used to my sensei, so it was ok). He was quite surprised I could still do well enough and completely changed his look. He asked me who was my teacher and how comes I only had an orange belt (7th kyu). When I named my sensei, he was like: "I see, oh I know he's good at this!" Then he stopped going too easy on me, because he probably realised he could take this chance to exercise himself, too, and that I can take a few hits. My avatar is actually from practising with him :) Then we did kakie. And it wasn't the first time that training, so my arms were already tired. And dang, he was strong. I didn't want to hold him back, so I did what I could and at times I tried to sneakily use a bit different muscles, but he always corrected me that I shouldn't move my shoulder etc. :) But I was really reaching my limits. The locks we did in between were nicely explained to me and it was fun, although I always worried my joints have to snap at any moment with about any lock he did on me.... At the end, he praised me in front of his colleague and went away talking about how he needs to tell my sensei I should be given least a green belt (5th kyu). Of course, my overall level isn't there, but it made me really happy nonetheless. And it showed me that knowing Renzoku kumite well may be helpful where I don't even expect it :D And he actually did go and talked to my sensei, who later told me I was praised :)

    - An exercise with a sophisticated footwork - basically 8 a little irregular turns to all four sides with tsuki. Speeding up the pace. I had trouble finding the logic in those moves, until I gave up thinking about it, just did something and was actually finally able to finish it without mistake. Clearing one's head can be useful sometimes. And only then did I find some system in it...
    - We were tired, but sensei probably thought we don't deserve a break, although he at least let us relax with kata - 2x Gekisai Dai Ichi
    - Pad work - I was paired with the other sensei, who was the only other girl there at this point:
    - Mae geri (front kick) - 20x focusing on technique + 20x full power with kiai
    - Mawashi geri gedan (low roundhouse kick), kicking with the shin instead of instep - 20x focusing on technique + 20x full power with kiai
    - Yoko geri (side kick) - 20x focusing on technique + 20x full power with kiai
    - Ushiro geri (back kick) - with the turn - 20x focusing on technique + 20x full power with kiai
    - I was fairly tired, but was just a little happy that sensei (whom I was partnered with) looked like she had had just about enough of it by now as well :D
    - 5 rounds of Randori
    - Stretching + relaxing with deep breathing and listening to Enya :)

    Very nice training today :)

    1x Sanchin
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  15. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Wednesday 2.9.15: 1x Sanchin

    Thursday 3.9.15:

    16:30-17:30 - Children class up to 8th kyu grade
    I came to assist with this class. Soon, it turned out, I won't be assisting, but teaching the whole class today, while sensei will check on me and give me feedback later. And here I came completely relaxed, no stress... :D He told me what his idea was about this lesson, luckily, so I could make a plan according to that. Basically after a game and quick Junbi Undo we practised blocks and San Dan Gi Ichi.
    But I was there alone with 10 boys. 10 loud boys. I'm not exactly too shy and quiet, but I couldn't shout loud enough for them to register me when in the middle of a game or something. So I challenged them to be quiet for the half an hour of the techniques. It was absolutely wonderful ^^ The deal was: the one who speaks without raising an arm will do push-ups. Some of them did really a lot, that I almost - almost - felt guilty, but when sensei came to check, he made them do just about twice as many as I did. :D And some seemed to be talking on purpose anyway.
    And they're favourite game at the end.
    What I find most difficult it to show the techniques and try to check how everyone is doing at the same time... It would be really good if there were two of us so we could work more efficiently....

    Also, most of the boys already know me from this year's children camps. There was also a boy from a different dojo, who started calling me 'aunt'. I wasn't very happy about it, but he had quite a reason, or a story that actually made me appreciate that he called me so. However, before I knew it, half of the kids were calling me 'aunt', too. Some of the boys were also from, or came, to our dojo. And it spreads like disease... I'd never imagined I'd be called 'aunt' by kids when I'm 'only' 24 :mad:, but I guess I'm happy they at least try to get more familiar and friendly with me that way... Probably...

    18:30-20:00 Class for adults up to 6th kyu
    - Junbi Undo
    - Footwork - "sliding" to various directions

    - Hojo Undo
    - Nigiri game - did one kata
    - Tetsu geta - 3 kg kettlebell - raise slowly in a front kick movement, 20 for each leg.
    - Kongoken
    - stretch arms with kongoken above head + fall into shiko-dachi 18x (with one or two short pauses)
    - steering wheel + fall into shiko-dachi - 16x
    - 30 squats (only to shiko-dachi), with one end of the kongoken on shoulders
    - push-ups with one end of the kongoken resting on neck - 20x (with 2 short breaks)
    - some rotating on end of kongoken and going right and left in shiko-dachi
    - Makiwara - tsuki, ko-uke, shotei tsuki, shuto-uchi, haito-uchi
    - Miyagi's garden - bring the 9 stones to the other side of the dojo, moving only in shiko-dachi
    - Chi-ishi
    - Belly work-out at wall-bars:
    - 100 half sit-ups with elevated bent legs
    - 50 half sit-ups with elevated bent legs
    - 20x swinging extended legs up and down
    - 20x right and left
    - 30x butt up and down with legs extended up
    - 50 side crunches on right side
    - 50 on the left
    - 50 half sit-ups with elevated bent legs
    - Makiwara - tsuki, ko-uke, shotei tsuki, shuto-uchi, haito-uchi

    When we finished, sensei announced we have 10 mins left. Being used to our 3-hour long trainings in summer when we started working of techniques after the Hojo Undo, I thought maybe 10 mins. until the end of the initial work out, but it turned out the 90 minutes of the class were almost over. We practised the knee kicks in pairs and did over a hundred tsuki in the air just to let out some steam and that was it... :( Too short...

    The dojo is looking for new students and today one new student actually came :) He looked friendly, so we went to say hi and introduce ourselves and we found out he's actually French. He did speak a bit of Czech, though, and looks like I'll be able to talk to him in English (I learned French but didn't use it for years, so I forgot most of it)...
    He seemed to enjoy the training and looks like we'll see him around :)

    After the training we watched Interstellar in the dojo. What a cool movie! I'll probably need to see it once more to appreciate it more, but wow....
    Also I had personal and not very easy conversations with my friends, but ultimately it made me realise how very lucky I am to have such good friends in the dojo :)

    No Sanchin... :(
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2015
  16. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Friday and Saturday: No Sanchin :(

    I've been visiting my relatives after some time. My grandma usually tells me how I changed - if she things I got fatter etc. She thought I lost some weight and wanted to know how much. I don't have a weighing machine at home and last time I checked I had 70 or 70,5 kg. Grandma told me to go use their machine. I though she made it up and I didn't expect any changes. I didn't loose any weight indeed, however, I didn't expect the opposite, either. Looks like in the last half a yeah I went up to 74 kg. o_O

    Oh man, I should probably do something about it... (If I wasn't too lazy, that is...)
  17. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Sunday 6.9.15: 1x Sanchin

    Monday 7.9.15:

    Last night I got a call from sensei. Apparently his karate class he has at another school clashes with the children class in our dojo. On Monday, too. None of the other senseis can make it, either, so the lesson will be taught by me and another friend.

    16:30 - 17:30 Beginner children class (teaching):
    There were only three young kids - aged 4, 5 and perhaps 6 or 7. Three newcomers appeared, but none of them was brave enough to join the class, so they only sat at the side with their parents and observed for now. Hopefully they will find the courage to participate next time :) I thought I might be nervous being watched by the parents, but I didn't have time to even think about them too much.
    Alhough the class only has an hour, I tried to vary the exercises often in order to keep the kids' attention. We started with a game ("Running to the forest") they apparently liked and told us how to do it even better next time :). Then Junbi Undo, explaining tsuki (punching), trying it out in the air and in the pads with some running aroung. Then hiza geri (knee kick) - again first technically, then pads. A coordination exercise to rest a little, then footwork - sliding right and left, back and forth and with tsuki. When they reach me, punch me (they seemed to really enjoy that) :). And some fun game of running, crowling, jumping etc. toward the end. When the students were only few and this young, I had an urge to change the exercises often and we actually had time to do more that I expected. I think it went quite well, though. I tried to make it enjoyable for all of us :)

    - tea break and some discussion about how and what to teach the kids with sensei

    18:30-20:00 Beginner adult class:
    Although it was a beginner class, there was actually more of us at the, let's say, intermediate level. We started with various exercises in pairs including mainly footwork.
    - stretching
    - tsuki practise - circular training. At each spot do 10 tsuki for each arm:
    - with chi-ishi held in the punching hand
    - to makiwara
    - chi-ishi
    - makiwara
    - chi-ishi (one of them was a bit heavier and much tougher)
    - heavy bag
    - then second round again counting to ten for each hand, but doing two strikes for each count
    - again some exercises with basic techniques (hiza geri, hiki-uke, tsuki) and footwork in pairs
    - 5 round of randori
    - and doing 10 exercises of preferred body-weight work-out between each round of everything (before changing partners - at least 10x at the beginning, before changing places at the circular training - 12x, and between rounds in randori - 5x; that was probably all) - I did mainly push-ups and sometimes exchanged them for shiko-dachi squats. I might have done about 70 to 100 squats and the rest (somewhere between 180 and 200) push-ups or maybe even more. Which sounds absolutely terrible and now I even wonder how I was able to do that, but probably because of the breaks in between....
    - stretching

    - 1x Sanchin
  18. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Tuesday 8.9.15:

    16:00-17:00 - Karate class for small kids (4-6 years) - I'm going to call this "Mini class" :)
    This is the class sensei would like me to teach alone. I thought it would be nice and fun and how I'll try to make the kids into great karatekas :) Well, today was the first lesson. Only two boys came. One was the 4-year-old that was in class yesterday as well (he's a bit difficult to handle at times, but yesterday he was really great) and his perhaps even a bit younger friend. Well, I never thought I would give the first one as an example to anyone. I made up a plan for today's class, according to what I saw yesterday. Useless. It was almost impossible to get their attention, much less keeping it. And if they actually noticed me, their response to my saying we're going to play this or that game was: "I have two lunches in kindergarden!" I probably lack the experience with my own kids :D
    They just don't seem to care I call them or try to speak to them. We were doing various games remotely resembling karate. When punching the pad, instead of even looking what they're hitting, it seemed much more interesting to watch themselves in the mirror, probably to see how cool they were :)
    At the end of the lesson the older children came, some joined the games, one very polite and nice boy even helped me out with being the sparring partner. Overall it was tough. It wasn't easy to handle the two, I can hardly imagine having a class of perhaps 5.

    17:00-18:00 - Intermediate kids
    One of our senseis came for her first lesson this semester. I asked if she wanted me to stay and help, she told me to do as I like. I thought about staying, but in the end decided to go rest and restore my mental health with a calming green tea...

    18:00-20:00 Advanced adult class
    It's been a while since I had a class with this sensei, but it was great. I have to say I really enjoyed it :)
    - Warm up
    - Junbi Undo
    - Work out - 100 exercises of at least 4 types - I did 30 push-ups in one go - perhaps not much for someone else, but a good surprise for me :) (my best score is 35 so far), 20 squats, 10 push-ups, 20 crunches, 20 lunges
    - Partner drills:
    - Several rounds of tsuki
    - Mae geri
    - Mawashi geri
    - Ushiro geri
    - Combination of Mae, Mawashi and Ushiro geri
    - Kihon Ido:
    - The same combination of Mae, Mawashi and Ushiro geri
    - Combination of three tsuki while moving with Yose ashi (I finally more or less learned this with two tsuki, three were pretty confusing :))
    - Kata bunkai - all bunkai for Gekisai Dai Ichi and Ni - a person defends, the others attack with the bunkai in succession; first time slowly, then fast without time to think - I haven't done this in a while and thoroughly enjoyed it (although I was far from perfect)
    - Kata - practising Saifa (kata for the next grading); sensei told me about some mistakes I managed to improve when focusing on them. I tend to move the hips around too much. I'll have to learn to do some things better.
    - Belly work-out

    It's really good to have the regular trainings back ^^

    1x Sanchin
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  19. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    lol, kids classes are a pain :p

    perhaps try to incorporate the various things they do such as the morror watching into the games you play? if they're gonna do it anyway, might as well go with the flow!
  20. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    Yep I'll have to think of something generally. And this is a good idea :D

    I think I will never again seriously complain about the older children in the intermediate class, haha :D Suddenly they seem pretty mature to me :D
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015

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