First post of 2011. That's a bit shabby really isn't it?
All things karate related went on hold after the Karate Club Christmas party (which was a great event - I do have some video and photos but I need to check with people before I post them to make sure there's no objections). It was tougher than I thought it would be having a three week gap from training. It was all too easy to fall into bad habits of not doing anything fitness-ey and instead just sitting on my bum watching rubbish Christmas TV and eating my way through practically an entire Christmas Cake (I blame my big sister...she made it, with extra thick marizpan...how is one to resist that I ask you?).
Since we started back to training in the new year the focus for the main part has been on strengthening basics (strikes, blocks, stances, controls, lower kyu kata). I suspect there are probably a lot of people who wouldn't enjoy this but to be honest, I love it. It's great to get to go over everything again and I've definitley noticed (this time round in particular) an improvement in my overall form and execution.
Shihan has had us focusing our attention on perfecting our Taikyoku kata (specifically Shodan and Nidan) and really working on our body positioning (hips off for blocks, square for strikes), stances (maintaining a strong zenkutsu dachi (both long and wide) and moving through stances and our focus. I'd worked hard before Christmas working on getting my shoulders squared properly and making sure my stance was strong. Last night I was clearly having a blonde moment. After getting to move 18 (I had to count all through the kata to work out which number then. LOL) Shihan came up in front of me and stood there expectantly. Clearly my mind was racing at this point as to what I was missing but I thought I was in an okay position. Hah! After a few seconds (which felt like half an hour) of giving me chance to adjust Shihan promptly tugged on my front arm and I almost toppled over! D'oh!!
To say I was furious with myself was an understatement! Especially being that I'd spent 10 minutes only a few weeks early saying to a fellow karateka who was having trouble with getting his shoulders square that he should move until he feels he's square and then push his off shoulder forward more (you're invariably not as square on as you think you are - it's easy to see if you do this in front of a mirror, which I have, lots. Even more so today. LOL). Clearly I should listen to my own advice and not assume that I'm in the right place just because I'd been managing to get it right for a while. Three weeks off has clearly done me in!!
The next time Shihan's waiting for someone to adjust position you can bet your Gi I'll be assuming it's me and double checking EVERYTHING.
Moving on from last night to a glimpse into the future. There's lots of new stuff about to start in the club in the coming months. Shihan is beginning another class on a Thursday (starting 10th February) which I can't wait for. Grace and I are going to be going together as we do on a Monday (Kendo's next OU course is beginning at the end of the month so he's committed to more hours study per week). We're also beginning tournament training with an extra hour before the adult class on a Sunday. Plenty of extra training time per week, which is great. We've also got another seminar coming up (this time on sword work and held at our Dojo (so no travelling - bonus!). I'm really looking forward to getting a taste of weapons work - although I'm not sure letting me loose with a big wooden sword when people are around is a good idea.
Much more karate related fun to come then. Plenty to look forward to in 2011. Hope you've all made a good start to your new year.