Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Run-up

Okay. I've had a week - well, nearly a week to absorb brown-beltness. Time to get back to work. It's time to take a look at everything I need to do to be ready for black belt. My minimum time-in-belt is one year. I could have much longer than that (Sensei's last brown belt was brown for eight years, but he kept traveling away.), but one year is the time frame after which Sensei could decide I'm ready and test me with only minimal warning, so I want to be comfortable with what I can do by then. (Whether I feel ready or not is a whole different matter...)

The good: Three essays - not a problem. I have first drafts of two written already, and will be continuing to work on them. General knowledge - being inveterately curious, I generally tend to know brain-wise not only what I need to, but several times that.

The bad: Five katas to learn - three empty hand and two weapons. The one I learn last, Sanchin, is the one I need to know cold, because I have to do it stripped to the waist (with a sports bra), and while being thumped by enthusiastic TKD b lack belts. I really want to get through the first four quickly, so as to have time to get Sanchin into my bones. Self-defense - I know most of my required self-defense, but the difference between what I do, and what L did at his test was striking. Again, I'll be being tested by enthusiastic TKD blacks and I'd better have it perfect - and fast. Which leads to:

The ugly: Speed and power. I now know what was so funky about my kata. Unfortunately, fixing it will mean going back and dissecting every kata I already know, and fixing them move by move by move. Sigh. Time to take my own advice to Black Belt Momma - whom I told accurately, that if your technique improves and you don't have to dissect your kata, your kata is lagging behind. I have the speed and power available. I proved that in kumite and breaking at my test. I just need to figure out how to apply it in kata. Dissection is so fun.

In other news: We just got Aaron his third pair of new sneakers in six months. The kid is going to be growing like gangbusters here soon, if the feet are any indication.


Becky said...

Wow, five kata is a lot. Which ones do you have to learn?

Perpetual Beginner said...

Three empty hand and two weapons katas. Kusanku, Sunsu and Sanchin for empty hand. Kusanku Sai, and Tokumine no Kun for weapons.

So far I've learned the first half dozen moves for Kusanku Sai - making me the first person I know to start learning the weaponed version first.

Normally I think I would learn the empty hand katas before the weapons ones, but I have more interest in weapons than anybody else in the dojo, and Sensei is joining the Weapons Connection - so I end up doing weapons with him whenever opportunity arises. Hence the starting on Kusanku Sai. Also, when we have an upper-belt only class, the purple belts are all still struggling with their weapons work, so we tend to do that. So I expect I really will learn Sanchin last of all.

ps: It looks like we'll be coming down on the 21st. Are you free that afternoon or evening by any chance?

somaserious said...

What's the rush, I say? I had my brown belt for five years, but that was due to pregnancy. Do you just have one brown belt? We have three levels before we get to black. There's no rush for black! I don't mean to be judgemental or anything, but speak from experience. Learn your katas and make them yours, take the time, especially if you have difficulty within them. Kata should be performed as if you are in a battle. Each move is significant, and kime should be applied in all strikes. Movement should come from hara and always from hara. I find that focusing on those aspects of kata helps me to make them my own. But take your time. No rushing, breathe, make every step count. Kata is so important in karate because it lays a strong foundation. Okay, I'm off the soap box now. You know what you have to do...

cheers! Karrie

Colin Wee said...

Whoa - why are you doing Sanchin and getting thumped by TKD black belts???


Perpetual Beginner said...

Because we don't have enough karate black belts to do the job?

Actually, that's the answer. If enough other Isshinryu blacks show up, then they'll do the thumping. Sensei has only one prior black, though, and doesn't feel he should be doing the thumping himself since he's evaluating, so he asks the TKD blacks to do the job. Which they certainly did at L's test. Very enthusiastically.

Colin Wee said...

I really like your open mindedness! I thought I was one of the few schools who mix and match as necessity dictates!


Becky said...

Cindy, I don't really have anywhere I have to be on the 21st. That is normally my grocery shopping day, but I can plan around a your visit. Will you come to my house again? Gee, I'd better start cleaning!