Saturday, February 14, 2009

Slight Postponment

I got to have a private lesson with my Sensei this last weekend, which was quite a treat. I always feel like I learn so much when I get one-on-one time. We went through the ends of Kusanku Sai, and Sanchin, which means I officially know all the kata I need for my black belt test.

Afterwards we had a talk about my black belt test, and decided to postpone it from its original tentative early April date to this summer. He feels (and I agree) that while I could probably pass a test in April, it would be a cram and a struggle to be ready. In addition, he would rather send me off to Worlds in June as a really prepared brown belt, than a shiny new black belt. While it would have been awesome to test for black at my fortieth birthday, I agree with his reasoning. In fact it will be good to be able to settle down into steady practice of my new katas, and to be able to pull them apart and polish the dickens out of them, instead of having the pressure of needing them ready NOW!

In the same vein, I got to go see the new digs of our old dojo mates this morning. They finally got into the new place about six months after we split off, but I hadn't had an excuse to go over there (they're two towns over from where I live). This morning, two of my friends tested for black, so Sensei and I went to watch the test. They both did very well - tested and passed without any problems, though Master B threw them a few curve balls. Everybody remembered not just Sensei, but me as well - and about eight people threatened to come kick my butt if I don't remember to tell them when I test, so it looks like I'll have a rooting section beyond just my kids and husband.

Now I just need to work, work, work to get ready for Worlds and the test following. Sensei is really riding me about increasing my hand speed, and following up in kumite to prove his point (I'm getting tired of the footprints on my ribs). If anyone out there has suggestions on how a strong, but not terribly fast girl can get faster, I'm open for any suggestions.


Michele said...

You have a busy few months ahead. I have read that plyometrics improve speed, power and the ability to change directions quickly.

John Vesia said...

For me padwork helps in the speed department. Sparring too, but there's other things going on that get in the way of developing just speed. Then again, speed isn't everything. Having a good feel for your fighting range (ma'ai) and being able to read your opponent trumps raw speed most of the time.

Never tried plyometrics, but the concept is based on explosive power and momentum. I don't know of any routines for MA, but it might be worth looking into.