Wow. I can't believe it's been four months since I wrote in here. I have been doing some blogging, but it's all been over at sparkpeople.com. I need to get back to writing here.
It's just barely over two months until the IWKA (Isshinryu World Karate Association) World Tournament. I'm registered and paid for, though I haven't made hotel reservations yet. Robbie is undecided about competing - but if he doesn't make up his mind soon, the indecisiveness is going to have made it up for him.
It's a mixed bag at the dojo these days. On the good side, two of our white belts are almost ready to test for yellow, and we've added a new student - an eleven-year-old girl, who thus far seems quite avid. On the bad side, two students, one of the aforementioned ready-to-test-for-yellow whites, and his mother, currently our only adult beginner, look like they're dropping out. If they do drop out, we'll have passed below the income threshold where we can pay for our space at the Jazzercise studio each month, which will leave us with a choice of cutting back to one class a week, moving to the local park, or some combination of the two. Summer attendance is always dicey anyway, and with only four students it's just not enough to rent a space.
The hopeful side of things is that my church has expressed interest in hosting a self-defense seminar. I'm currently working on a blurb for the newsletter to gauge interest, but an informal talking around looks like there should be more than enough people to put together a women's self-defense class, and possibly a second co-ed one for kids. Seminars like this tend to pull in new people, so if we can get a seminar put together in the next couple of months, we may get enough new students to keep our current place.
On the personal side of things, I'm kicking the prep for the World Tournament up into high gear. I'm not where I hoped to be fitness and weight-wise, but I am running three miles at a stretch without much difficulty, and I've lost about thirty pounds. Adding weight training has put some pop in my punches, which is welcome (and unusual). I've chosen my kata for the tournament and the weather has gotten nice enough for me to get some weapons training done in my yard - so now I just have to train the kata and do as much training for the sparring as possible. We still have a serious shortage of high level fighters - more so than usual, actually. There's me, there's T, our teenaged brown belt, and most days that's it. Sensei is fighting only rarely, because his knee is not recovering from his ACL surgery as well as he had hoped, and Sensei D is not sparring at all as he's having medical problems of his own. Every once in a while Sensei's daughter J will show up, and that's a blast - she's lightning fast and quite strong, though a little out of practice. I think I'm glad that the senior women's section is often loaded with people who don't spar much. I'd get killed in a hurry in the younger rings as little high-level practice as I generally get.
Rob is getting home tomorrow night after a sixteen day run to the UK and Finland. He's only home a few days before heading out again for a quickie trip, but when he gets back, he should be home for a whole 3-4 weeks! That's getting to be a rarity around here. Robbie is still aiming for a blue belt, but his progress on Seiuchin is very slow, mostly due to lack of home practice. He's finally made the connection between how much he practices and how good he gets at something. The differences between his drawing and flute skills (both practiced regularly) vs. his guitar and singing skills (both practiced sporadically) have become too great for him to ignore. Now we'll see which things he chooses to step up and practice, which should be instructive for all.