Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Today in class, we were practicing katas, of course, but also the basic hand pattern of punches, blocks, and - not sure of the spelling - shuto. I plan on practicing the basic hand pattern at home until I have it cold.
I also bought a new wavemaster. I had one in 2008, but donated it to the class there when I broke my ankle and we were moving away from the class. Here's a pic of the new one:
|Wavemaster kick/punch upright bag|
The new one is black as you can see. The one I had back in 2008 was almost identical, except that the padding was red. I like the red a little better, but I'm happy to have this particular piece of equipment, because it is essential for practicing proper kicking forms, and it is great for practicing punches as well.
I also purchased a new gi, but it is huuuuge! And 100% cotton. I am going to was it and shrink it first thing. The new gi is also quite heavy. I will most likely need to get the pant legs hemmed up about three inches, which is crazy because I am 6'6" tall with a 36" inseam. Just wow!
The cotton is thick and heavy as well, so I will be moving an extra ten pounds of cloth around, I think. I'm going to have to look up a Youtube video on how to properly tie the pants, because they're very different than the lightweight pants of my current gi.
The people in class are starting to get over their initial surprise at my size. It was as it often is when someone my size - 6'6" and 340lbs - walks into an athletic setting. That first day people were just staring. Now they're kind of used to it, and I'm able to settle in and just focus on the karate.
It feels soooo good to get up and exercise, plus I have wanted to learn karate since I was fifteen. My favorite super hero - and I have been a comic book fan since I was four years old - is Iron Fist. I wrote a post all about my love of comics on my personal site. You can find that post here:
I used to be really good at drawing superheroes, cars, planes, submarines, spacecraft, and of course girls. I was way out of practice at drawing comics, but this is a rough drawing I did of Iron Fist about three or four weeks ago:
I've also gotten back into reading Iron Fist. It took me a long time to get over the fact that someone close to me stole Iron Fist 1-14 from my collection back when I was in high school. There were only 15 issues of Iron Fist by himself printed by Marvel in the late 1970's. I had collect all fifteen and had them in plastic, at a time when they cost 25 cents. I still have number 15, and in 1989 I had price checked it at $25.00. I just bough a high-quality copy of #1 on Ebay the other day, it cost me $75.00.
After Iron Fist 1-15, Marvel put Iron Fist and Power Man together, and they ran the pair for a few years. A new Power Man and Iron fist series has started up in the past few months, with new stories written just this year. I have issues 2-7 so far. I will keep collecting those, but I will also buy the rest of the original Iron Fist comics one at a time.
So it goes. In some small ways, life gets to imitate art. I get to learn karate, and I am thrilled with that. At my age, it's probably not too common for people to re-start learning martial arts here in the USA, but what do I know?
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
So I am a white belt karate ka again.
I didn't realize how much I had forgotten, or how much I would remember.
What I do know is that it was wonderful to be in karate again. One of the things I had forgotten was how much I loved doing karate.
I am badly out of shape, and sweated like crazy. My old gi still fits, but is more snug than I remember. I had to use the Tae Kwon Do pants, because the elastic in the waistband of my karate pants was rotted out and brittle.
Still, the sweat and exercise feel great.
Somehow, I think the gi may fit better in a few weeks.
I realized tonight that it has been eight long years since I was in Sensei Beghtol's class.
My heart is happy to be back in class, period.
Monday, August 8, 2016
Video of our founding father doing kata can be seen here (thanks to Russ Tippett):
A lot has happened since I last took Karate in 2008.
- We moved to Oak Brook, IL in July 2008.
- A schedule change at work stopped my Tai Chi Chuan class dead in its tracks after only three months.
- I left my telecommunications career in December 2014.
- We moved to Temecula, CA in January of 2015 to be near our young granddaughters who live an hour away in California now. They're 5 & 7.
- I started a Windows computer repair business in April of 2015.
- I started a Web Design business in April of 2016. (I now operate both)
The City of Temecula Parks and Recreation department has a Shorin-Ryu Shorinkan Karate class at a price I can afford! The class is taught by Sensei Julio Miranda. I have yet to meet my new Sensei, but I look forward to it.
I don't know for certain, but this style looks to be fairly closely related to the Isshin Shorinji Ryu Okinawa Te that I was taking in Plainfield, IL until I broke my left ankle in 2008.
I still have my uniform and gear. I am totally looking forward to August 30th!
Friday, August 24, 2012
...due to distance, schedule fluctuations, time and space restrictions, T'ai Chi is accessible to me, where Isshin Ryu Okinawa Te is just not feasible at this time.
I greatly miss my Karate class, but it's too much and too far.
I was able to take a few classes locally of Cheng Man Ching-derived short-form T'ai Chi Chuan, and it is accessible to me through books, videos, and meet-ups. It also requires a minimum of time and space to practice, and is sustainable as I age.
So, for now, the way forward is through a different way.
Still, I will always remember the nearly three years I spent on both Tae Kwon Do and Isshin Ryu Okinawa Te, and hold them in the highest regard. Perhaps someday, I will be able to pick up my Karate again, and add it to my T'ai Chi. In the mean time, I must continue learning, and this seems to be the way forward that the Universe has left open for me.