Saturday, April 17, 2010

Seiuchin Kata - Yes!!

This evening's class was great... Saturdays are less formally structured classes, where people can show up and work on kata, charts, or whatever other things they want to work on. The classes are smaller, and Sensei has more time to give individual instruction, and the senior students help out, too.

With the help of Sensei and two senior students, I was able to run the Seiuchin Kata all the way through. I ran it through a few times... It needs a lot more practice, and the shift between the Seisan stance and Seiuchin stance is  a little challenging, but I finally feel that it's coming together. I've learned this one at a faster pace than I learned the Seisan, even though I find the Seiuchin to be quite a bit more complex.

I am greatly encouraged... I'm going to work on it like crazy over the next few days, because I'm leaving on the 21st for a one-week scuba diving trip.

Absent from class lately, is a 12-year old boy that had been in the kids' class, and was in the adult class, when I began training at this dojo, last December. He's been absent for a few weeks now, and I don't think he's coming back.

Another absentee, is a guy that started a few weeks before I did, who is around my age. He got his yellow-belt about a month before I did, and his Kata were looking really good. He was training hard, and he was one of the people in class that I admired, and whom I felt really elevated the level of the class. He's been absent for a few weeks now.... I hope he returns.

Yet another absentee, is a young woman who is a blue-belt, but she's been accepted to the Memphis School Of Art, so because of that, she probably will not be a regular, anymore.

It seems like our class is getting smaller, but hopefully, that just means that the intensity will remain, or even increase.

One of the senior brown-belts is gearing up for her black-belt test! I'm excited for her! She hardly ever misses a class, is always quick to help others, and really trains hard. I think I heard Sensei telling her that it would happen on the first Saturday... (I'm assuming he meant May.) Ganbatte!!!



  1. A small class doesn’t necessarily mean there’s less enthusiasm or the quality of training will be less. We’ve had classes where there were only 4 of us yet the class was always amazing although a lot does depend on the level of the participants and how hard they’re willing to push themselves. In a way large classes aren’t great since they tend to consist of many different levels of ability and as a teacher (I have some practical experience so I do know what I’m talking about) you have to divide your attention among a greater number of students. The classes I like best are the ones with 4 to 6 high level students: you can really pick up the pace & teach advanced stuff, on top of that sensei’s always there watching you and correcting you. What more do you want?

    I wouldn’t worry too much about what other people do: if they quit they quit, if they stay they stay. Not much you can do about it: I’ve seen talented people leave for trivial reasons and there are people that only drop in every few weeks or so… How can you possibly expect to get any good when you hardly attend training and should those people even be allowed to test for rank? I hardly miss a class, except when I’m deathly ill or there’s an emergency but then again I’m highly motivated and my level is high enough to start to see and appreciate the sheer beauty and infinite complexity of the art. The more you know the more you realize there’s still so much to learn… if not in your own art than in another.


  2. Thanks, Zara. I'm not terribly worried about the other students, and I like having a smaller class, really. I'm not, by any stretch of the imagination, an advanced student, but I always give 100%.

    When we've had the smaller classes, we have worked on advanced stuff. Fighting up from the ground, breaking choke-holds, disarming someone with a knife or a gun... Really excellent, practical stuff that only augments the more formal stuff. With every class, I am enjoying it more, and little by little, I'm making progress, and that is so gratifying...

    I am pleased with the way things are going, and I feel that my Sensei is pleased with my progress, as well. Other pupils can quit if they want, or if they decide that karate is something that's just not a high enough priority for them, but personally, I am simply NOT going to quit. I am nothing if not tenacious, and seeing this thing through to black-belt and beyond, is a promise that I have made to myself.

    This path isn't something that I do. It's something that I am. All is well... :-)

    Thanks again.

  3. Do you actually practice Zen or do you just read books about it? Throwing Zen quotes around has become quite popular with westerners trying to sound 'deep' without much knowledge and experience in eastern mysticism. In any case remember Zen isn't about words but about direct, intuitive experience of the ultimate reality or as it is called 'wordless interaction between two hearts'. Now I actually did it myself, lol.

    Interesting blog.

  4. I never said Zen was about words, and I don't feel the need to speak about my own spiritual history and practice. If you assume that I have no experience with mysticism and that I am "trying to sound deep," you are welcome to your assumption. It has nothing at all to do with me.