Thursday, 24 March 2016


B took the lesson today because Sensei was away and it was tough going, as it always is with her. She has no concept of a warm-up - complaint A - and a real arrogant streak that comes out when put in charge - complaint B. What I dislike most is her authoritarian attitude to exercise: she demands a heck of a lot, but she is far from the fittest of us and I suspect wouldn't be able to keep up with the routines she dreams up if she had to do them. I think it's poor form for a teacher to demand of students something that she wouldn't be able to do herself.

On the other hand, J and D both came back to the club after long absences, coincidentally on the same night. So in that respect it was like old times and was a good evening overall. I just wish B would have a more mature attitude as a teacher.


We focused on open-handed techniques today. Knife hand, spear hand, etc. Then in the last 10 minutes spent some time using them in a self-defence context. I like doing the good old 'karate chop'.

Thursday, 17 March 2016


I missed three sessions with flu so it was good to be back today - and a really enjoyable session. A new student from Greece came along and he said he left with a big smile on his face because the club has such a positive vibe and it's true. It really does, and you notice when you've been away and come back.

I wasn't quite top of my game and definitely felt weak. But on the other hand I think a week of illness has made me healthier - I've lost weight and look and feel leaner. Maybe periodic sickness is a bit like a forest fire. You need it to rejuvenate.

Thursday, 3 March 2016


A lot of leg work, today. I have a feeling Sensei is gearing up for boosting our kicks. For the first time in a while I am seriously aching.

He showed us how to do a powerful mawashigeri. The secret is not to twist the front foot until delivering the kick. Just rotate the hips and torso and then the front foot as the leg is in mid-flight. This definitely does generate more power, but my mawashigeri is pretty pathetic in the first place...

Tuesday, 1 March 2016


Interesting class today. I think Sensei deliberately decided to mess with our heads, so he had the whole group working through Bassai Dai repeatedly, move by move. That's one of the things I like about how he teaches - the attitude that you're going to have to learn how to do high level stuff sooner or later so may as well start early.

We also did a lot of back stance practice, with gedan barai and then front leg maegeri with shuto combos. That was tough, although the hardest thing as always was having to do repeated maegeri practice directly after 60 push ups with no breather. I always find that unbelievably exhausting.