Sept 7 – 11

Tuesday night’s class was another rough one. Started with about 35 minutes of medicine ball work. Then we moved onto using the heavy bag and used it for some military style team drills. After that we did some heavy duty sparring for about 45 minutes. Then we did kata slowly, similarly to yoga, with weights in our hands. After that we work on some shoulder exercises with weights, then lots of pushups, ab work, and back work.

Thursday night’s kid’s class  worked almost exclusively on kicking. Started the kids class by having them warm them up with 100 of each of the basic punches and blocks in shikodachi. After that we spent most of the rest of the class standing in heisokudachi. Went around the class having each student count 10 reps on each leg. First round it was knee to chest with the left leg. Second round was knee to chest with right leg. Third round was front kick left leg… then right leg… then knee up to the side left leg… then knee up right to the side right leg… then round kicks the same way. After all that, I had them form 2 lines and do shuffle up/front leg round kick against the focus pads that Hope and I were holding.

Second class was a repeat of the first class with the older kids and adults. In addition, we added these same drills done from zenkutsudachi. After all that, it was time for some heavy duty sparring. We finished the class with King-of-the-Hill sparring matches.

Nov 3-6

Monday night’s class was all kihon kumite. We started with chudan sanban kumite for the first hour. Then we put one of our brown belts through the gaunlet: his back to the wall he had to continuously face all the other students in jiyu ippon kumite for 30 minutes. It was a fun night.
Tuesday night’s class started again with chudan sanban kumite for the first hour. We then put one of the green belts through the gauntlet for about 10 minutes. We finished up the night doing Naihanchi Shodan (Tekki Shodan) with partners facing each other; one would do the kata normally, and the other would mirror them. We switched back and forth so that each side had to do it regular and mirrored.
Thursday night’s kids class was Oyo Tan Ren for the entire class. We would stop and start from the beginning every time one of the students made a mistake. They managed to make it through the entire exercise once in 45 minutes.
The big kids class was chudan sanban kumite for the entire 45 minutes.
The adult class had our two new white belt students in it, so we did basics the whole 45 minutes. We covered seiken-zuki, age-uke, soto-uke, gedan-uke, oi-zuki, mae-geri, and yoko-geri kekomi.
We also did belt promotions tonight. We had about 5 new yellow belts, a new yonkyu, and a new sankyu.

Oct 20-23

Monday night’s class was really good. Sensei Keyes came up from Jefferson City and taught a really good basic class on knife hand blocks and moving in cat stance; focusing on using the large muscles of the back and shoulder for power. We finished up with some progressive drills with moving and kicking in cat stance, as well as, some partner kicking drills.

Tuesday night’s karate class started with 15 minutes of jumping rope. After that, we went through the test syllabus to yellow belt in preparation for tomorrow night’s test; which doesn’t sound like much until you understand that in our school, there are only about 4 more techniques added in all tests up till black belt. We have probably the toughest yellow belt test I’ve ever seen based on the amount of material. After yellow belt, most of the new material are kata and a few sparring drills.

After basics, we moved on to kata. We did all kata up to the brown belt test, which includes 3 Fukyugata, Oyo Tan Ren, 5 Pinan, and 2 naihanchi kata.

Next we moved on to the 3 Tanden Kumite drills; each done for about 7 minutes. After that, it was the 7 Yakusoku Kumite drills performed with 3 different partners. We finished up the night doing the 5 self defense drills with 3 different partners each.

Good size karate test Thursday night. Most people did well, but we had a few the really struggled. Hopefully everyone is satisfied with their results when they get announced.

Oct 13-16

Totally forgot to recap last week’s karate, so here’s a very short summary… Oct 13-16…

Monday we started with a good long calisthenics warmup, then we went over several of the drills that I got to experience at the ASKA instructor training… focusing heavily on driving with the back leg and covering distance.

Tuesday was over an hour of calisthenics followed by the entire kyu rank test syllabus up to brown belt.

Thursday night was lots of yakusoku kumite and lots of self defense drills in preparation for testing this coming Thursday; with a focus on “making me believe it”.

October 6 – 9

Monday night’s class started off with about an hour of calisthenics consisting of jumping rope, heavy bag work, and medicine ball work. After this, we move on to the yakusoku kumite drills. We did all 7 of them for 5 minutes each.

Tuesday night we started off with a repeat of Monday’s calisthenics workout. We followed it up by going through the the 8th kyu exam syllabus. When we got to the blocks, green belts had to add reverse punch, and brown belts and above added a front leg front kick between the block and reverse punch. For the last 45 minutes of class, Sensei Castile helped make corrections on the students basics and kata.

Thursday night basic kids class was a good basic workout led by Sensei Shindo.

The intermediate kids and adults ran together again. We started with lots of calisthenics consisting of jumping rope, partner pushups, and partner squats. After this we moved into kata. The last part of the kata we did Ananku holding each stance for at least 2 minutes. Ananku only has 20 movements in it, and it 42 minutes for the class to complete it one time.

Sept 29-Oct 2

Monday night’s karate class was pretty standard. We ran though all the test basics. Then we quizzed some of the lower ranks on the knowledge portions of their test. After that, we finished up with some basic ground work.

Tuesday nights class was a bit more… intense. We started out with 1 hour of calisthenics consisting of jumping rope, shoulder exercises with dumbbells, heavy bag work, and some planking on top of medicine balls. After that, for the next 1 hour and 45 mins, we ran through the test basics hard and fast. We did blocks by themselves down the floor, and block/punch combos on the way back. We finished up the class with some semi-freestyle 3 time attack drills. I heard many awesome reports of people struggling to use their arms and legs on Wednesday morning. :)

Thursday night’s beginner’s kids class was rough. I had Sam-san lead warm-ups; but the kids didn’t seem to want to do warm-ups. In fact, at times they outright refused to do them. So I explained to them that if they didn’t want to show any effort in warm-ups, we were gonna have to work on spirit for the whole class. So, we spent 30 minutes straight in shiko-dachi doing basic blocks and punches. Any time one of the kids straightened their legs, they had to do 5 push-ups. It was rough. One of the kids was crying pretty heavily, but, to their credit, never quit. I pointed out to the rest of the students that that person was working hard, and showing the most spirit in the class. I explained to them the purpose of spirit training, and how they needed to learn to push themselves past where they thought they could go. I also explained to them that if they would just come to class and work hard they would get to things that were more interesting. I also told them that they couldn’t possibly finish strong if they didn’t start out strong. At the end of the class, they all came up and gave me high fives. I think they were actually surprised that they all made it through the workout.

The intermediate and advanced classes I rolled into one class and did a carbon copy of Tuesday night’s class.

September 22-25

Monday night’s karate class was a carbon copy of the previous week. Just tournament prep. Lots of sparring and kata.

Tuesday night’s class started out with some basic self defense for the ladies concerning how to deal with an attacker that is on top of you and choking you.

After that, I just wasn’t feeling it; so I asked the students what they wanted to do. It was unanimously sparring. So everyone padded up, and we spend the next hour sparring. We got a little out of hand, and I received a pretty wicked knee to my shin (you may have seen the pictures). 4 days later, and it’s still significantly swollen, and my leg is a really funky color somewhere between blue and purple. It’s ok, though, because I got the person back with a little technique commonly referred to as, “monkey grabbing peaches.” I’m happy to report that the technique works far better than expected.

Next, we spent the following 45 minutes working on kata. We ran through the basic 8 kyu level kata, then worked on tournament kata.

We rounded out the class with the last 15 minutes being some light bo partner drills.

Thursday nights beginner class I split evenly between two of our instructor trainees; first one doing basics and the second doing kata. We let the kids have a little fun by running relay races periodically.

The intermediate class was a fun-filled journey down crazy made up techniques straight out of James Hartman’s playbook. Started with two techniques and kept adding techniques until it culminated in the following abomination: lunge punch, spinning back kick, land in elbow strike, back fist strike, reverse punch, spinning back kick, land in elbow strike, back fist strike, reverse punch, spinning back kick, land in a spinning back fist, stepping forward into lunge punch.

After that monstrosity, we moved onto good old round kick, jump spinning round kick. We did it up and down the floor many times until it appeared people were starting to get the hang of it. Then we repeated it against kicking shields for the rest of the class.

Advanced class was nothing but kata. We started at Fukyugata ichi, ni, and san, then worked through all five Pinan kata, all three Naihanchi kata, and finished up with Ananku and Gojushiho.

September 15-18

This Week in Karate
Monday night was entirely tournament prep. Sensei Walker and Shindo were at the dojo, so I decided to go to the gym instead and at least get a workout in. Did a killer back workout with the guidance of Gamal Castile.

Tuesday night we quickly ran through the yellow belt test criteria for our newest student. After that, we worked heavily on front, round, side, and back kicks. We did each one 4 count style forwards and backwards down the floor for about 1.5 hours. We followed that by working on the open/closed fist drill for about 30 minutes in air and with partners as targets. We finished up with 15 minutes of basic 1 time attack.

Thursday nights basic class we split up into groups and worked on the beginners kata.

Intermediate class consisted of basic punching and blocking with partners from natural stance. We did rising block, inside block, outside block, downward block, and knife hand block against punches. We did downward block and outward block against front kick and round kick respectively.

Advanced class we just worked on our individual kata; either for test or tournament.

September 8-11


Monday night’s karate class started with about 40 minutes of sparring: 2 minute rounds with the loser of each match doing 10 pushups between matches. After sparring, we spent the next hour and a half doing some very detailed kata work; focusing on the finer points of the movements and using the correct hip rotation for the techniques.

Tuesday nights karate class started off with 20 or so minutes of medicine ball catch. We then moved onto 45 minutes of sparring drills and dojo free sparring while working on strategy and technique instead of speed and power. We then spent about 45 minutes going through Oyo Tan Ren, the 3 Fukyugata, and the 5 Pinan kata. We spent the last 15 minutes of class working on basic techniques; focusing on applying the hips to get power.

Basic class we worked on Oyo Tan Ren, Fukyugata 1,2,3, and Pinan Nidan. We finished up having some fun relay races with the kids.

Intermediate class started out with free style one time attack for the first 25 minutes. We spent the last 20 minutes working on individual tournament kata.

Advanced class was mostly stance training focusing on using the scissors action to cover as much distance as possible. Everyone’s legs were quite stiff by the end of class.feeling evil.

September 2-4

There was no class Monday night due to Memorial Day.

Tuesday Night
We started off with 15 minutes of jogging around the room; followed by 15 minutes of The Medicine Ball Game.

After warming up, we went through Oyo Tan Ren about 4 times. Then we moved onto basics: Seiken zuki, gyaku zuki, oi zuki in both zenkutsu and shiko dachi, age uke, gedan uke. Next we did several repititions of Fukyugata Ichi.

After that, we finished up the class by doing 50 or so repetitions forwards and backwards up the floor of rin mae geri and rin mawashi geri. Forwards was back leg first kick to the body, second kick to the face. Going backwards was front leg first kick to the body, second kick to the face.

Thursday Night
Basic class we started with a mini-tournament for the white belts doing their tournament kata. Sensei Walker finished up the class working on some fine points of their kata.
Intermediate class started out with 12 minutes of tournament sparring to warm up. After that, we moved onto working on tournament kata for those planning on competing at the Columbia Cup.
Advanced class… well, there wasn’t one. Seems all of the advanced students had other things to do. So sad.