Well.............here's my first installment..you could call this yann's return to training..i am known as yann on forums, I had to choose a username that reflected me...hmmmm....I'm a mechanic (or technician if you're precious) ..and one day presented with a car that the main dealer couldn't fix (a common ocurrence)..I said 'if I can't fix this one. I'm a dutchman'!!! hehee
anyway...........long time ago graded to shodan with bkk..long years passed......... I paused' training due to mainly physical probs (discs moving about & retinas falling off) .................. but I'm the first to say that politics played a part....I just thought 'hah! I'm not going for sides-let's stop & see how it all works out''''' I rested for a long while, a family comes first, but was always 'doing a bit' ...stretching,running (only a mile) etc etc.....a long time passed (very quickly-ooh errr) then!!! the internet happened!! wow!!!! hehehh
various chats' happened....I told the two ermmmmm associations in barry wales that I was feeling 'dojoish'......and are there any places for an old git!
Well..I've been back a year now ..enjoying it immensely, it all started off with me feeling 'dojoish' again and with the help of the tinternet' doing a bit of communicating. I talke with the (then) iko1 club but unfortunately they were busy doing some knockdown stuff & I'd have to wait....but I had mentally got into a 'bit of a state' & wanted to start quickly (before I had time to think too much)
Spencer Bennett (who I think a lot of u know) & his bro lee Bennett remembered me from yrs ago as I trained them both when they were juniors! (and yes, I am approaching 60 yrs of age)//hehehe.They showed me a lot of respect (too much imho) & implored me to teach!!!!!! huh?? I think the truth is more like the club needed a refresh' someone different to 'put something in to the pot'.
Straight in to the lion's den, I arrived on a Monday and spencer (by the way, we don't use all the senpai/sensei stuff outside of the club unless it's a karate event-hope this doesn't offend anyone)..had txtd some students who'd lapsed' so it was a full dojo! arghhhhh
So....I remembered what lee costa had taught me, if you're stuck, in front of a class, remember the three k's'// kihon kata kumite.
a bit of all three got me through and it was congrats all round! I've had to re-learn a lot (so has my body!) there have been some sensible changes since 'the old days'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it when the juniors stopped to drink water!!!!!!!!!!!!! we were never allowed to break' but I remember seeing pics of mas o drinking from a ladle in honbu dojo & just presumed 'well, it's hotter over there'
Stretching was different, yrs ago it was nearly all static stuff, now it's dynamic & isometric....spencer Bennett uses a sports specialist for himself too.There is much much more padwork than I've ever done before (this may be just different dojo's emphasis obviously) but pads are used every lesson (or 99% anyway).Contact when fighting was similar, but my body had got used to a no-pain situation'......(I'm getting there now, slowly)...the methods have changed too......(to my mind, anyway)..this will take another post, but briefly, (and again this might be dojo specific) the rear leg low kick is not used as much as the front leg-spencer generates a sh*t load of power from his front leg! also, I grab & knee....this was just being phased out competition-wise when I 'paused 'training so part of my input now is to grab/sweep/throw....bit like the Kenny Jarvis vid on ytube hehehehheheh
next episode coming soon, if I get boring-say! I just hope it'llhelp someone return to training
osu gary, the Cardiff school of self defence (that's a 70's title for a club eh?) was a massive influence on the karate scene in wales that's for sure! full time instructors were lee costa, gary bufton, Richard (dicko) males plus visits from alwyn heath, howard Collins tatsuo nakamura, jeff whybrow................the list goes on..oh!!!! plus a bloke from engerland' called gary chamberlain called in for a few sessions! I learned a lot there-it's great learning from a variety of instructors (imho) you get to know all their ermmmm idiosyncrasies ..it was a 'full time' club with lee and gary being great foils against another (imho) ....
I went with dicko males (my relationship with him will take another post...sigh...) as we both lived in barry but travelled into Cardiff each night to train/instruct..
One thing about my post though!.....(and this is the 'warning' that I gave my instructors when I returned to training and was asked about old stuff)..I only say anything about people that I'm not afraid to say to their face. (except for my boss!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ) heheheh
Well, the adventure continues! I'm slowly improving, physically my main problems are lack of stamina (but I am participating in spencer & lee's hill sprint sessions) I must stress here that we all start off together & they are waiting at the top for me!!!!! (while doing press-ups etc,,grrrr!!!)
I am improving my flexibility slowly but surely and jodan kicks are back! (my left hip is lagging behind a bit but hey! I'm old!)
One thing that's kicked in during my return is 'muscle memory' or retention or whatever you want to call it...I find myself doing something (performing a technique if you will)...and it's perfectly natural, not thought about....and I realise the last time I did it was xxxxxx years ago!!!! amazing!! it applies to mental stuff too..I frequently repeat quotes to the students that have been made to me!
and then I think 'where did that come from'??
Here's one from lee costa 'you want see my fighting stance?....you're looking at it'.....
had a great session last week, helped with our 'rising stars' class, then a joint effort with the juniors class-basics first then pad work/sparring/freefighting.....warmed up (a lot longer than years ago) ...senior class....hard to explain really? it wasn't one of those old 'beasting' sessions..it was long warm-up, quick basics, kata, fighting stance stuff (for a long time) pad work, warm-down/seiza..
hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm..... next day I had trouble walking down the stairs..my left heel can't take any pressure! ? all discussed with 'spencer & lee' (or my sensei etc...) I am going back Monday eve. & taking it easy!
Well..I was worried about the heel'...under normal use-walking etc. no probs, but if I put downward pressure on it..it protested' a bit.
talked it over with spence and lee & it was agreed that I train on a 'go slow' basis...(hang on-that's normal for me)
It's now worked-back to normal with no discomfort-as gary said, we've got to work with it'.
Spence has shown me (& I must remind u, we don't use the sensei/senpai stuff outside the dojo) some 'yoga-esque' warming-down stuff that really helps...I'm thinking now that warming down is as important as warming up!!?
The senior classes vary so much that I never know what to expect! (this took me back to my old days) ..i.e. Monday was lee & spencer sharing the instruction-phew!!! a massive stamina/pads/sparring job! then yesterday, long warm-up, then they drop into the line' & nod to me 'osu, some basics pls sempai'.....and I instruct them!!!!!! hehehehh (obviously im not saying they don't do basics!!!!!) then...kata kihon kumite....then......10 minutes left......right!!! all the pads out!!! go go go!!!
the seniors all said 'great session' as they left..it was too, no injuries & everyone soaked in sweat!
(mind u, as I'm typing this it was hard getting downstairs earlier)
well, here we are in june! my training is progressing nicely (imho)....due to back (disc) problems, i used to get at least three 'big spasms' a year, which basically stopped me in my tracks!!! but i haven't (touch wood, pauses to scratch head) had one for 2 years! my weight has dropped, stamina has increased so allowing for a few knocks' after sparring (whoops, old times i was told never call it sparring!-it's free fighting!')....huh? ..flexiblity is always going to be a stranger but I'm doing some hip stuff (very similair to another post on this forum) with spencer & it's improved me no end! technique wise, I'm ok (basic techniques) with, the bkk syllabus is close now to the original which i learned from.. bkk wales has a monthly meet where i see all the higher grades (some who i know from years ago) which is all very friendly. So barring injuries, talk to you all soon! Osu!