Monday, July 31, 2006


Supergroup, let me honor you again by answering your questions which are on my first post.

I have thought about people stealing my school work. I know that I can’t write a blog like I would in a journal. It’s very similar; however, there are a few limits to blogging. For example, I can’t put the last names of anyone that I know except for Teruo Chinen because already he’s on the internet.

I acquired four bloody knuckles from punching the makiwara. Sensei was teaching the white belts how to punch it. We punched it for a long time. He even left us to teach the brown belts a kata. I would have switched to another technique so I can save my knuckles. However, I didn’t because Sensei didn’t say any thing about it and I didn’t want to get into trouble. However, I did sneak in forearm strikes at the end. When Sensei saw my knuckles and Theora’s, he said that we could have used another technique. I was mad because I really would have worked on all the things that I have learned on the Makiwara, instead of punching and hurting my knuckles. My knuckles weren’t as bad as Theora’s. Her knuckles were ripped open in both hands and got blood on the makiwara’s. So, after class Theora and I had to wipe the blood off. They took a couple weeks to heal.

At the last day during Gasshuku, I acquired blisters the knuckle of both pointer fingers from doing knuckle push-ups. I sort of want calluses on my knuckles, so knuckle push-ups won’t hurt. However, they don’t look very good on hands. I know that Sempai John has them on his knuckles. I don’t know if any of the women has them in my dojo. I have to see tomorrow. I don’t know how long it takes to develop calluses on knuckles.

Has anyone have done elbow push-ups? They are the most painful push-up and exercise I have done in my entire life. During Gasshuku, we had to do that one day. I didn’t do a push-up because it was hard enough to hold myself.

I found out that I broke my foot when I was sparring with Captain David. I don’t know how I broke it. I think that he blocked too hard when I kicked him. When I got home that night, I noticed that the top of my right foot was all swollen. I didn't hurt when I walked on it; however, it hurt when I pressed down on it. I thought it was nothing and had it wrapped for a couple days. Then, a week later, it turned all black and blue. My family thought that I either sprained or broke it. A month later I noticed that I had a big bump on the top of my foot. I was afraid that the bump was a broken bone sticking out. I went to the doctor and found out that I had a hair line fracture. The bump was a calcium deposit.

During Gasshuku, a toe on both feet decided to split on the second day. I knew that I had to prevent it from splitting even worse when training. So, I decided to put some medical tape on it so see it that helps. I noticed that medical tape doesn’t hold very well because twice it came off my toe on different days. On the third day, I used athletics tape over the medical tape and wrapped it with my middle toe so it can stay on better. The tape protected the big split; however, it didn’t prevent it from splitting even more. I noticed that it healed faster when I protected it with tape. My dad says the splits are from athlete’s foot. I haven’t used a lotion with vitamin E to moisturize them or Aloe Vera to help them heal.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Seiyunchin and Dancing

Hi. Karate was fun today. It started like usual because we all self-practicing when the younger class got over. I started practicing Seiyunchin which I started learning on Tuesday. I’ve gone through it with everyone doing the kata in Gasshuku, Tuesday, and today. On Tuesday, Sempai David (the green belt) taught me most of it. However, it’s a long kata and I only went through it five times with him. So, today I practiced the beginning because that’s all I know. When practicing, Sempai David showed me a step or two when I got stuck. When he helped me for the last time, he started practicing the Sepai Bunkai Oyo which I learned during Gasshuku. I wanted to describe it through words so I won’t forget it, however; it would be really complicated. Today, I realized that I have to practice it without a partner so I won’t forget it.

So, I started practicing the Bunkai Oyo. When I was practicing, Sensei was sitting in his office and asked me what I was practicing. I told him and continued. I was up to Bunkai Oyo number four when Sensei came up to me and wanted me to do Bunkai Oyo number three. I went through it once with him helping me. Then, he grabbed Sempai John to do it with me. For a second, I thought Sempai John was going to be hard on me. However, it was fine because Sensei supervised us and he wasn’t teaching me. When we did it a second time, Sensei wanted everyone to watch us. When I got up, Sensei said to me not to hurt his black belt. Then, we did it one more time. I know that I looked bad because I wasn’t smooth. When I was back handing Sempai John, I didn’t know to use my hand or arm. When we were both on the ground, my kick to the stomach was really light. I don’t know how much power to use. When we were done, Sensei made everyone clap because I did very well for a green belt. I wanted to do more Bunkai Oyo; however, for the rest of the night, we did kata.

It’s nice being a green belt because now I can do Seiyunchin with everyone. Plus, I have caught up with Sempai Mesha and Sempai David. Getting promoted is expensive though. It cost me ten dollars when I was promoted as a white belt. Now, it went up to $30 dollars when I became a green belt. Sempai Scott told me that it cost an additional eight dollars for my obi. I have an obi however, it’s way too small because it’s a size two and it’s only temporary. I can only wrap it around me once instead of twice. Hopefully, Sensei can remember to bring me a new one on Tuesday. When I get it, I’m going to wash it so I can soften it up. The one I have is really stiff. I miss my white belt because it was soft and easy to tie. I realized that I’m never going to wear my white belt again. I was going to resew one of the stripes because the ends of the thread are not tied down. I had to sew on my stripe very quickly because I didn’t have time to put very many stitches in. Good thing I sewed it on because Sensei looked at my belt and noticed when he first saw me during class.

When I sew on my stripe on my green belt, it has to be two fingers away from the end. Plus, I have to take of the label which is on the obi. Whenever I put on the obi, the stripe has to be on my left side. Sempai Erick, who’s from Seattle, told me these three things. I noticed that my Sempai Diana hasn’t taken off the label on her obi. However, I’m going to not copy her and obey my Sempai Erick because he’s a high black belt. I met him on the first day of Gasshuku, when we were all at Sensei’s house. He said that women can be express and be themselves when doing karate not like socity. I know that he’s been doing karate for more than 20 years. He made a good impression on me when we visited. Therefore, I tried to hang around him whenever I had the chance. For example, I walked with him and Sempai Ross when we were at the park. I felt very comfortable talking and visiting with him. At the park, there was an actual youth circus that had clowns. I told him that I have never seen clowns in real life before. He told me to get closer, so I can see them better. The clowns had a stupid act. For the finale, they had a small boy tight rope thirty feet in the air.

As we were walking through the park, Sensei made all of us learn some dances by a Japanese lady and her group. It was one of those things where everyone was welcome to learn the dance. The first dance included a fan. When I slapped the fan with my hand, it didn’t make the sound it was supposed to because it was broken. The second dance included a paper plate that had some tissue paper glued on it. The third dance didn’t have anything. It was a dance that looked like we were digging something. I know that I heard the song for the thrid dance before. Sensei knew it too, so Sensei started singing along with it. Actually, he was in tune for the most part. I was impressed because not many people "Ok" singers without the proper training.

For the second dance, I was behind the Japanese lady and for the third dance, I was behind one of her helpers. I went behind them because it was easier to learn from the person in front of me. In the first dance, it was hard to learn because none of her helpers were that close to me.

When I was dancing, Sensei said everyone to look at me twice. When we were all dancing, Sensei made us all kiai. At first, people thought it was very funny, but by the third dance, people didn’t think laugh any more because it got old. Sensei liked the third dance so much, that we did it twice. When we were waiting for a song to start, Sensei made all of us go into Shiko dachi and punch a few times. I wanted to perform more for the crowd because I wanted people see what we do. However, that was the only thing we did that was karate related.

I know that when we were at the park, we stood out like sore thumbs. When we first walked in the park, someone said asked us if we were a soccer team. Sensei got mad and called him an idiot. Sempai Linda said that it was like we were all wearing clown suits. She said that when people make stupid comments toward us, I can’t talk to them at all. However, if people are sincerely interested in what we do, I can tell them.

Anyway, Sensei made all of us face the center when doing kata tonight. When I was trying to learn Seiyunchin and copy what my row was doing, I accidentally copied what Captain David did who was right in front of me. After a few seconds, I noticed that I did that instead of copying the person next to me. When I got into place, I expressed myself through my hands by shaking them because I messed very badly. Sensei noticed and said that I cannot do that at all. Probably he said I couldn’t do that because it looks bad and because I have to control my mind and emotions.

I noticed that karate is mental and physical training. Tonight, Sensei made us get into knuckle push-up position and say the dojo kun. Normally, I last a few seconds, but this time, I pushed myself harder. When I was focusing and pushing myself, Sensei made me look up in front of me. Then, he said that I had to speak because I wasn’t saying the dojo kun. When I started saying the last part of the dojo kun, I gave out and put my knee on the floor. So, I’m proud of myself for lasting longer than I normally do.

Tonight, I figured out why I walk weird when I was standing there watching my Sempai do higher kata. I walk like a duck and bob up and down when walking. Tonight, I realized that I stick my hips behind me instead of right under me. So, when I thrust my hips forward, my knees match up with my feet. I have noticed that I walk in the inside of my arches; therefore, I walk like a duck. However, it’s hard for me to have my hips thrust forward because I have to flex my thighs, butt, and abs, so it gets tiring. I look skinner and I don’t think I bounce when I do that. When I was doing karate, I was focusing on thrusting my hips forward. I noticed that my movement improved. When I was doing moving attack and focusing on that, Sensei said to get into a deeper Zenkutsu dachi. Many times, Sensei has said that I’m a lazy girl and go deeper. When I went deeper, I noticed that I was lower that the person in front of me and I’m taller than him.

When I was watching my Sempai do higher kata, a cell phone went off. I looked at the reactions in their faces to see whose cell phone was that; however, everyone stayed stone faced. Then, it went off a second time. Finally, Sempai Kirk made a face and that told me it was his cell phone. After doing the kata, Sempai Kirk asked Sensei he could go to the men room to turn off his cell phone. Some people, including Sensei, thought the cell phone was an ice cream truck. My cell phone went off during my first quarter of karate at SCC. Sensei didn’t mind though. However, I felt bad and apologized after class. I don’t turn off my cell phone because nobody calls me.

Today was the last day that Russians/Ukrainians will train with us. On Monday, Elena and her Sensei fly to New York. Doctor will be flying back to the Ukraine. So, Sensei Mary made cake because they were leaving us. Doctor is an actual doctor of medicine because he treats families. I was surprised because I didn’t think he was an actual doctor. Elena asked how I was after class. I told her that I was wonderful. I wonder if I’ll ever see her and her friends again. I’m mad that I didn’t think to say goodbye when I left Sensei’s house.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hi Supergroup

Supergroup, you are going to have a post just for you. Thank you for the huge reply.

My karate is a full contact style. I talked with my Sempai how much power I can hit them. They said I should focus on technique first and power later.

Actually, I’ve been training for 6 ½ months. The first two was at college for about 45 min. two times a week. Then, I’ve been at the dojo for 4 ½ months. Sorry, I was a little off with my calculations. I had to look in my journal to see when I exactly joined.

Actually, now I’m 6th kyu because I became a green belt on the last day of Gasshuku. You are right though. I have just about jumped from 9th to 6th kyu in four months. So, I did a kyu level almost a month. I didn’t realize how fast I’m moving through the ranks. Man, I’m flying. However, Gassuhuku added four months to my training because of the intensity and the longevity of it. So if you count Gassuhuku, I’ve been training for 10 ½ months theoretically.

You say it takes at least a year for the average person to get to the level of training where I’m at. I believe you because I heard that a 50 year old stayed as a white belt for a year. However, I thought that it was because of her age. When you say that I might be asking too much of myself, that doesn’t surprise me because I have done that in the past with school work. It was so bad that a teacher was very concerned with me not having fun because I was too concentrated with my homework.

You are right that my training has become a harsh and rocky path. You have asked me what my personal reasons for training and studying karate are. I have realized that question has come up in karatekorner many a time. I’ve asked myself what motivates me to train in karate. I’ve realized that it’s just the pure love of karate. I love karate so much is that I think and even obsess about it every day. In addition, some parts of karate is fun and entertaining. For example, I learned some Bunkai Oyo for a kata that I didn’t even know. It was fun because I got to work with some high black belts. I made the tap out with different techniques, such as an arm bar, and attacked them when they were down on the ground. That was fun.

Anyway, you ask what my goals for training in karate are. I don’t really have any goals. I know I want to continue with my training and eventually become a black belt. My most important reason is that I go to the dojo is to learn and train in karate. Making friends, working on mental control, developing healthy exercise regime, and learning self-defense are all consequences of going to the dojo.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Gasshuku Part 2

Hi. I have a hard time not smiling because it’s very natural to me. When I was working with Sempai John, Sensei made all of us do knuckle push-ups. I hate knuckle push-ups because they are so painful. When doing push-ups I cannot put my stomach on the floor because that is cheating. My arms are not that strong so it’s hard for me to do a push-up. It’s even harder to hold myself up in the air in push-up position because my abs are weak. I try my best to hold myself up. When I was trying to do the push-ups, Sempai John said to hide my thumbs. Then, Sensei came over and said I had to do them on my first two knuckles instead of five. I think I should have known better because I was a 7th kyu.

In one part of the exercise, I had to have my hand near my chest to protect it. Sometimes, I didn’t do that. So, Sempai John said to protect my heart and started punching my hand hard. I know that one of his punches brushed against my breast. When he punched, he came in hard, fast, and right at me. Sometimes, I was afraid he would really punch my head if I wasn’t fast enough. He punched me so hard that he bruised my forearms. When retreating and blocking, I had to get off from the “train tracks” and be at an angle from him. He said that I didn’t have a very good sense of direction because I was going on the train tracks. He said that I needed to be smoother after awhile. When we took a water break, I was really tried. When I normally work with someone, I’m not that tried. He when he was pushing me, I was wondering if he was going to kill me because he pushes and punches so hard.

One day later, a group of us went to The Onion downtown to eat dinnter. Sempai John sat across from me and right next to Ellena (el-lay-nah). Ellena is Russian who can speak a little English. I was looking at her passport with Sempai Foster who sat right next to me and discovered that she is only a month older than I am. I thought she was a least a year older because she said she was 20. She looked older too, so I was shocked.

During dinner, I asked Sempai Foster how old was he and Sempai John. He said that they were both 25 years old. Then, he gave me a hard time because he assumed that I had a crush on Sempai John and threatened to tell him. Of course, that wasn’t true at all.

I was with one of the last groups that left the restaurant. When everyone separated and went to their cars, I found myself walking alone with Sempai John. In the dojo, it’s customary for the men to escort the women to their cars because the men can make sure that we are safe. When walking me towards the car, he talked to me. After I arrived to my car, I drove home.

Sempai Diana is a green belt and has been at the dojo for almost a year. This was her first Gasshuku. For some reason, she took it upon herself to help and take care of me. I didn’t mind that on the second day because she invited me to come with her everywhere she went. It was nice to feel wanted. The third day we went on Silver Mountain to ride the Gondola and chair lifts to the top of the mountain.

On Tuesday I asked Sempai Linda if it was all right if my mom watched us during Gasshuku. She said that I had to ask Sempai Scott because Sensei is picky about this sort of thing. My mom really wanted to meet Sensei and my Sempai. However, I decided not to ask Sempai Scott because my mom would have probably distracted me from my training. Then on Wednesday night, Sensei invited my mom to the Banquet on Saturday night. I was surprised and decided that couldn’t be coincidence because Sensei has never mentioned about my mom before.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


Hi. There is so much to write about. I know that it is going to take me a very long time to write of all that happened to me. Should I start from the beginning, middle, or end of Gasshuku? Actually, I’ll give an overview of Gasshuku first.

I didn’t know what to expect when I walked on the dojo floor on the first day of Gasshuku. I heard Gasshuku was for six full days, painful, and intense. Now that I look back on it, it was so much more than that. My view of karate has changed because I learned that there were other Sempai other than the ones at my dojo and I learned more of the rules that I had to abide by. During it, my relationship with my Sempai and Sensei have been strengthened. I learned that my Sempai really care and watch out for me. I didn’t know that I could train for 10 hours a day and still be ready for the next day. I learned that I could push through the pain and exhaustion. On the last day, I pushed myself harder than ever before. When I was pushing myself, a great battle of physical and mental will played inside my head. No matter how hard I push myself, I feel better a little while afterwards. I have to push myself harder during class because two hours is nothing compared to Gasshuku. I even had the opportunity to work with a Russian who didn’t speak English named Valerie. Because of Gasshuku, my skill level has greatly improved.

Last night, Sensei asked me what was the most important thing I learned during Gasshuku. I said I learned that it was painful and of course, answered wrong. He said that my number one lesson should have to pay more attention. However, I learned always to take Ritalin Long Lasting before class so I won’t get in trouble. I take Ritalin because I have Attention Deficit Disorder, ADD. During the school year, I took it because it helped my concentrate and complete on homework. Now, I don’t take it during the summer because I don’t have any homework. Apparently, I need to be on it when I’m ever at the dojo because if I don’t take it, I’m going not pay attention and get yelled at by Sensei and/or Sempai.

I didn’t take Ritalin during the first two days of Gasshuku. I don’t remember having any problems on the first day. Sensei says that I did knuckle push-ups on Monday morning because of not paying attention; however, I don’t remember that. In contrast, I know that I did do knuckle push-ups on Tuesday morning. Tuesday was bad because I was keeping getting in trouble for not paying attention. It seemed like that I was paying attention or I wasn’t paying attention for a few min. On Tuesday morning, Sensei caught me watching Sempai Valerie working Gekisai Dai Ichi or Ni. I was supposed to be watching my Sempai work on their advanced kata. It’s just so hard to stand there straight as a board and not get bored. It was so easy to sift my attention elsewhere. Therefore, Sensei made me go to a corner to do those painful knuckle push-ups.

Last Tuesday, I worked with him on an advanced form of San Dan Ni. I’ve done it with Sempai Jason and that was enjoyable. First, I had to watch Sempai John work with another black belt. When he called me to take the place of the black belt, I failed to do so because I forgot and wasn’t paying attention to the position that they were in. The second time I got it right and started working with him.

Of course, it takes me forever to learn something. For example, I really had to grab onto his arm. He kept on ripping his arm away from my hands illustrating that I need to squeeze harder. Sempai John illustrated to me to squeeze harder when he grabbed my arm, pulled me very hard, and sent me flying in his direction. In another, part of the exercise, I had to punch in the neck. I pressed too lightly and so, he leaned into my punch. The first couple few times he did that, it freaked me out because I didn’t want to hurt him and the throat is such a vulnerable part in the body.

I’m a nice person and I don’t want to hurt a person in anyway. When I have to squeeze on a person’s arm, I do it lightly. In another example, I unconsciously punch or kick to the side of a person instead right at them. Last night, I had to give myself permission mentally to trip my partner harder when doing Judo.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Judo, My Stupid Car, and Floors

Hi. Sorry I haven’t written for a while. I’ve been busy.

When school got out, I wanted to get away from the internet for a while because I spend way to much time on it at school. Therefore, I took a week off. On that Thursday, we did Judo for karate. It’s when we to throws on the mats. First, we practiced rolling. Then, I paired off with Sempai Amy and five kinds of takedowns and throws. When working with each other, we always had to keep on adjusting and fixing out gi because we had to undo the knots on the sides. We didn’t actually throw each other. We only practiced to up until that point. It took me awhile to trust her because she’s smaller than I am and thought she wasn’t strong enough from keeping me from dropping on the mats. However, by the end of class, I had my full trust in her.

After class ended, we all went to Sensei Mary’s condominium near the dojo to welcome her into her new condo. However, my car didn’t start up. Therefore, I had to get a ride by Sempai Linda. Then, I called my mom and told her that my car broke down and that I was at Sensei Mary’s condominium. To my horror, mom wanted to pick me up right away because she had to go to bed because of work. In addition, she needed the address of the complex; however, nobody was with me at the time. I didn’t want to walk in there with my cell phone because I was afraid I would get in trouble. They had me talk to my mom outside on the landing instead of inside. Before talking to her, they said to put my phone on vibrate, so it wouldn’t go off in Sensei Mary’s condominium. Anyways, my mom talked to Sempai Linda and Sempai Amy. We figured out that someone could give me a ride home instead of her picking me up. After that, Sempai Kirk took me home with Sempai Scott in the back seat.

However, I'm unconfortable with a black, 36 year old from college who wants me to visit him at his place. That guy gives me the creeps because he's old enough to be my young dad and it looks like he’s interested in me. I think the guy is desperate and wants company. I think that if I go to his house, which I will never will, he can do any thing to me like raping me. Therefore, I’m haven’t responded when he called and text messaged me. I wish he could get the hint and leave me alone.

Then, on the next Friday my dad called saying that he needed help right away for work because the crew only consisted him and Steve, he needed more helpers. Therefore, my brother, sister, and I took off towards the Washington coast. It was a 10-hour drive. Yuck! Way too long. First, we went to the tiny town of Ilwalco that is smaller than Three Forks, Montana. Ilwalco is right off the coast and a 20 min. from Oregon. The motel was all right and mediocre. It had two queen sized beds and a cot. My brother and dad shared one bed, my sister and I shared another, and Steve, the other crew chief, slept on the cot. We worked for about two days in the Grey Harbor College staining the floor. It was my dad and Steve’s first experience staining a floor.

First, we cleaned the floor with rags. Second, my dad and Steve applied the stain with scrubbers. We had to wait for four hours so the floor can absorb the stain. Third, we had to remove excess stain by mopping, squigiing, and vacuuming it. I had bucket detail that meant that I had to fill countless buckets full of water and put TSP in them. I had to dump the dirty water that contained down a storm drain outside. When we did this process, it was about 12 AM, so, it was dark and cold. The next day, we had trouble putting the sealer on the floor. First, my dad used a scrubber to put the sealer on the floor, but that was excessively much because there were many spots that turned milky. They figured that the floor was too porous to do that. Therefore, my sister and I had to scrub the floor with rags to get the excess off. Then, my dad figured out that we only could apply the sealer with a wet rag and a dry rag.