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.


supergroup7 said...

That sounds so demanding even for someone who does not suffer from ADD. I know (from taking psychology in University) that the average adult person has a 10-15 minute attention span, and that is when they are very interested in the information. Some people can focus longer, some shorter.. but on average 10 minutes of one activity is about what people can take.

It is true that in martial arts we are reaching for mental control, and to extend our ability to focus.

In my martial art, we are not allowed to strike to the neck... to do so would be to face disqualification in tournament, and even removal from the dojo.

I would have "issues" myself with striking anyone on the neck during training. In fact, I believe that my nasty rebellious side would raise up at that point. Yep.. I'm a rebel at heart.
I think that I'd win myself a whole bunch of knuckle push ups.. don't you?

lizzie said...

lol. Probably, supergroup.