Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bloody Nose

I wrote this in my journal in January 30, 2006.

Guess what? My sensei was at class today and he was in his gi! I was happy he was in his gi because the last two times he was in sweats. I asked Marsha if he not being there was a fluke. She said yes because he normally got on people’s cases when they didn’t show up for class. Hopefully, he won’t miss class for awhile.

Before class, I saw Sensei teach Emily I think the beginning moves in Saifa. I think she is the best student that can do Karate. We started class by learning harder and newer moves called moving attack. There are three sequences called number one, two, and three. We do them in this order; one, two, three, three, two, one. We go forward with the first three and go backwards on the last three.

After we did that, we split off into groups. Sensei went to another part of the gym to teach the advanced group. Captain David started teaching us FDS. Then, we went through Moving Attack again. While doing that, my nose decided to bleed. I went to the bathroom and Captain David sent Tiffany with me to see if I was all right. Of course, I was fine, it just happens sometimes. It was a little one, but it took five min. to stop. When I went back to the gym, Sensei asked if I was all right. I was lucky that I didn’t get any blood on my gi.

(I had a similar experience during Gasshuku. When we were doing kata, I started to have a bloody nose. Therefore, I stopped what I was doing and went up stairs to the girls bathroom. A few min. later, Sempai Linda came up to see what was wrong and to see if I was all right. I told her that I had a little bloody nose. She waited with me until it was done. Then, I followed her down stairs and out on the dojo floor. When I came back in line, Sempai Dale said “Welcome back.” Ten min. later Sensei asked why I left and I told him. I don’t know why my nose likes to do that. When I was a little kid, I had bloody noses all the time. When I cried too hard, it would start to bleed.)

While practicing, I noticed that Sensei made the other group run a few times. I even saw Naomi run by herself. The advanced Emily and Naomi said that Sensei likes to make people run when they make many mistakes.

When I get tired down blocking and switching to kokutsu dachi or near the end of class, it’s hard to keep my technique up. Nevertheless, when I know that Sensei or Captain David is watching me, I do my best not to slack off.

I’ve been practicing lately by myself at home. Today, I noticed that I did some moves wrong when practicing and that defiantly showed today. I’ll get better. At least Sensei said that I have improved during class. I’m glad that he noticed.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


I had the opportunity to clean Sensei’s garden for Gasshuku. One of the Sempai told the dojo that we had to sign up to clean his garden. I couldn’t go the first time because I was working with my dad. That was all right because the second week I helped stack wood and build a rock wall in his garden. Just recently, all the green belts had to come and clean his garden for Youth Gasshuku. I enjoyed that because I thought of it like a big service project even though I had to miss going to Silverwood with some family friends, my brother and sister. I chose to help clean because I would have got bored at the theme park.

My job was to pick up piles of grass and leaves which my Sempai raked up. When my big tub got full, I would go to a spot in the dojo it dump it. One time I was on my way to dump it,I was near Sensei and thought there wasn’t enough room to pass through. So, I tried to put it on my shoulders like I do with the recycle bin which is smaller. However, that backfired and lost it's balance on my shoulders. Therefore, I spilt some of the grass his stone pathway where it was just swept my Sempai Mesha. So, I started picking up the grass that dropped from the bin. As I was doing that, Sensei came to me and said that if I was a brown belt, my head would be chopped off and slid his hand across the back of my neck. Because of me, Sempai Mesha had to resweep the stone path.

All of us has to clean the dojo after class. We have to sweep the floor and take out the garbage on the second floor. Sometimes we have to clean the toilet and sink in both bath rooms. After we do that, we line up on the dojo floor to clean it with rags. Some black belts don't have to do that because they supervise us instead. I cannot go ahead of my Sempai when going across the dojo floor with my rag. I did that before and Sempai John yelled at me.

It's my fault for injuring Sempai Ross

It's weird that I would get into trouble for saying one little word but not causing injury to a person.

During Gasshuku, I was doing Bunkai Oyo with Sempai Mark and Sempai Tony. Sempai Tony mostly taught me how because he was higher than Sempai Mark. Most of the time, I would attack Sempai Mark with Sempai Tony guiding me through the Bunkai. In the dojo, one has to pay attention and watch out where other people are being thrown because it's crowded during Gasshuku. On Wednesday night, we were working on Bunkai number seven which includes a tricky throw/role. I distinctly remember Sempai Tony telling me not to let go of Sempai Mark when I threw him. Of course, that night I let go of him and he slid right into Sempai Ross. When I got up, I saw Sempai Ross laying on the ground in anguish and clutching his ankle with Sempai Mark hovering over him. At first, I was horrified at what had happened and what I had done. It took a few min. for people to realize that someone was injured. Then, Sensei made all of us line up and sit down. While sitting there, I started crying a little because I felt so bad. I saw that Sensei was mad because we could have prevented the injury. Because of the accident, we went home early without going to his house. I wanted to say that I was sorry to Sempai Ross before I went up stairs to change but never had the chance.

I felt bad because I was the one who threw Sempai Mark and hurt Sempai Ross. It ended up that he tore some ligaments which is worse that a break because it takes longer to heal. I talked to Sempai Eric about me feeling bad. He said that accidents happen and that I shouldn't worry about it. I realized that the black belts around me should have been paying more attention. I was a white belt and didn't know any better. Therefore, I didn't get into trouble at all when it was my fault for injuring Sempai Ross.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Thanks everyone for answering me, especially Supergroup. You are becoming a Sempai to me because of all the help you have given.

I’m very happy with my dojo. A couple weeks ago, I was telling myself that I loved it. I was happy as a clam until this happened. Now, I’m over it. I don’t care about this extra stuff that goes with the training. I’ve been thinking about what everybody said told me. However, I decided to not to leave my dojo because this problem isn’t a big deal to me. I much rather learn by a international Goju-Ryu master than by some local Sensei. If I left, I would miss my dojo and Sensei very much. Plus, it would kill me to not have karate when I’m at SCC too. I’ve been looking forward about training at SCC again.

Right now, I’ve been missing karate. I couldn’t go last Thursday because I went to the LDS temple instead. I’m so glad that I went because I haven’t been there since winter. It was so peaceful there and it put things into perspective for me. While I was there, I didn’t care if I was missing training. If I would have gone to the dojo instead, my conscience would be plaguing me about not going because Latter Day Saints are commanded to go to the temple. Therefore, I would be sinning and have to repent if I didn’t go. In addition, the temple is so much more important than going to the dojo to train. The temple is eternal and the dojo is temporal.

I’m not going to be there this week because I’m going near Seattle to work in an airplane hanger with my dad. I like working with him because I make lots of money. However, I don’t like it because I miss training at dojo. I just wonder if Sensei thinks I’m mad at him because I’m going to be away for a week and a half.

Here are other weird rules that I have to abide by when I’m at the dojo or Sensei’s house. I said this in “Never touch my hands on the Shomen wall. Or never put a picture of Sensei on the ground. Or never have your back to Sensei when talking to someone. Or never show any disrespect towards my Sempai. Or always call my Sempai, "Sempai" even outside the dojo. Or always obey my Sempai, without question even if they are wrong. Or never leave anything at Sensei's house, like a water bottle. Or never yawn inside the dojo. Or never show the pads of my feet when I sit. I always have to sit cross-legged or in seiza. Or when watching my Sempai do advanced kata, I have to stand straight as a board, pay attention, and not move around at all.” On the last day of Gasshuku, I was getting really antsy about standing and watching a Sempai doing a higher kata. When I wasn’t paying attention, Sensei caught me and made me do push-ups in a corner.” Or never lean against the wall when standing. It seems like I find out about a rule until I break it. I'm not used to getting into trouble so easily.”

I talked to my dad about me saying that I didn’t miss the Russians. He said that when I said that, everybody thought that meant that I didn’t like them at all. That explanation makes sense from my Sensei’s and Sempai reactions. When I said that, I meant I didn’t miss them because I didn’t even get to know them that well. My dad says that I get into these situations because I’m slightly autistic. He says that I think, perceive, act, and process information differently than most people. My Sempai and Sensei don’t know me that well. I say things that are direct and from the heart. Some people perceive me being mean and cold. However, I mean no harm. I think that happened last week. Now, my dad wants to call Sensei to explain to him what I meant and why I’m so different. I’m thinking that would be a good idea for future reference.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My first journal entry about karate

I don’t know what to write about. I have so many things to write about that it’s so hard to select one. I can only pick one because of the amount of time I have. For example, I can write about what happened at work today that involves the internet and the office key. Some other things I can write about is my job interview for Wal-Mart, cleaning Sensei’s garden for Youth Gasshuku, sparring, my first journal entry about karate, and some more of Gasshuku. These are many subjects to pick and it’s hard to choose. Some of the subjects I can write for hours upon end. Does anyone have this problem?

I’m going to copy my first journal entry about karate with me proof reading and commenting. This journal entry was made January 26, 2006. That means I have been training for almost a month.

“Hi. I found a new thing to obsess about. Guess what it is? It Karate and I love it! I love it so much that I wish I could go to class everyday. However, it’s only on Mondays and Wednesdays. Why do I love it so much? That’s a good question. I think it’s because I get to learn how to block, punch, kick, and trip.” The trip is actually a sweep kick. I didn’t know the name of it at that time. “It’s not like anything I’ve done before. It reminds me of dancing and doing line drills for disk and shot put.”

“I think I love it because I can perform as well as anybody else. In every other sport, I compared myself to everybody else.” When I did that, I would get frustrated and get down on myself because I wasn’t performing as well as everyone else. “In basketball, I couldn’t dribble the ball without looking, dribble with my right hand, jump, rebound, and shoot. I was afraid of the ball in basketball and in softball. I couldn’t catch or throw a ball very well. The only thing that I was good in basketball was blocking and guarding my opponent from the basket.” In other words, I didn’t excel in sports.

“In karate, I’m still lagging in some things. I can’t say the Dojo Kun when we run around the gym because I breathe too hard.” I still have trouble with that. Now, Sensei expects me to say it when we run. He can tell that I’m not saying it because he can’t hear my voice. That’s the trouble of having a really loud voice. I’m loud every time when ever I have to respond to him.

“I can’t stay balanced when kicking slowly or holding a kick in chamber.” I don’t do the jackknife very well either. The jackknife is where I have to sit on my butt, lift my legs in the air while keeping them straight, and punch. I’m not good at it because of my balance and my weak abs. “Finally, I can’t do push-ups. I can do girly push-ups, but those are hard.” Girly push-ups is where I do push-ups on my knees instead of my feet. “I have to do regular, knuckle (they hurt when doing them on the gym floor), diamond, and wide push-ups. I haven’t tried doing girly push-ups in class yet. I’ve only practiced them at home.” It's a good thing that I didn’t because I know that Sensei or Captain David would have yelled at me.

“In karate, I’m good at kata and back kicks. A kata is a series of movements done in order. It looks like a type of dance. However, it’s used for multiple attackers. So far, I learned what a long stance (zenkutsu dachi) is and a short stance (sanchin dachi) is. I’ve learned how to do a high (jodan), middle (chudan), and a low (gedan) block. I’ve learned how to block my knees in the long stance. I’ve learned how to do normal (mae geri), crescent (mikazuki geri), sweep (ashi barai), and back kicks (mawashi geri). I’ve only practiced crescent, sweep, and back kicks in one class, so I haven’t practiced them yet.” That was when Sensei wasn’t there. Captain David made the class run towards freestanding punching bags, kick them, and run back our lines. I want to work with the punching bag more because I need to work on sparring combos and control, I can use more power, and it’s fun.

“I’ve learned three kata and memorized two. These kata have the same basic moves but each one builds off another. For example, our basic kata, Fukukata Dai Ichi (FDI), is a series of blocks, punches, and stances. Fukukata Dai Ni (FDN) is the same thing; however, I add a kick whenever I punch. Fukukata Dai San (FDS) is harder. There are a lot more punches and four more different types blocks including the knee-to-knee block.” The knee-to-knee block is when we switch between zenkutsu dachi and kokutsu dachi. “The kicks remain the same.”

“Whenever I get ready to perform a kata, I have to stand straight as a board, have my hands flat against my legs, and feet together in musubi dachi. Then, I say the name of the kata and bow. Then, I put my left hand over my right so they look like an X. Finally, I breathe and perform the kata. When I say I breathe, I mean I make a certain breathing sound when I exhale.” Actually, I have to make noise with our noses and keep my mouth shut when inhaling. Then, I tighten my throat to make more noise when I exhale. “During the kata, I yell EH (kiai) when I arrive to a certain punch. I do that twice during the fukukata. I end up in the same place I started when I finished performing. I’ve seen different kata, Gekisai Dai Ichi (GDI) and Gekisai Dai Ni (GDN), preformed by the advanced students. The kata are weird because they use moves I never seen before and they do lots of breathing. I also have seen them spar; however, we (the beginners) haven’t learned how to do that.”

“Now, I’m going to talk about my Sensei. My Sensei is Teruo Chinen. You are probably saying, ‘So what?’ When I was researching karate on the internet, I came across his name. I learned that he is one of the best Goju-Ryu masters in the US and in the world. He trained under one of the founders and moved to the US to teach. Therefore, he goes to seminars all over the US and the world. He has his own DVD collection. He’s Japanese, an eight dan, and 64 years old.” Now, he’s 65 years old. “I think he’s cool because he’s authentic and has an accent. Right now, he’s been missing from class. I really hope he’s there on Monday. I’m going to ask an advanced student if he’s always gone for a long period of time. I want him to be in class because I want him to teach me and I want to get to know him better. He’s only taught me twice so far.”

“Captain or Sempai David has naturally taught me the most. Sempai means senior student. He’s a third dan black belt. I like him but he’s not cool like Sensei. He teaches us when Sensei isn’t there. When Sensei is there, he will teach either the beginners or the advanced students. I hope that we can enroll in karate as many times as we want because I would love to continue with it. When we practice, we have the traditional karate gi (uniform) on. Sensei wrote each of our names on our gi in kanji."

"I’ll end with Dojo Kun.
Dojo Kun.
Hitotsu, be humble and polite.
Hitotsu, train considering your physical strength.
Hitotsu, practice earnestly with creativity.
Hitotsu, be calm and swift.
Hitotsu, take care of your health.
Hitotsu, live a plain life.
Hitotsu, do not be too proud or modest.
Hitotsu, continue your training with patience.”
We say that at least once in class. Lately, we've been saying a new Dojo Kun that talks about hitotsu. To me, it's funny and sounds absurd because the author put meaningless words together.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

My mission

Happy Birthday to me. Happy Birthday to me. Happy Birthday dear Lizzie. Happy Birthday to me.

Actually, my birthday was on the ninth. Today, my family and I are going to celebrate it tonight by having my birthday dinner. Now, I am twenty years old. Finally, I’m not a teenager any more. Hurray! One more year and I can go on my mission for my church. For those you don't know, I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints which means I’m a Mormon. Lately, I’ve been thinking about my mission. My mission will be for two years. I can go anywhere in the world except the Middle East, China, and North Korea because they don’t want us there yet. I can’t pick where I’m going to go because Heavenly Father picks instead. I’ve been thinking about going when I’m 22 so I can finish up at Spokane Community College (SCC) and continue training in karate. However, I don’t think I can wait that long. I’ve been wanting and waiting to go on a mission all of my life. I just need to put my faith into Heavenly Father and trust that I won’t forget all that I learned in college and in karate. I’m afraid that I’m going to forget Trigonometry for Physics. Plus, I’m going to really miss karate and the dojo. I just wonder how much the dojo will change when I get back.

I would really love to go to Japan for my mission. I would like to go there because I want to learn more of the Asian culture. I know that learning any foreign language would be hard like Japanese. However, it would be cool to speak Japanese to Sensei when I get back. Plus, I would know why Sensei has some of the other special rules that deal with culture that’s in the dojo.

I would also love to go to the British Isles because I’ve always loved their accents and it’s part of my heritage. I’m English, Welsh, German, and Scottish. I think I was gypped because I have everything except Irish. I was gypped again because I don’t have any Hawaiian in me. My dad’s side of the family lived in Hawaii for many generations and none of them married and had kids with a native.

Anyway, I’m wondering who will be there at SCC from the dojo. I’m wondering if I’ll be the only one again like last quarter. Maybe, Sempai Jessica or Sempai Amy will help because they are both going to SCC this summer. Both may be too busy with nursing though. I know last fall Sempai Jessica helped out. When I started in the winter, Captain David helped. Then in the spring, nobody helped. So, a 8th kyu who wasn’t part of the dojo became captain of the class. If nobody helps, I know that I’m going to be captain. It would be really nice to have a black belt help. I know that during the winter, Sempai John helped at Spokane Falls Community College, SFCC.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Gasshuku Part 3

Hi. Monday was the only day that Sensei watched us from the stage. That night, Sensei asked me if the first day met my expectations. I said that I thought it was going to be a little harder than it was. Actually, I thought it would be a lot harder than it was because of the stories that I heard. Through out Gasshuku, I commented about how easy everything was. Sempai Linda said that I can’t say that in front of people. What’s easy to me is hard for others. Then, she said that I should look at what Sempai John does. When he worked with me, I have looked him as an example ever since. I know that Sempai John puts 100% in everything he does in karate. So, I have decided to try put my 100% in everything and try to push myself harder each time.

However, that’s easier said than done. I noticed that it was easier doing a thousand front snap kicks in Gasshuku than doing around 300 in practice last week. I have no clue why it was easier. I know that me being tired isn’t a factor because I trained all day in Gasshuku. Maybe it’s because I was mentally stronger during Gasshuku than last week. One of the factors maybe when I was on my meds during Gasshuku and last week I wasn’t. I think it’s a mental factor.

Sempai Diana said that you should be sore after practice. Normally, I don’t get sore and don’t know why is that. (A little later after researching about it) I thought that I wasn’t working hard enough because I normally don’t get sore. I talked to my dad about it. He said it could be because I’m really limber and flexible. Now that I have researched about it, I’m not worried. Professors think that muscles get sore after 24 hours is because of microscopic tears. When the muscle tears, it gets inflamed and causes pain. This type of muscle soreness is called delayed onset muscle soreness. When one uses the muscle more and more, the soreness will abate. I acquired this information from

The thing that made me sore during Gasshuku was kakie. On Friday, I worked with Sempai Art with kakie. Sempai Art is an Asian black belt who has a skinny build and weighs a little less than I weigh. I was familiar with the first kakie that I did with Sempai Art because I did it before with Sempai Amy. It’s where I have to put my hand on the floor while both of my legs are on both sides of my opponent. I didn’t like the second one because I couldn’t land very gracefully. I catch myself with both hands and land on my stomach. I wasn’t very good at that because I didn’t give myself enough time to let go of his leg and catch myself while falling. Twice, I hit my chin on the ground when I fell. The others involved a lot of picking up and setting my Sempai on the ground. I was thankful that Sempai Art was strong enough to lift me up and set me on the ground gently without dropping me. I was surprised that I was strong enough to do that to him. When I land, I have to keep my arm straight and slap the ground when I land. I was keeping bending my elbow when I was slapping. My arms and lower back weren’t used to picking a person up. Therefore, they were sore a day later.

The hold in the last one of the kakie didn’t work for me. It’s where we both are sitting on the ground and my opponent pushes my neck forward while my shoulders are pulled the opposite way. Usually, that makes a person tap out. Sempai Art has never met a person where that hasn’t worked on him or her. He even asked other Sempai to see if he was doing it right. I thought it was cool that a technique didn’t work for me because I’m too flexible. I think that my shoulders are the most flexible parts in my body.

Sempai Marty, a brown belt, had a hard time with me being flexible when we were working on Bunkai Oyo. He didn’t know how to make me tap out. Therefore, he said to pretend it hurts and tap out. During a water break, Sempai Marty told Sensei that I was flexible and slapped my back. Sempai Eric, a brown belt, didn’t have as much as trouble with me as Sempai Marty. When I worked with Sempai Linda, Sempai Kurk, Sempai Valerie, Sempai Mark, and Sempai Tony, they didn’t have any trouble with me at all. My main partners for Bunkai Oyo were Sempai Mark and Sempai Tony. I’m very thankful that I had them for my partners because they were high black belts who were in the first row.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

My first Randori and I broke my foot

Sensei said that we shouldn’t train to the point where we get bloody knuckles. I’m planning never hurting them again by hitting the Makiwara. Once a Sensei from a different city got blood all over a Makiwara and ruined the pad that covered it. It had an illustration of a tiger that had clear tape around it.

I didn’t realize that knuckle push-ups will always hurt. Now that I think about it, I think I realized it when Sempai John told me to ignore the pain when we were doing them together during Gasshuku. I didn’t realize that it hurt him too.

I don’t think I was using a roundhouse at that time. I know that we I practiced once with him when he was telling me what to do. When I was sparring, I never aimed at the head. I was just aiming at his stomach. I know that one time he roundhouse and touched my neck lightly. I’m thinking he either blocked hard when I front snap kicked and broke it. Or he broke it when he tripped me with is sweep kick. I was going for a low kick while all of a sudden he dropped to the ground and swept me off my foot, which made me land on my butt. I remember as time went on, we punched and kicked harder. I don’t know how I broke my foot when I sparred with him. That’s all I remember that has to do any thing that deals with kicking and my feet.

This is what I said on “Last night was my first experience of actually sparring with someone. I loved it and thought that it was really fun. I learned that I need to practice these techniques by myself so I can use them correctly and have good form when I actually spar. Of course, the black belt was really easy on me by not defending and evading all of my strikes. He usually let me attack first. When did attacked me, sometimes I didn’t effectively block his strike because I’m not used to blocking yet and wasn’t expecting it. It did feel good when I got a counter attack in when he attacked me and started blocking all of my moves.”

“I wasn’t expecting to be the only white belt to spar with a black belt last night. As I was sparring with him, the other white belts just stood and watched. I would have thought that Sensei would pick a higher and more experienced white belt to spar with Sempai. When he was teaching us the sparring techniques, I know that I didn’t perform as well as my fellow white belts. My kicks were horrible because I’m so uncoordinated. I wasn’t chambering with my kicks because I wanted to keep up with everybody else. My crescent and sweep kicks were bad because I didn’t make half circles. In addition, many of my kicks were off target. By the end of his lesson, I was slower and performing worse than everybody else because I was so tired. Therefore, I was surprised that Sensei still wanted me to spar with him.”

This is what I said in my journal. “For a good hour, Sempai David taught us sparring moves. It was nice to work with him again. I learned how to do all types of kicks. Most of my kicks stunk. Sensei noticed and yelled at me to chamber. Some of my kicks were way off target. Sempai noticed and tried to correct me. I think we were going too fast because my quality of my technique was bad. Cory was doing better than me! As we were doing that Sensei came up behind me and slapped the top of my shoulders. Of course, that startled me. Sensei corrected and reminded me to be in Sanchin Dachi. Sempai had to remind me to make a circle when I swept kick. When we were done, I was tired. Then Captain David asked me if I Randoried with anyone before. I said that I thought so. Then he said not to break his ribs. We stared to spar. First, he told me what to do and as time when on, I made up my own stuff. However, he was really good. Once he kicked my neck. Another time, I landed on my butt because he swept kicked me and I was kicking him with my other foot. Maybe that’s how he hurt my foot."

"Ever since Tuesday, the top of my right foot has been tender and swollen. Yesterday, it turned really black, blue, and purple near my toes and ankle. Rhea says that it’s still swollen, but I can’t tell. On Thursday, I had it wrapped to keep the swelling down. It didn’t help that I had a big split under one of my toes from athlete’s foot. From sparring, I aqurired the biggest blood blister on my left big toe that I have ever saw. So, my feet hurt for a few days. Anyways, sparring was fun.”