Tag Archive | Clinic

Whirlwind Weekend in Texas

Twelve hours in the Ninja Bus. 38 hours in Bryan, TX. Twelve more hours in the bus.

Energy drinks, stinky beef jerky, a DDD BBQ joint, numerous truck stops, missing our turn in Waco, almost getting stuck in the DQ bathroom, spastic noise I can’t call music, laughing til we cried, discovering I still have a “safety stripe” on my black belt, and always feeling safe because I travel with “bodyguards.”

Desperate measures to avoid the beef jerky stink.

We looked for armadillos on the roadside, but the only ones we saw were fuzzy replicas at the truck stop. I watched for Walker, Texas Ranger to ride by on his horse but he didn’t show. Even better, I got a lesson in knife defense from a real-life county investigator.

I discovered greens, ate smoked bologna and mysterious boudin balls for the first time. I had alligator, not for the first time. In case you’re wondering, it tastes like chicken. I passed on the pork skins, but devoured brisket and strawberry banana cake.

I reconnected with old friends and made new ones. Including a volunteer at the military museum who wouldn’t stop following me.

Working Hanshi Baker’s Finger Lock Flow.

I worked a finger lock flow, practiced increasing my reach, reviewed bunkai, and tried new things. I saw a well-respected martial artist honored by many who love him. I learned on the mat alongside the masters of our art. I felt privileged. I was privileged.

It was a whirlwind of a weekend, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

All Aboard the Ninja Bus!

I’m getting excited! Tomorrow morning we’re loading up Renshi’s Ninja Bus and heading to Texas for the 3rd Annual ABBA Black Belt Retreat.

I’ve never been to this retreat, so I’m really looking forward to it. Master Instructors for the weekend include: Hanshi Dan Kennedy (the head of my system, the USKK), Hanshi Roger Greene, Hanshi Ken Baker, Hanshi Ron Rogers, and Hanshi Ray Montoya. Some of these 9th & 10th degree black belts will be sitting on the board at my black belt test next month, so it’ll be good for me to have more exposure to them. Hanshi Montoya is sponsoring the clinic at his dojo, Montoya’s Shorin Kempo Karate.  

Not only am I excited about the instructors and clinic sessions, but the trip should be a blast! What’s so fun about spending 12 hours — each way — trapped in a vehicle with Renshi and Captain Random? Once the energy drinks are guzzled, you never know what the topic of conversation will be!

Captain Random and I know that if we can get Renshi to laugh really, REALLY hard, he’ll laugh so hard he cries, and then he’ll have to pull the car over until he can see again.

How did we figure that out? We got him laughing so hard in Colorado Springs a couple of years ago that he had to pull over on the mountain road on the way to the Royal Gorge. Since there isn’t a shoulder to pull off on, that meant when we pulled to the side and stopped, all traffic following us had to stop, too. And that was only one of the times he had to stop driving that weekend!

I’m expecting a great weekend of both laughter and tears, along with some great instruction.

All aboard the Ninja Bus!