Tag Archive | Pink Gis and Painted Nails

Hai!

You know you’re a martial artist when…

You’re in new hire orientation and the presenter asks, “Make sense?”

And you answer, “Hai!”

Then quickly look around to see if anyone notices you don’t remember simple English words.

Advertisements

Nidan Test Tonight!

Tonight is our annual USKK Black Belt Test and I’m up for Nidan in Okinawan Karate.

Am I ready? Nope!

Am I surprised? Nope! As I’ve said before, I’ve rarely been 100% for ANY of my tests. It’s usually circumstances (workload mostly!) more than anything else. Sometimes nerves are a contributing factor but usually it’s physical issues and most often it’s exhaustion.

I know my material. I’m not worried about that. I’ve gone over it many, many times and it’s in my head. I may forget a thing or two like I did last time, but I’ll just keep going and kiah really loud.  😉

My challenge this time? I’ve been fighting exhaustion – mental and physical – for a couple of weeks and can’t seem to catch up with myself. And the last 2-3 days I’ve been fighting a slight stomach bug. It’s probably partly due to my exhaustion level, but the cause doesn’t really matter. The test is tonight, and I’ll be there.

Tonight is when I hope the Nidan candidates don’t have to stay on the floor the whole time with the Shodan candidates. 🙂 I’d rather not do all the basics up and down the floor, along with the random push-ups if someone forgets something or “just because.” You never know how it’s going to go, since it changes from test to test.

Whatever happens, I’ll be there. And I’ll be giving what Kyoshi always asks us to give. 100% of whatever I’ve got. It might be 100% of 80%, or 100% of 50%, but I’ll give it all! Maybe the energy drink before the test will give me a little more oomph? Let’s hope so!

 

 

 

Dirty, Filthy Obi

What is the dirtiest thing in my karate bag? Hands down, it HAS to be my obi (belt), and in particular, the kanji end of my belt!

Black BeltEvery time I get dressed I grab the end of the belt that has my name on it, hold it against my waist, and drop the rest of the belt on the locker room floor. Then as I wrap my gi around my waist again and again, the end of the obi draaags across the floor before the end flicks up and I knot it.

I’ve done this twice a week for 6 years, the last 2 with my black belt, and it took until last week for me to actually realize what I was doing. GROSS!!

How many germs live on that obi? Since we don’t wash our obi I guess the germs will just stay. Or maybe my karate mojo is terrifying to germs and they’ve all fled? Ha!

I toyed with the idea of spraying my obi with antibacterial stuff or with Lysol but I think I’ll wait until after my black belt test – just in case it makes bleach spots or something.  🙂

Has anyone else cleaned their obi? What did you use?

Belly Full of Fat

90 minutes of karate on a belly full of fat. Blurgh.

I knew I should have eaten a salad at lunch but a burger sounded just too good. We went to a Mom & Pop burger place that I’ve heard about for years, but never tried.

Burger with bacon, jack cheese and Cajun sauce. Side of onion rings. Order of deep fried pickles. I don’t think I’ve had that much fried food in one sitting in 20+ years! But let me just say this: It was fabulous! These people know how to fry things perfectly. PERFECTLY! Crispy, perfectly browned, and not greasy at all. I’m a former food and beverage manager, a pretty good cook, and a really good eater so trust me when I say it was perfect. I wouldn’t lie to you!

Well guess what? I know this will surprise you. It wasn’t the best meal before a workout! I paid for it in class tonight! I knew it wasn’t going to be my best night when I was warming up and it didn’t get better as class wore on. I felt like I was sweating grease out of my pores and my stomach was lurching. I’m proud to say I made it through class – both open hand and weapons. At times I had my doubts, and at times it wasn’t pretty, but I made it! 

When it was all said and done I told Kyoshi I should probably kiss his feet for not running us up and down the floor during basics. I got lucky because tonight wasn’t a cardio class. Tonight was a bit more stationary, as we moved right into self-defense drills. All I can say to that is Thank Goodness!! If it had been a cardio class I’m pretty sure I would have had a problem.  🙂

So lesson learned? Yes, I think so. Next time skip either the fried pickles or the fried onion rings. Hahaha!! Maybe I didn’t learn my lesson well enough? Nah, I think I did. Heavy, fried foods may be delish but that belly full of fat isn’t good fuel for a workout!

Let’s hope this isn’t a lesson I soon forget, but put enough tasty food in front of me and who knows what’ll happen.  🙂

Oh, and what did I have for dinner? Fried chicken and tater tots!! OK, just kidding. That doesn’t even sound good. I had a little deli turkey, a few grape tomatoes, and a banana to offset the cramps in my legs. Maybe I am learning!

My Own Personal Trainers

Lots of athletes would  be thrilled to have their very own personal trainer. I have three! My son is a trainer specializing in working with golfers, and I’ve also got two four-legged trainers. They’re furry and adorable, and SO helpful when I work out!Riley and Romeo

My family got Riley, our spaniel, for me because I thought having a dog would get my butt off the couch and outside walking. I was right! Riley has gotten used to nightly walks, which is great when I get home by 8 p.m. and not so great when I don’t get home until 10-ish. We’ve taken some late walks!

What I didn’t realize when I got Riley was how um, encouraging he’d be during my workouts! He stares at me when I’m on the elliptical, puts his face between mine and the mat when I’m doing push ups, and tries to climb up in my lap when I’m doing wall sits. His extra 40 pounds makes those wall sits even more of a challenge!

Nap time!

Training Mom is exhausting. Time for a nap!

Now Riley has an assistant. My son got a puppy on Valentine’s Day. Romeo doesn’t quite have it down yet, but he’s learning fast. Tonight I was trying to hold side planks while Romeo licked my face. And licked. And licked. Lucky me – I had to do both sides, so my face is really clean!

I texted my son: There should be bonus points for holding side planks while your puppy licks my face!
Son: That’s the bonus for working out. Duh!

Yes, duh!  🙂

Prepping for Black Belt Class

Tomorrow is Saturday and Saturday means Black Belt Class. At the crack of dawn. 8:00. In the MORNING! Crazy.

I have never been a morning person. Ever. It’s hard enough to get my brain going early in the morning (and usually I don’t even try), much less get my body moving. I’m not coherent before mid-morning.

So how does a girl who rarely makes it to work before 8:30/8:45ish manage to attend an 8 am class? I bet my boss is wondering the same thing! I don’t think she reads my blogs so this will stay just between us.  😉

It’s all in the prep! Before I go to bed I will choose what I’m wearing for class, as well as what I’m wearing for the commute. I’ll lay out exactly what goes on my body after my shower and pack everything else in my gym bag.

Sadly, even this plan isn’t fail proof, as one time I got to the dojo and didn’t have my gi, but Hanshi was kind enough to lend me one of his. I was hoping for some 9th Degree Black Belt mojo in that borrowed gi but that morning I learned the mojo is in the person, not the cotton. 🙂

I’ll put my gym bag, weapons and water jug at the top of the stairs so I don’t leave without them. I really am that muzzy in the morning! If I didn’t put things where I’d trip over them, they’d be left behind. Tonight I’ll pack a couple of snacks for the morning and put protein powder in the shaker. Blended protein shakes take an extra 5 minutes, which is asking a bit much of me in the morning so I’ll have the not-so-tasty shaken shake.

Before I go to bed I’ll set my usual 3 alarms – 1 with music, 2 with annoying tones. Speaking of annoying tones, it might be time to change those up; I’m becoming immune to them. And then I will attempt to go to bed earlier than my normal 11:30 pm and please, please, please beg the sleep fairy to visit.

Tomorrow, when all 3 alarms have gone off and I’ve hit all the Snooze buttons too many times, I’ll drag my butt out of bed, take a shower so I can be clean before I get all sweaty, pop some Aleve and slurp a protein shake on the way to the dojo. I’ll be Little Miss Sunshine when I arrive, and all the other students will be joyous to see me! Well, maybe “joyous” is a bit too enthusiastic, but hey – a girl can hope, right?

Now that I read all that, it seems like a LOT of work just to over-exert myself at some crazy-early hour! But it’s two months to my next Black Belt Test and I need the extra workout. Just to make sure I get there, I’ve got some incentives. After class I’ll reward myself with a pedi and a massage on Sunday. And maybe a nap. Most likely a nap!

Brown Belt in Okinawan Kobujitsu!

Brown Belt in Weapons!

Kyoshi awarding my certificate.

Last night I earned my 3rd brown belt in Okinawan Kobujitsu (Weapons). Yea!

I did OK but I didn’t do great. I have lots to work on before I test for black! I could use some time in front of a mirror so I can see where my weapons are when I manipulate them, so I’ll be spending some time at the hombu for that. We don’t have mirrors where we train. Or mats, but that’s a different story.  😉

A couple of weeks ago Kyoshi asked me if I thought I was ready to test. I wasn’t sure and said so, then asked what he thought. Kyoshi said he needed to see me run through my weapons again before deciding.

In my opinion my tonfa kata was fine and my sai kata was fine – up to a point close to the end which confused me for some dumb reason. I was having trouble keeping the bo katas straight, though, and couldn’t remember the name of any of the katas for the life of me!

After my talk with Kyoshi I spent the weekend studying. I worked the bo katas in my basement using my broken bo. I stabbed myself a couple of times and scraped up my arms with the broken end, so I might have to sand that down if I’m going to do that more often!

I worked one kata repeatedly until I thought I had it, then I moved on to the next one. I attached the names of the kata to the actual katas. I even made a cheat sheet of a few moves in two of the katas where I was mixing up the moves. Amazing how much that cheat sheet helped!

While I was studying that weekend I discovered that for the most part, I knew the katas. I’d done them many, many times in class. I just needed to focus on them one at a time, with no distractions, and do them again and again. The names just needed to be refreshed in my brain and that didn’t take long.

And on Monday I went to class and showed Kyoshi my kata. I surprised him by knowing the names of all of them! And then I waited for his decision on whether I was going to test or not. I was very excited to hear my practice paid off! I would test!

So last night was my test. I remembered my kata, I remembered the names, and I passed! Whee!!! OK, celebration over. Time to get back to work!