Log in

Archive for June, 2003


June 30th, 2003 by

saturday was the IWKA tournament, in dallas.
friday afternoon was the seminar with master shimabuku (who is actually apparently going to the dojos in berkeley this week – if i had chosen the other schedule, i could have seen him there as well, oh well).

anyway, the seminar was neat. the tournament was….enlightening. it was very obvious that the various sets of judges were scoring (mostly) for…i don’t quite know. speed. power. i really felt like they were looking much less for artistry and elegance and understanding. although i do suppose that with speed and power it is somewhat easiser to look like you are actually fighting someone.

all of our senseis did sai kata, and basically got smacked down in the scoring. the greatest majority of the other dan ranks did bo or tonfa kata, both of which look much flashier. dave also did bo kata, but his performance was mostly just ok (i’ve personally seen him do it better).

in the open hand kata,they also didn’t much like our senseis. i guess they weren’t flashy enough (same goes for my performance). dave did what i would swear was his best ever performance of sanchin kata. unfortunately, this kata involves a lot of sanchin breathing, aka, slowness and controlled breathing and whatnot. and the judges didn’t like it much. jake was doing really well, but messed up a bit. for all that, he scored ok. steve they liked, he got 3rd in his division (despite also making a mistake, which he almost didn’t show. he got 2 really high scores, who are the ones we think didn’t notice). in my division though, it was cool, katherine did her kata (seiuchin) , which, as we do it, also has a lot of slow bits. i was sitting there thinking “damn, she looks good. but i bet the judges won’t like it. she’s too graceful” much to my surprise and pleasure, they scored her really high, and she won 2nd.

sparring is sparring. a lot of the people were kind of out of control. our two senseis who sparred, well, let’s just say that in the black belt divisions, you get some crazy people, and they just lost on points in the first match. steve lost his bout, although this sort of hyper guy he was sparring was getting kind of freaked by steve being unflappable. but steve still got third in his division, on points.

jake won two straight bouts on points, lost his third, got 3rd in *his* division. way to go. he was doing really really well for his rank. his comment “if you come at my head screaming, i say , hmm, you seem to be screaming and attacking my head. well, i block and punch you. point!” katherine was taking it easy and lost her bout. this also was my division, of course. i won my first bout easy, 3-0, although we did get tangled at one point and i took a fairly heavy fall, which was fine except for the jamming of the finger. but then i lost my second, 3-1, although, meh, i wasn’t going for headshots at all, i’m leery of hurting people, but whatever, i still got 2nd.

the best part, really though, was talking to all my clubmates about everything and everybody we saw there. that was really great. we all love the karate we do, and analyzing it and why we do it , and what exactly we and others do really makes the day.

Edited to add a pic of Banks-sensei. Most of the pics I took are garbage, but I do love this one:

annabarr: Misc &emdash; Sitting

holy grapefruit

June 24th, 2003 by

i went up to the bronson caves in griffith park this morning. my intelligence on the matter informed me that they used to film a lot of tv up there, notably the batman television series. so i go up, and…they are prepping for a tv shoot. for this new series called monk? or something. not that i watch tv. anyway, the tech guys don’t care, cause, well, they’re tech guys, and it is also public land.

so, there is this trail from the caves (which are more or less at the bottom of a quarry) to the top of the quarry. a very steep trail. which i don’t see at first, so i begin to bushwhack my way up the hill. silly me, i turn to look behind me, and see the real trail, behind where i had come in, so i hadn’t noticed it. also, please note that i had forgotten my boots in the other car, so i was attempting to hike in my sandals, which normally wouldn’t be a problem.

but… this hillside was entirely loose dirt and rock. i get maybe a third of the way up, and then with every step i feel the hillside trying to give way under me. hmmm. after attempting to sort of go around to the side, i give up in utter failure, and crab walk back down the slope on my feet and ass, slowly scootching down the hillside to a point where i feel i can safely walk. at which point i promptly slip 🙂 anyway, something to try again with real boots and trekking poles. not certain i could usefully have gotten up that any other way (other than grasping for my life at all sorts of plants which have developed all sorts of mechanisms in order for me not to do that, namely , sharp bits).

Edited to add : filming at Bronson Caves!

annabarr: BronsonCaves &emdash; PathDown
View down to the overall crew

annabarr: BronsonCaves &emdash; Backdrop
This is how you shoot inside, I suppose


June 22nd, 2003 by

went walking/hiking in tilden park with liana.

parked up at inspiration point, and did a loop hike of:
(according to the map thing)

nimitz way –> bay area ridge trail –> east bay skyline trail –> peak trail (w/minor detour to peak) –> sylvan trail –> loop road –> some pavement –> wildcat gorge trail –> curran trail –> car.

for a total of ~5.1 miles, with a major guesstimate of ~600 ft of elevation gain. the peak of wildcat mountain is at 1211′.

all the trails in the part are short. i kept looking at the map and expecting things to be much longer, cause i am used to the maps from the white mountain guide 😉 the trails here are packed dirt (with amazing networks of cracks in places, due to contraction), and are nice and easy to walk, very much unlike white mountain hiking trails.

if i drive, i can get places

June 20th, 2003 by

went to workouts with wren-sensei on tuesday and thursday, and to heath-sensei’s dojo on tuesday. working with the kids always impresses me. while there are some things you cannot really do with them, it is very surprising just how much you *can* do. even most of the mental aspects. oddly enough, some of the stuff you can’t really work on is more physical, because their bodies are just too young, and they’ll have to relearn how to do stuff at puberty again anyway.

heath-sensei has really hard workouts, which is kind of a intriguing contrast to his more laid back, informal style. less of “hai, sensei!” and in fact, even less use of “sensei” and bowing a lot and what not. i’m not certain how i feel about that. i think a surfeit of formalism can be irritating and stifling, otoh, i think a good amount of it helps grow the proper (imo) atmosphere of mutual respect.

meh. hopefully i will be able to keep working out on my own to prepare for the tournament 🙂

yesterday walked around lake anza in tilden regional park. maybe a mile, maybe a tad more, no longer than that. flat, just around the lake. but quite pleasant nonetheless. saw a heron, and a cool turtle, and many ducks. and although the lake does have a (pay) swimming beach, carl-sensei was saying that it is really kind of grody and he wouldn’t really swim in it, so i don’t feel bad about missing my chance to swim.

today, i was hunting down a place that nim said had good guacamole. i’m not certain i found the right place, but the guacamole was pretty decent. anyway, i wanted to do something else, so i looked up hikes, and found one that was approximately 5 minutes from there. the phyllis ellman loop trail in the ring mountain (“mountain”) preserve. nice and short. 3 miles total, 600′ elevation gain, took me 1hr12. wonderful views of both bays. saw a snake that slithered away when it saw me, a happy lizard, more dragonflies than in the rest of my life total, and some amazing california wildlowers. that is all.

Edited to add – here is a snap from working out with Wren-Sensei and the kids, and a couple from walking around.

annabarr: Wren Sensei's Dojo &emdash; 117-1769_IMG
Kids messing around

annabarr: Lake Anza &emdash; turtle
Turtle at Lake Anza

annabarr: Ring Mountain &emdash; 117-1779_IMG
View from up on Ring Mountain


June 15th, 2003 by

karate sched changed, so there was class tuesday and wednesday, also saturday. that’s about it, other than biking hither and yon.


June 11th, 2003 by

this is easier if i do it daily. ah well.

swam on monday, 1000 yards. i only really do crawl and breaststroke, interspersed with using the kickboard and leg floaty thing (ie, restricting your use to your legs and your arms, respectively). i actually feel like i might be improving my strokes a little, which is good. no swimming this week though, cause the pool is closed. 😛

karate yesterday. more of the same. my kata is progressing reasonably. matt gave me some more good comments which i hope to be able to incorporate today. one of the things i want to work on the most is to just pick a speed to perform the kata it, and stick to it. i rush when i’m performing for judges, and then go too slow when i’m just doing it for commentary. and i need to work a couple of my stances more. but it seems to be progressing.

i wonder if wren-sensei and heath-sensei in berkeley will have anything to say about it. especially wren-sensei. she is amazing!

a bit more rare

June 7th, 2003 by

friday in brief, was gorgeous. i biked 12-13 miles, i think. out with yak to the minuteman, and a couple miles down it, then i turned back. i chose to come back along the new fresh pond bit of bike path, which was exceedingly nice. later went sailing a bit. the person before us had messed up one of the knots in the ropes attaching the boat, so we had to wait a bit for people with pliers (!) to come and undo it. but then out on the water, nice and relaxed….

today, karate. matt basically sat me down and told me what i have been saying, that i need to keep just a bit more control, in light of the upcoming tournament. so, i have this huge bruise. (of which i may post a photo later, just for posterity). but apparently, when sparring with dimitri, i ran into a kick of his hard enough to fracture one of his toes 🙁 🙁 🙁 major suck. i certainly didn’t mean too, and dammit! since i had to wear pads, he should have as well. both with no pads, or both with pads, but the dynamic of mixed sparring is just wrong. and, and, and, yeah.

but after class today i stayed to watch a sho-dan testing for american jiu-jitsu, which was testing 3 people, including ken clary. well, not testing, a promotional, but grueling either way. really really neat to watch. i could see aspects of both the karate and the aikido i know, with whole lots of other stuff as well. and there were even some funny bits! when someone is trying to mug you, one of the things you want to do is sort of back away and talk them up and make them think you are harmless before you go for it. watching this is simulation is fairly entertaining. one of the sets had them being “attacked” twice in a fairly small period of time, and one of the guys was all “hey, dude, back off, didn’t you just attack me 2 seconds ago…?”

anyway, was all good.

thinking about technique

June 5th, 2003 by

wednesday. another half mile warmup run. then karate class. then swimming with miss hu (1000 yds).

karate, you know, class. i got some good chances to offer some commentary and help, and also time to work on my own stuff. comments matt made to me after last class about my kata for the tournament were really helpful and let me make a couple of big changes. apparently i would start with good focus on techniques, but as i would do them, my attention would drift to my techniques. so, when i went through the kata deliberately trying to avoid that, i had this amazing moment of “wow! i can see much less of my techniques!!”. this was kind of neat, as i totally hadn’t realized i was doing it, and this was nice affirmation that i was now doing it better.

we also practiced sparring again. i do actually seem to be getting better, at least better than when i started , a year and a half ago or so. we don’t really practice all that often normally, so this higher level of practice is good. dimitri punched very well at my arm though at one point, i have a giant dark bruise this morning to show for it. but i did very well, i beat both him and james. sparring with james (a yellow belt) was kind of interesting. he is quite good for his beginning level, all things being equal, but from my vaunted quasi-intermediate type level, i very much felt like i was much more aware of what was going on in our bout. not that i was necessarily in *control* of it, not the way the senseis can be, but i was actually in control of what i was doing, and responding fairly well to what he was doing, such that i actually responded to opportunities and scored well that way.

annabarr: Wounds &emdash; Bruise

Edited to add – and here is that bruise I received. Yeesh. In the karate club I go to now, we only spar with pads. That’s some bruise! (I think this is the same bruise) 11/23/2013

mostly martial arts

June 2nd, 2003 by

saturday may 31, karate. class was class. we also did practice sparring for the tournament. we had to wear pads, which we never do in class. they make you all sweaty and nasty and they take away half your techniques. blergh. guess i should get used to them for the next month at least though.

my sparring style peeves me. although i am told it will be quite effective for the tournament, (lisa says most of the middle ranked women are kind of…hesitant. that , at least, i’m not), i really don’t feel like i’m in complete control of what i’m doing. i mean, mushin notwithstanding, you don’t want to just be throwing things and flailing. you want to be responding faster than you can think, but *responding*, ideally, not just waving in the air. *sigh*. practice helps though.

and then nothing sunday, due to torrential rain.

today i felt like a complete slackass. but then the evening happened. so, half mile run, karate class, then aikido class. all mostly good i would say. i got some good commentary for my kata for the tournament. i also got to teach a fair bit in karate, which i like a lot. i’m working really hard on excising the bits that piss me off when others teach. dunno how successful i’m being (notably the tendency to overexplain. and overdemonstrate. some is good, you have to have some. but it doesn’t take all that much to become condescending, which i hate). aikido also fun. i really like the way you rotate partners. i am starting to know that when i work with various people, what kind of different things i will get out of it. who is a little more diffident, and who will throw me across the mat 😉
funfun. so damn hungry now. lates, y0.