tisdag 28 februari 2012

Regional competition, east coast

Surprisingly enough, I haven't felt much in my hips since the beginning of last week! It just tingles sometimes as a reminder that there is still something there, and I'm not rid of it just yet. I've done my strength training on Sunday and today, Tuesday. Last training for this week will be in Thursday. Because this weekend five of us are going to Sarpsborg, south east of Oslo, for a regional competition!

I'm tagging along as coach for our three participants, while our sensei is going to be a judge. This is my first time doing some real coaching, and first competition for four of us outside our own region. We're going to sleep in the organising clubs dojo to save some money.

The trip will take between 5-6 hours, depending on the traffic and the schedule of the ferry we have to take. That leaves us a lot of time to discuss everything before the competition on Saturday.

This trip will be really fun, and I hope all of our participants do well in the competition. Hopefully this will spark some more interest for competitions in our club!

söndag 26 februari 2012

Winter vacation

Well, the dojo is closed next week due to school being closed for winter vacations. This leaves a good opportunity to take a small break from karate and just focus on strength training, and maybe some running if the weather permits and if it's not too cold. Since I've had some setbacks with the hips the past few weeks this is a welcomed mini break to just do something else for a week.

Though I'm surprised to say that the troubles I had last week are almost gone now. It just started stinging a little bit last night on both sides, it was hardly noticeable. I'm taking this as a sign that I'm soon rid of this annoying injury!

Today's strength exercises will be a test to see if it comes back or not.

Picture by: Sofia Danielsson

tisdag 21 februari 2012

Warming up

Just as important as stretching after training is the importance of warming up before training.

I have recently been going to the dojo on Mondays to help out with the children and youth trainings. And almost after every one of these evenings I have gotten some trouble with my side muscle on the left hip (remember it started with an injury on the right hip). When I've held beginner classes, or when I've trained myself, I have never gotten this problem. And I think it's because on these days I have always met up about 20-30 minutes earlier to warm up and prepare the right muscles for training.

Since this problem has occurred several times now the past few weeks I called up my chiropractor. I got told to continue to cool down the left side after training, to see if the body corrects this itself. Otherwise I will have to book a visit on Monday next week.

What I have started doing recently as warm up are a few of the techniques Raik Tietze went through on his visit. So I do a lot of rotation exercises to start up my obliques. I also do some light fist hammering on my obliques, back and seat muscles to start them up. Afterwards I walk a bit back and forth in zenkutsu dachi, and if time allows I do one or two kata and really think over my stances and techniques. This gives me a pretty good over all warm up before the actual training starts without me becoming too tired to train.

Hopefully these troubles will end soon and I will be able to train like normal without me having to use my icepack several times after training.

Picture by: Eivor Mathilde

torsdag 16 februari 2012

Guest trainers

Last night three of us instructors went over to a local athlete school to be guest trainers. We held three sessions, the two first were for kids below 12 years. Last session was the smallest one with only six 12 year olds.

The first two parties got to try out some punching, blocks and kicks, mixed up with a few games. At the end of the first party I performed the kata Bassai Dai, just to show them something a bit more fancy than what they got to try out themselves. I can still not believe how nervous I was doing that kata in front of those kids, they don't know if I mess up!

Since the last party was such a small group and only boys, we did some alternate training where they got to kick their partner with control. They were all really good, and showed us that they had control and seemed to have a good time trying out martial arts.

All of the kids did a really good job, and I was impressed with their efforts. Lets just hope that they found it to be a fun training and that some of them might want to take up karate next semester.

lördag 11 februari 2012

Learning Useishi kata, plus physical strength

As you have probably guessed by now, I prefer training kata and techniques before kumite. I like the preciseness and the concentration in kata, and I love perfecting every technique.

One day when I was sick last spring, I brought my camera to training and filmed my sensei teaching the kata Useishi. I had totally forgotten about it until recently. So today, this boring Saturday afternoon, I decided to learn it.

(I apologise for the poor sound quality, but that's the reality of having to share a hall with ball bouncers...)

This kata is one of the highest ones in the Shorin Ryu Shobayashi system

It went fairly easy, even though it's hard to do a kata in a small apartment I have at least learned the pattern and the order of the techniques. I am now looking forward to improving it and learning the right speed, pauses and kiais.

On a side note, I have since the beginning of January gained a little over 1 kg in weight. I can feel that my muscles has become firmer and I can more easily stand in lower stances than before.

I am a little freaked out how fast it's going. What I can recall, I have never weighed more than 53 kg. I don't want it to go too fast, because I want to gain weight by muscles not fat. Right now I probably weigh around 52.5 kg.

But it feels good, and I have more energy for training now. Not just in the dojo, but during the off-days as well.

Weight: 52.5 kg

tisdag 7 februari 2012

My sparring

For being a brown belt I'm very weak at kumite, I prefer the kata and technique bit of karate. But during a self defence course last semester we had some sparring sessions that I actually felt was fun, and I dared to actually go in and hit or kick my sparring partner with control. I think it helped that I did most of the sparring with my sensei, as she is about the same size as me.

During the sparring we were standing in punching distance and were throwing all kinds of light punches to the head and body, and light kick to the legs and between the legs. This might not sound as a good way to get confidence in sparring, but it actually helped for me! This helped me to dare go in to clinches during my brown belt exam, I've never done that before!

But it's not easy to come back to that confidence for me in the club I'm in. I'm the smallest and weakest grown up in the club, and going against mostly big men does not help. I need to trust my sparring partner that he or she won't hurt me.

At the Iain Abernethy seminar in December, we did a lot of bunkai from the Pinan- kata system. During this weekend my partner was a strong and stale male, a bit higher than myself. We went into a lot of different clinching scenarios. My partner was a good listener and tried to do the techniques on a level that we both were comfortable with. I had never met this man before, as he trains in Vågsbygd. But he was a very good sparring partner.

I have never been good at sparring, but I always try to do my best. And I have improved over the years, at least technically.

Last spring I participated in the SKAN- championship. In the first kumite bout I went against a former Norwegian champion. That fight ended in hikiwake (0-0), and the judges had to do a hantei (vote). No suprise she won with 4 votes against 1. But I was very happy that I was able to protect myself that well that she couldn't take any points on me.

So my guts in sparring needs to improve, I need to dare to do techniques without getting scared to get hit. I need to be able to protect myself during counter attacks.

Picture from http://www.grimstadkarate.no/

torsdag 2 februari 2012

Quick update on injury

As I have told in previous posts, I struggle with some muscle injuries around my right hip. But after this Tuesdays training I have started to feel the same symptoms in my left hip muscles. I took it a bit easy with the kicks on that side today, but it's hard to do so as I really like doing kata in full speed.

I will take it easy during the weekend but will try to do my strength exercises. If it hasn't improved or gone away by Monday I will give my chiropractor a call to see what she says.

This is really frustrating since I'm starting to feel better in my right hip, and now it seems to have jumped over to the other side!

Seems like I have to learn to be more patient...

onsdag 1 februari 2012

Raik Tietze

Yesterday we got a visit from basic training expert and Jiu Jitsu world champion Raik Tietze. He taught us loads of good strength exercises for warming up hips, side muscles and legs, and also strength and activation exercises for both dynamic and static movements.

To learn our body to move correctly we need to tell the nervous system to activate the right muscle when we do different techniques and exercises.

A few of those exercises I had gotten from my chiropractor to practice. But a lot of them were new for all of us, even for one of our instructors who has trained martial art for over 10 years.

Not many of them felt hard to do, but today I can say my muscles are a bit stiff. I must have activated the right muscles as I don't have any excessive troubles with my hip muscles today! Though I still have some soreness from this weekend...

We had a great turn up last night, 22 karateka's met up to participate in this "once in a lifetime event", as my sensei put it :)

Pictures from www.grimstadkarate.no