söndag 25 mars 2012

The Contract

When my sensei gets committed, she gets committed!

In the car on our way back from the Regional East Competition she convinced me that we should each write a contract for ourselves that should contain how much we plan to train and our diet.

But since my sensei always has too much to do at any given time, it took a while before we wrote anything. But in the car on our way to and from the Norwegian Championship we managed to write the letters. I believe my senseis letter became about 1 page long, while mine is at half a page.

This is due to me already having a routine on most things. So I don't really need a reminder to take my vitamins or take long walks with the dog. Might be that I need a reminder the day I get a job...

Though I'm still not that good at eating my veggies, so that I had to add on the list.

The plan is to have these contracts and let each other know how we're doing, if we are cheating or if we're not able to commit to everything that we have put down, and also give each other support.

My contract:
* Eat fish once a week, to begin with.
* Have some sort of vegetable to each meal (like arugola, avocado or frijoles fritas).
* Exchange white pasta with whole grain pasta.
* After a time, the 2 rice portions that are made can be divided in to 3 portions as the meal portion will contain more vegetables.

* The training plan is just for starters to see that the body functions as it should and to built up a routine that can be sustainable for a longer period of time. It is also to build up cardio and over all strength. The program can be expanded with desired type of training.
* Karate twice a week.
* Strength exercise program once a week.
* Running once a week.

Although I have been doing my strength exercises almost every week since January, it's good to have it on the list. Maybe I will be able to expand it to twice a week? I will definitely have to build a separate program for when the dojo is closed during the summer, and also try to go training at the other club's summer training.

But let me know what you think about this contract in the comments. Is it a good idea? What would you put down on your list?

Picture from www.grimstadkarate.no

onsdag 21 mars 2012

Being a judge at the Norwegian Championship

For being a judge at my first competition, I must say it went fairly well. And the people at the kata and kumite tatamis really tried to help and gave me assignment that I could handle without trying to throw me in the deep end.

The day started early with a breakfast at the hotel at 7 am. The bus left the hotel for the competition at 8 am, and we were up and running with the kata competition at 9 am. My assignment here was to write up the winner of each bout and write up what kata everyone performed. It was fairly easy, at least the times I could hear what kata was announced. Not every karateka was good at announcing and a few times none of us judges or referees could hear the name. Why I had to write down the katas is so that if the karateka performs the same kata that person will be disqualified. Luckily no one did that mistake.

Around 11 am it was time for the walk in of all the competitors. All of us judges/referees lined up and clapped in the rythm of the music while all the clubs lined up behind us. Afterwards we walked in a single line and lined up behind all the competitors, and sang the Norwegian national anthem.

After this the kumite started. And I must say, I never thought I would be allowed to sit and flag as much as I did. I thought I would have to sit at the secretariat to observe mostly, and maybe taking a stab at filling out the forms and controlling the clock.

But they actually let me sit and flag for about 4-5 bouts at a time before they switched me out. I probably sat as a judge for 5 or 6 sessions. Thanks to this I learned a lot. I did a few errors, but I always asked if there was something I was wondering about.

Our tatami manager was brilliant, he was really bringing up the morale when we were getting a bit tired in the head and gave us feedback on how to approve and what was good about what we were doing. And he really made an effort to send everyone to lunch, but sadly forgot to send himself.

At the end of the day, my head was really tired and I asked to sit at the secretariat and handle the clock. This is a very good position as I could watch the bout, see the referees commands, and also have a dialogue with the person filling out the forms.

It seems like the veterans was impressed with our work, and they were all really supportive with trying to teach us noobs.

At the end of the competition they had something they called super finals, which means a few chosen finals were saved to the end of the day. We got to see the finals in senior female and male kata, senior female shobu ippon, two weight classes of full contact, senior female and male WKF- karate (can't remember what weight classes they were). In the male WKF-karate final we got to see Steffen Larsen, famous from the TV-program "Norges Beste Fighter".

Later that evening all of us judges from the club attended the banquet. At the end of the evening me and my sensei got stuck at the bar talking to a few of the kyokushin kai judges. We had a lot of fun, talking karate, comparing a few techniques. We didn't get back to our hotel until half 4 in the morning.

I must say, being at the Norwegian Championship to be a judge for the first time was a really good experience. We got to see how everything really works, without adjusting the rules as they sometimes do at local competitions. And I think everyone of us learned a lot during this weekend.

Picture by: Sofia Danielsson

måndag 12 mars 2012

Shorin Ryu Championship

It's been a while since I wrote last. I planned to write a summary from the weekend on Sunday, but I caught something at the competition and have been lying down for a couple of days with a soar throat and fever.

The competition went well. We had 27 participants in different ages, and contributed with five judges. I myself participated in my kata class (females above 16 years, 1 kyu - 1 dan). We only had three participants in this class, including me. So I did Bassai Dai, lost the round and got in third place.

The rest of the day I represented the club as coach. It was really stressful keeping track of all the boys in their class, making sure they wore the right colour, if they were through to the next round etcetera. We got in third place both in kata and kumite in the youth class. For almost everyone not having been at a competition before, they were really brave and did a very good job in their classes.

The other classes were a bit more manageable, as we didn't have that many participants. Samir did a really good job in his cadet class and took third place.

We had three yellow belts participating that are not so used to competitions yet, but for being beginners they hung in there and did their best in all their rounds. They even participated in the kumite team class, and took second place. There were only two teams though.

I'm still not used to coaching, it's something I have to practice on. Now, thinking back, I think I'm yelling out too many instructions during a bout. I don't know if this is because our participants aren't that skilled in competitions or if I'm stressed and trying to make them do everything at once. It's something to reflect about and take with me in other competitions.

This weekend it's the Norwegian Championship, and four of us from the club is going to participate as judges. This is my first time as a judge at a competition and should be interesting. I'll have to read through the rules a couple of times before Friday, and I guess we'll have to quiz each other in the car on our way up there.

Picture from www.grimstadkarate.no

måndag 5 mars 2012

Regional competition, east coast 2

This Saturday we had three participants in the Regional East Competition in kumite. Samir was in the cadet class while the other two, Dan Are and Kim, ended up in the Senior +75kg class. Kim was supposed to be in the recruit class, but the only other participant had withdrawn from the competition. I was trying myself out as a coach for the first time, and Maren sensei got to be both Judge and Referee during the competition.

During the night between Friday and Saturday we were lucky to get to sleep in one of the local clubs dojo to save some money. This dojo had several training rooms with mirrors, sand bags and all different kinds of equipment. A bit different than our small dojo with pink and yellow walls that makes your eyes burn.

Even though sleeping on a mattress and padded floors I don't think many of us got that much sleep. But the lighting in the room when the sun came up was priceless. In the morning, most of us had nerves and could hardly eat breakfast (yes even the coach was nervous!).

Samir's class started first. He did a really good job in the two bouts he was in. He did a great throw in the first bout, but alas the opponent protected himself too good to be scored upon. The bout ended in Hantei, and due to lack of initiative Samir lost. In the second bout he went up against an opponent who had a really quick gyakuzuki. But Samir gave it his all and tried is best. In this bout his opponent was quicker, and Samir got on fourth place.

Next up was Kim in the Senior class. For being his first bout in a competition he did a really good job. He dared to stand his ground and counter attack. He attacked with some really good gyakuzuki that he sadly didn't get any points for.

Dan Are's first bout was over before it even began. The opponent was several heads higher than Dan Are, and he rushed in and got eight points within 15 seconds of the bout. Dan Are got so surprised that he didn't have time to do anything. His second fight went better, and here he got to attack and do some combinations.

As for my participation as a coach, I don't think I did the best I could but I also believe I didn't do a bad job. Seems like the major complaint was me talking too low, so they could hardly hear me. I also need to train myself to see what the opponent does, so I can come with tips for the person I'm coaching.

Even though we didn't get any medals, this competition was really good for everyone of us. We got to see how high the levels are in other clubs, and what we can do to make us better.

I think everyone did a great job, and found some strengths and some weaknesses that we all can work on until next competition. It was well worth the long trip, and I'd happily do it again!

Picture from: www.grimstadkarate.no