Journey to a new style...

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_Simon_

_Simon_

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Yeah, I would not be down with that either.

Yeah it was an odd atmosphere that was set in general... I'm definitely seeing it's not all about just the style you pick.

That's too bad, Simon. Having walked into a few different places over the years, MA classes vary quite a bit and take on the personality of the instructor. Hopefully the next class will give you a better idea of what the school is really like.

Very true, the instructor definitely sets the tone huh... the place did tick some other 'practical' boxes though (it's quite cheap to train, also not as far location-wise as other places I have in mind).
 

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Yeah it was an odd atmosphere that was set in general... I'm definitely seeing it's not all about just the style you pick.



Very true, the instructor definitely sets the tone huh... the place did tick some other 'practical' boxes though (it's quite cheap to train, also not as far location-wise as other places I have in mind).
Ive trained at and visited schools where I realized the instructor was impossible for me to work with. It sounds like your experience in this case was a bit different from mine, but in the end its the same, its the wrong place for you. This happens. Recognize it and move on. Dont dwell on it. Cross that one off your list.
 
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_Simon_

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Had the other trial class tonight, it was again pretty mixed.. but it was a mild improvement in some respects.

Head instructor took the class this time, we did a drill called 'dead man'.... it was pretty brutal haha.. like a ladder/pyramid with increasing reps to a peak and decreasing reps with different exercises, very hard work..

Then found a spot each and worked on kata, I knew the katas but it was interesting... he told us to keep relaxed, with nice flow etc, so we went through it, and he yelled out that that wasn't relaxed enough, and told us to do 5 runs up and back. Just not that big a fan of that approach, and doesn't make much sense to punish because we're not relaxing enough. Reminds me of the oldschool days I hear about, the instructor walking around whacking students with the shinai for not getting it right.

But after this I got a bit out of. One of the blackbelts worked with me on a particular kata, and the head instructor came over and spent a bit of time helping too. Found it very helpful, and all the technical corrections they made they gave really good reasons, and demonstrated the application too. So that was enjoyable. Had an actual chat after class too so that was nice. And also said that if ever I had any questions about what something is for etc to just ask, there are no stupid questions, so I found them very approachable in that respect.

I could see though over longterm that I would start dreading coming to training, just like with my old dojo, but glad I tried it out, and good to see I could still train at that intensity anyway.
 
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_Simon_

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Been awhile folks! Thought I'd provide an update!

It's yet again been a year like last year, and the lockdowns make it very difficult to contact and trial places, but definitely a time of patience. My online training with the Sunday Morning Keiko folks has continued and has been just beyond incredible. And they're offering much more in depth training weekly now, which I quickly jumped onto, and that has been the best. So very blessed that this has all unfolded.

I still plan to join a dojo, but the area I'm looking into is in an extended lockdown again so another wait. BUT in the meantime, one of the places on my list to check out is offering free live online classes. Contacted them and actually had a video chat with the head instructor. Really, really nice guy, and the style is Goju Kensha (Goju ryu with Shorin ryu and even internal kung fu influences). A style I've been researching alot and very interested in.

Obviously the online format is very limited, but thought I'd give it a go, and I can still gauge how he teaches, the sort of technique, the energy and vibe etc. Got a class this Saturday :)
 

angelariz

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Okay... the time has come!

I'm finally (after much, much hesitation and deliberation haha..) enquiring about new styles, as I'm honestly just itching to get back into dojo training.. and feel mostly ready health-wise.

It's been an incredibly rough, painful, hellish and emotional 8 months or so.. and I still have a bit to go in terms of recovery, but I feel ready enough to try getting into training properly again. And it really marks a big step for me, as I definitely wasn't in this position a little while ago.

So the plan is to try a style for about a month or so to get the feel of it and see if it clicks with me. Very different to how I decided before, which was just training because I 'felt like I should', out of obligation almost. So suffice it to say, I'm very excited :).

I've gotten a call back from a karate dojo just around the corner from me, I asked if i can sit in and watch and they said people tend to get more out of just giving it a go, so they invited me to train so looks like I'm training!

It sounds really awesome, it's a small dojo, and has gone through a few changes of style affiliation over time, and I think they operate more independently now, originally he trained in Kyokushin (and personally graded to Shodan under Sosai Oyama!), then Ashihara, Shintaiikudo, and taught in all of these, now with all his experience has organically sort of formed his own style, which incorporates all his previous styles plus including some Aikido principles as well (which he teaches as well).

Definitely sounds more up my alley, I'm really excited :)
I will train any system for 3 or 4 months and see if it fits me. If I had to choose between Goju and Shotokan, I'd pick Shotokan.
It is a hard style with lots of hard sparring.
 

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I will train any system for 3 or 4 months and see if it fits me. If I had to choose between Goju and Shotokan, I'd pick Shotokan.
It is a hard style with lots of hard sparring.
That might be generally true (I don't know), but be wary of defining expectations of intensity by the style. In general, the intensity fluctuates more within a style than between relatively similar styles. I've had students who came from Shotokan who were only used to soft-tap kind of sparring (and some who were accustomed to quite hard contact)
 

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Been awhile folks! Thought I'd provide an update!

It's yet again been a year like last year, and the lockdowns make it very difficult to contact and trial places, but definitely a time of patience. My online training with the Sunday Morning Keiko folks has continued and has been just beyond incredible. And they're offering much more in depth training weekly now, which I quickly jumped onto, and that has been the best. So very blessed that this has all unfolded.

I still plan to join a dojo, but the area I'm looking into is in an extended lockdown again so another wait. BUT in the meantime, one of the places on my list to check out is offering free live online classes. Contacted them and actually had a video chat with the head instructor. Really, really nice guy, and the style is Goju Kensha (Goju ryu with Shorin ryu and even internal kung fu influences). A style I've been researching alot and very interested in.

Obviously the online format is very limited, but thought I'd give it a go, and I can still gauge how he teaches, the sort of technique, the energy and vibe etc. Got a class this Saturday :)
Good to hear you are still at it, Simon. It certainly hasn't been an easy year for anyone so good on you for persisting and finding ways to train on your own. Hopefully you will find a 'home' where you can train regularly with like minded folks.

As strange as it sounds, the break has had a number of unforeseen benefits for me. Number one, it gave my body a chance to heal properly ;) . Secondly, I split my time doing fitness classes (first on zoom and then in person). I had a group of people that I have been training and it has allowed us to explore a number of formats which has kept things moving forward and in the right direction. I also decided to alter my diet a little and have lost about 25 lbs so that also has helped me set a new bar in the classes I teach at the dojo. Still no contact but that is coming soon. Matter of weeks now but I plan on ramping conditioning up slowly and keeping healthy. Healthy is good. In the fall, we begin gradings again for the kyu ranks. I suppose Dan ranks will follow.

Stay at it and look forward to following your progress.
 
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_Simon_

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Good to hear you are still at it, Simon. It certainly hasn't been an easy year for anyone so good on you for persisting and finding ways to train on your own. Hopefully you will find a 'home' where you can train regularly with like minded folks.

As strange as it sounds, the break has had a number of unforeseen benefits for me. Number one, it gave my body a chance to heal properly ;) . Secondly, I split my time doing fitness classes (first on zoom and then in person). I had a group of people that I have been training and it has allowed us to explore a number of formats which has kept things moving forward and in the right direction. I also decided to alter my diet a little and have lost about 25 lbs so that also has helped me set a new bar in the classes I teach at the dojo. Still no contact but that is coming soon. Matter of weeks now but I plan on ramping conditioning up slowly and keeping healthy. Healthy is good. In the fall, we begin gradings again for the kyu ranks. I suppose Dan ranks will follow.

Stay at it and look forward to following your progress.
That's really fantastic to hear, what a nice plus to your journey :). It's amazing how introducing new facets can have such a flow on effect. Keep at it brother.

And thanks so much, appreciate your thoughtful words as always, osu :)
 

angelariz

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That might be generally true (I don't know), but be wary of defining expectations of intensity by the style. In general, the intensity fluctuates more within a style than between relatively similar styles. I've had students who came from Shotokan who were only used to soft-tap kind of sparring (and some who were accustomed to quite hard contact)
A proper Shotokan school, from my experience does Kyukushin type fighting. If it doesn't, i wouldn't call it Shotokan.
 
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_Simon_

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All going very well! We've actually been put back into lockdown and have been for a few weeks, and the guys have kept inviting me to train with them free of charge, so have been training in their online sessions which are twice a week. Yet another case of being blown away by the generosity of martial artists around.

Really enjoy the people, vibe, and the teacher has a really great energy and disposition. The style itself is fascinating, and we haven't gone too in depth with some of the particular subtleties of the style (sort of a bit hard to in the short sessions), but I think the sessions are mainly to keep people in some sort of training, fitness etc. But I'll definitely ask more questions. Thoroughly enjoying it all so far :)
 

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All going very well! We've actually been put back into lockdown and have been for a few weeks, and the guys have kept inviting me to train with them free of charge, so have been training in their online sessions which are twice a week. Yet another case of being blown away by the generosity of martial artists around.

Really enjoy the people, vibe, and the teacher has a really great energy and disposition. The style itself is fascinating, and we haven't gone too in depth with some of the particular subtleties of the style (sort of a bit hard to in the short sessions), but I think the sessions are mainly to keep people in some sort of training, fitness etc. But I'll definitely ask more questions. Thoroughly enjoying it all so far :)
If I'd had any idea this pandemic would keep things messed up so long, I'd probably have tried to pick up a kata-oriented art at the beginning of it. I'd have all this time to just focus on the kata, and get into the sparring and other parts when we're able get back to regular classes. Hindsight...
 

Yokozuna514

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If I'd had any idea this pandemic would keep things messed up so long, I'd probably have tried to pick up a kata-oriented art at the beginning of it. I'd have all this time to just focus on the kata, and get into the sparring and other parts when we're able get back to regular classes. Hindsight...
Osu, doing something is often better than doing nothing. Now with the restrictions lifting in our area, we are seeing people come back to the dojo after a year and half. Some have been doing things to stay fit while others have been doing not much of anything. The transition back is easier for the people that have been keeping up with karate (either zoom or in the park). Not only has their kihon stayed reasonably sharp but they aren't spending all their energy remembering what we are doing :). It is going to take a while for us to get back up to speed for kumite but again that path is shorter for people that have been doing something. Starting again after 18 months almost makes you feel like a white belt again but you are not and so the ego is going to take a backseat while you get yourself back up to speed.

It's not to late to join something and even if it is kata based the work in kihon should help with body control. Hopefully they have a good foundation in fitness as well so doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Good luck.
 

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Osu, doing something is often better than doing nothing. Now with the restrictions lifting in our area, we are seeing people come back to the dojo after a year and half. Some have been doing things to stay fit while others have been doing not much of anything. The transition back is easier for the people that have been keeping up with karate (either zoom or in the park). Not only has their kihon stayed reasonably sharp but they aren't spending all their energy remembering what we are doing :). It is going to take a while for us to get back up to speed for kumite but again that path is shorter for people that have been doing something. Starting again after 18 months almost makes you feel like a white belt again but you are not and so the ego is going to take a backseat while you get yourself back up to speed.

It's not to late to join something and even if it is kata based the work in kihon should help with body control. Hopefully they have a good foundation in fitness as well so doing something is better than doing nothing at all. Good luck.
The dojo I was teaching at closed permanently after a few months of the pandemic - she just couldn't keep it open (it wasn't a money-maker, even at the best of times). I managed to keep myself active for a long time, teaching kata-only classes outdoors to the (eventually) 1 student who stayed the longest. Then that one finally left, too, when the school closed permanently.

Before this all started, I had my eye on a local Judo club, and was hoping a few months ago I'd be able to consider that path again. But now that looks unlikely for quite some time, assuming that club is even around when this is all over.

But yeah, it's definitely not too late to find something. I need to take another look around. But my excuses are much better now - back to working, with some travel, so not as much free time to commit. I love a good excuse.
 

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The dojo I was teaching at closed permanently after a few months of the pandemic - she just couldn't keep it open (it wasn't a money-maker, even at the best of times). I managed to keep myself active for a long time, teaching kata-only classes outdoors to the (eventually) 1 student who stayed the longest. Then that one finally left, too, when the school closed permanently.

Before this all started, I had my eye on a local Judo club, and was hoping a few months ago I'd be able to consider that path again. But now that looks unlikely for quite some time, assuming that club is even around when this is all over.

But yeah, it's definitely not too late to find something. I need to take another look around. But my excuses are much better now - back to working, with some travel, so not as much free time to commit. I love a good excuse.
Hahaha, she and you are not alone. Hasn't been easy for many to keep their businesses going let alone their practice. Even though things are opening up here and we are seeing more people return, we need to be careful we aren't giving the wrong appearance that we aren't 'playing by the new rules'. We have to follow government regulations on the number of people that can train in our space at one time, check people for vaccinations and wear masks when we are in contact range. I was part of a small group last night that started back to kumite (light contact). We need to build up our conditioning again (ie: deaden the nerves ;) ) before we can go harder. Sparring in masks is not something I missed. It's doable but I am looking forward to taking the mask off.

Good luck in finding something that will start you back on your journey. Again, something is better than nothing.
 

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Hahaha, she and you are not alone. Hasn't been easy for many to keep their businesses going let alone their practice. Even though things are opening up here and we are seeing more people return, we need to be careful we aren't giving the wrong appearance that we aren't 'playing by the new rules'. We have to follow government regulations on the number of people that can train in our space at one time, check people for vaccinations and wear masks when we are in contact range. I was part of a small group last night that started back to kumite (light contact). We need to build up our conditioning again (ie: deaden the nerves ;) ) before we can go harder. Sparring in masks is not something I missed. It's doable but I am looking forward to taking the mask off.

Good luck in finding something that will start you back on your journey. Again, something is better than nothing.
Thanks! I'm looking forward to things opening back up (our area has pretty high infection rate right now) so I can go looking for a new place to teach, too. Trying to see the silver lining in this, that there may be a lot of folks looking for someplace to train at that time.
 

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All going very well! We've actually been put back into lockdown and have been for a few weeks, and the guys have kept inviting me to train with them free of charge, so have been training in their online sessions which are twice a week. Yet another case of being blown away by the generosity of martial artists around.

Really enjoy the people, vibe, and the teacher has a really great energy and disposition. The style itself is fascinating, and we haven't gone too in depth with some of the particular subtleties of the style (sort of a bit hard to in the short sessions), but I think the sessions are mainly to keep people in some sort of training, fitness etc. But I'll definitely ask more questions. Thoroughly enjoying it all so far :)
That's awesome, Simon. Happy for you, bro.
 

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The dojo I was teaching at closed permanently after a few months of the pandemic - she just couldn't keep it open (it wasn't a money-maker, even at the best of times). I managed to keep myself active for a long time, teaching kata-only classes outdoors to the (eventually) 1 student who stayed the longest. Then that one finally left, too, when the school closed permanently.

Before this all started, I had my eye on a local Judo club, and was hoping a few months ago I'd be able to consider that path again. But now that looks unlikely for quite some time, assuming that club is even around when this is all over.

But yeah, it's definitely not too late to find something. I need to take another look around. But my excuses are much better now - back to working, with some travel, so not as much free time to commit. I love a good excuse.
This is such a strange time. I think back and wonder what it would have been like had we had this pandemic when I first started training. I wonder if our dojo would have gone out of business - I think it would have. I wonder if I would have continued in Martial Arts.

My heart goes out to every dojo owner these days, big time. My heart goes out to every student in the arts. It must be so incredibly difficult for everyone.
 

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This is such a strange time. I think back and wonder what it would have been like had we had this pandemic when I first started training. I wonder if our dojo would have gone out of business - I think it would have. I wonder if I would have continued in Martial Arts.

My heart goes out to every dojo owner these days, big time. My heart goes out to every student in the arts. It must be so incredibly difficult for everyone.
I remember how easily I was derailed in the early days (I had a minor surgery behind one ear, and went back to training a year later). If this had happened back then, I'm certain it would have taken me years to get back to training, if I managed it at all.

I fear a lot of schools that were run for love (making little or no money) will be victims in this. Hopefully the folks making real money at it have set aside enough to manage to get back to it when it's safe.

I've always had this wish in the back of my mind that I could have started a school of my own. The past year, I've not wished that, at all.
 

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