Monday, December 17, 2007

Pictures from my test, and New Years goals

Well.. I want to show you some pictures from my belt test. This time I have a few, however, I also want to respect a promise that I made myself to keep dojo happenings in the dojo. So.. Here is how I have balanced the two desires:

I decided to crop the pictures so that only I am in the scene. These pictures revealed alot of different things to me. Since I wasn't "posing" for a picture, and I was just training, I now can see what good habits, and bad habits I have acquired through these candid shots. Here is a picture of me in fighting stance during a sparring match. I'm happy to see that my knees are bent, feet pointing in the direction that I want them, and my body is angled to my opponent. ( That was one of my 2007 goals! It looks like I achieved it.) My right guard hand is a little lower than I'd like it. So I've decided to make improving how I hold my guard hands as one of my 2008 karate goals. I love how my weight is on the balls of my feet in a natural way. NICE! NICE! I've tended to fight flat-footed almost seeking for security from the floor. It looks like I'm a little more relaxed now.

This is a picture of me doing my 50 push ups. From the condition of my body, I believe that it was taken near the last 10 push ups of that set. I am so glad for this picture because it reveals how bowed down, and curved my body is. This is so wrong for good dynamics. There is nothing supporting my shoulders here, not my neck, back, or stomach muscles. NO wonder those last dozen push ups felt like only my arms were working, and were the most difficult ones to achieve. I'm far more aware of what was happening. During the test, I could feel that something was wrong, but I couldn't figure out why things were not working as well as usual. This picture told me in just one glance. Here is another 2008 karate goal: Improve my body posture during push ups to continually keep a straight strong body line.

Here is a picture of me performing moving basics. I get a great view of how I'm forming my fist. Not bad, but it could be improved. It seems that I'm putting more pressure on the thumb, and pinkie finger, but ignoring the three mid fingers of the right hand. Hmmmm... That would explain why I've been having troubles when I strike with my right on the punching bag. I've always wondered why my right fist seemed weaker than my left when I punched. I thought that it was from a previous injury that I received on my largest right knuckle, but now that I look at how I form my fist, I can see that I must be "favoring" that hand still. It's time that I can command that fist to get stronger, since that knuckle has healed ages ago. AHA! Another karate goal for 2008!!

Kicking.. not bad.. not bad. I'm keeping my hands up! YES! I used to throw my hands down with almost each kick. My hips are doing better, also. OH! and to my joy.. I'm keeping my supporting leg's knee bent on my roundhouse kicks. YES!!! I am pretty happy with the progress of my kicks.

Now.. my goals for 2007 were:

Kihon: I want to be more alert to hear the various messages that my
body is telling me of "yes.. I can do more.." or "Hold on.. any more of this,
and I'm going to break down on you, " or "the technique would flow more
naturally THIS way."

Kata: Turning.. I want to focus on understanding the turns within the
kata,to understand my balance, placement of feet, turning of my head, and

Kumite: Ah... back to basics here as I struggle to keep my belt knot
pointing the right way, my feet pointing the right way, and my hands
pointing the right way.

I feel that I have met quite a few of my goals. I have become far more secure on my turns, and I have become more comfortable with my sparring stance. As to listening to my body, I listened, but then I ordered it to do more than it thought it could.. um.. well.. that really wasn't my goal, but it's what worked.

This year, 2008, my goals have become:

Kihon: To work on my right fist so that it is more solid, and constant. To unite my body's effort when doing push ups so that I do not stress my shoulders.

Kata: To compete at a Tournament in Montreal this spring as a Kyokushin Adult in Kata competition.

Kumite: To work on keeping my guard hands up at in a better level when sparring so that they can be useful.


frotoe said...

Cool! those pictures were great. Thanks for posting them. :)

Steve said...

Sounds like you've got good goals for '08. Stay focused and I'm sure you'll do great!

Colin Wee said...

Fighting stance: you need to drop your forehead a little more, in addition to bringing up the lead hand. And bite. The photo looks like you've got a slack jaw. I may be wrong.

Front kick: you might get more control and power if you use your hips to channel more forward movement into the kick. Looks like you're just kicking with the leg now. Also - I can't be sure of your trajectory but it seems like you might benefit from bringing the leg closer to centreline before firing off the front kick. It just looks like your body is compensating by having some rotation on a vertical axis (to the right) to support the trajectory of your foot.

Roundhouse: you may want to engage more abdominal muscle tension to support the power and torque of your roundhouse kick. It looks like there's some disconnect between your upper and lower body - and that's why you seem to need to swing your arm (same side) to perform the kick.

I'd love to see more of these pictures. You've not sent me video in a long time.


Colin Wee said...

Just saw your long posting on TMAC forum - good one!


supergroup7 said...

Thanks for all of the comments! I surely do appreciate them. It was nice to be able to place a couple of pictures on my weblog like that. I'm grateful to the person who took the pictures for me.

Hi Colin. Thanks for all of the advice. I'll be sure to work on that in the coming year, also.

As to the Front kick.. If I remember correctly, I was doing a straight leg rising kick while jumping forwards during that picture, not a front kick. Perhaps that could explain the different position of my body?

I have a video somewhere, if not, I will MAKE one during the Holidays because I don't have any karate classes for a whole week. BOO HOO HOO.. A whole WEEK!!!! I'm going to go through withdrawal! I swear it!!

supergroup7 said...

OH.. If anyone wants to read my posting on TMAC, they just have to
go here:

Colin Wee said...

This is a recent posting on roundhouse kicks Roundhouse Kick: Muay Thai and Taekwondo that I made relating to a random video off youtube.


Sarah said...

Great pictures, and outstanding goals - and progress on your old ones. Amazing. :) Just wishing you a Merry Christmas!