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On 4/8/2019 at 1:14 PM, Urgan said:

Was that not amazing? I was really impressed when they played at Atlanta. Moved, even.

 

It really was well done.  They even showed a tiny bit of new footage from the FF7 remake.  Just a tiny bit, but something.  Though as I asked my friend, which do we think will come out first: Winds of Winter or the FF7 Remake?

 

On 4/8/2019 at 1:14 PM, Urgan said:

I think the vacillation between anxiety and apathy is actually super normal given you have conflicting feelings about being coaxed into doing it in the first place. Black belt both is and isn't a really big deal, right? Something something now you are finally a beginner.

 

The instructors I have shared this feeling with have alternated between confused and amused with my commentary on the exam.  All of them have said they are looking forward to the test and that I'll do fine.

 

Class last night was pretty laid back.  My friend who is testing and one of his main ukes plus me and my grading partner were banished to the back of the dojo to do shodan prep.  Given the space and a few other limitations, we decided to a very slow, very connected jiyuwaza practice.  Pretty much no falls, just maintaining connection and keeping things smooth.  Six throws for me and the other grading guy, and then swap attacks.  Rinsed and repeated for the entire hour.  Thankfully everyone knew my opinion on test prep at this point, so we kept it a bit more snarky than probably most people would if this was their last class before Test Day.  Picked up a few new techniques, too, to toss in easily enough on the day of.  So that was cool.

 

Then just before class ended, the instructor decided to surprise me and my friend with a four-person randori before we bowed out.  My first thought: Crap, my knee is not good right now (literally cannot sit in seiza still without pain).  Second thought: Oh double crap, he called up the Problem Person.

 

So I took a deep breath and just went for it, caring substantially less about their presence.  The other three people were people I totally trusted, and I knew they could take my throws.  I am very fond of uke bowling, so when given the chance I would lob people into one another, and maybe a bit more frequently into PP.  But for the most part, everything felt surprisingly solid, even when throwing PP.  Got pegged a few times with attacks, but mostly just glancing blows, which I'll count as a win.  One friend did an atypical ushiro grab and I threw him for a very fluid but very tall koshi.  It felt great, but I did feel a bit bad that it was from such a height (even if it was properly loaded).  I also got into a situation where my grading partner grabbed my wrist in morotetori (two hand grab on my wrist) while PP lobbed a punch at me.  I managed to swivel my side so the punch grazed my stomach, grabbed their wrist, and then managed to do a ninenage on both them and my grading partner.  That being essentially I ducked under both of their arms and tied them up with one another before tossing them away.  It felt pretty awesome.

 

Afterwards I left, and talked to the instructor a bit.  Nothing shocking on his critque.  I don't proactively engage uke enough.  Part of that this evening was my knee, but it is a general comment on my randori.  I'd much rather have people come to me and then throw them into someone else and then select who I'm going after.  I should be more proactive though.  Working on it, but it ain't gonna be pretty on Friday.  Otherwise he said he was pleased with it - said my breathing was good, the variety of techniques was solid, and I pointed out how much I enjoy throwing people into others.

 

Then I went home, had some whiskey, and skipped NP because my knee is still being stupid.  Grrr.  Hopefully the massage takes care of that tonight, but still.  A little closer than I'd like to the test date for being broken.  Double Grr.

 

Ah well.  Massage tonight, Company arrives tomorrow afternoon, and then exam Friday.  Seminar/Open Display of RP in a Skirt on Saturday, and then potentially seeing my cousin and parents that night, too.

 

Sleep.  Who needs it?

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53 minutes ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I'd wish you good luck on your test, but you don't need it, so instead I'll wish I could be there.

 

19 minutes ago, Mistr said:

I am glad that Company is going to be there for your test. I wish I could be there too. 

 

Trust me. With Company there she’ll probably post videos on Facebook pretty quick. And if nothing else I’ll get a YouTube video of the test to share here afterwards. :)

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You're going to kill it on test night. And then it will be dead. Thirding for visuals in lieu of being able to teleport.

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On 4/4/2019 at 5:11 PM, Mistr said:

The key to correct shiko is to engage the inner thigh muscles. There should not be weight in the knees. All the weight should be in the toes, with one's center stacked over the heels and toes. This uses muscles completely differently from how people normally stand up from sitting in a chair or on the ground. I wish I had learned to do this when I still had the range of movement in my knees and toes to make it possible. 

 

Is there a good static way to practice this posture and break down this motion into smaller parts? I'm not super strong at this level of squat, which I presume it's closely related to, and my center is usually too far forward.

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1 hour ago, RisenPhoenix said:

Then I went home, had some whiskey, and skipped NP because my knee is still being stupid.  Grrr.  Hopefully the massage takes care of that tonight, but still. 

 

Ice that knee a ton. Bad joints love cold. It can do wonders. Seriously, constant temperature lowering. Constant.

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2 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

Is there a good static way to practice this posture and break down this motion into smaller parts? I'm not super strong at this level of squat, which I presume it's closely related to, and my center is usually too far forward.

 

The only exercise I know is to hold onto a solid support while moving up and down. A pole or doorframe would work. I can do it if I keep my gaze up and have support from a partner.

 

I'll ask my sempai how he learned to do it correctly. He is young and flexible, so it might have been easy for him.

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3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Ice that knee a ton. Bad joints love cold. It can do wonders. Seriously, constant temperature lowering. Constant.

 

Yea, I should do that.  I was kind of focused on my whiskey last night instead. <.< >.>

 

But I skipped NP this morning to be safe, and the yoga instructor followed through on her promise to make today's class a stretchy/mobility focused thing, which made the knee feel a lot better, too.  So that was great.

 

3 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

Is there a good static way to practice this posture and break down this motion into smaller parts? I'm not super strong at this level of squat, which I presume it's closely related to, and my center is usually too far forward.

 

51 minutes ago, Mistr said:

I'll ask my sempai how he learned to do it correctly. He is young and flexible, so it might have been easy for him.

 

Also interested in this.  Though my toe flexibility is so crap that it's a wonder I can get up from seiza at all...

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On 4/4/2019 at 5:11 PM, Mistr said:

The key to correct shiko is to engage the inner thigh muscles. There should not be weight in the knees. All the weight should be in the toes, with one's center stacked over the heels and toes. This uses muscles completely differently from how people normally stand up from sitting in a chair or on the ground. I wish I had learned to do this when I still had the range of movement in my knees and toes to make it possible.

 

4 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

Is there a good static way to practice this posture and break down this motion into smaller parts? I'm not super strong at this level of squat, which I presume it's closely related to, and my center is usually too far forward.

 

1 hour ago, Mistr said:

 

The only exercise I know is to hold onto a solid support while moving up and down. A pole or doorframe would work. I can do it if I keep my gaze up and have support from a partner.

 

I'll ask my sempai how he learned to do it correctly. He is young and flexible, so it might have been easy for him.

 

Hmm. One thing that I can think of that might help with feeling forward would be to concentrate on maintaining a flat, neutral spine (this is not the same as being vertical) once you have your weight distribution re-balanced. That puts your hips in the best position to assist you as you stand. 

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Test is tonight.  Shower thought of the morning, academia-analogs to testings:

 

5th-2nd kyu exams are the departmental seminars you give as a grad student.

First kyu exam is the quals/oral exam.

Shodan is your dissertation.

Nidan is your Post-Doc interview.

Sandan is your professor/lecturer interview at a university.

Yondan is your tenure application and subsequent interview.

 

*ahem*

 

Anyway.  After work I picked up Company at the airport.  We actually fell asleep once we got home, because we were both exhausted, and then we finally dragged ourselves to get pre-Victory sushi at my request.  Then we also bought ice cream.  In a mildly shocking turn, Company made us go to bed at a reasonable hour.  Normally I'm the one dragging at 11PM making the "Can we please go to bed" eyes at her.  Nope.  Last night she decided she was super comfy on the bed, would forego any TV/couch snuggles, and declared we should go to bed because I needed sleep before my exam.  It was the strangest, sweetest role reversal we've had in a while. (I believe the last one was when I spent a large amount of money on updating/decking out my living room, while she paid down a bunch of her debt/student loans last year.  Role reversal, but not very sweet.)

 

Also entertaining this morning while sitting in bed sitting coffee:

 

Company: "I think you are sick today.  Yea, I think you need to stay at home all day, in bed."

Me: "I am okay with this.  Plus it means I don't need to test."

Company: "No.  You'll be better by this afternoon.  You will test."

 

So much for my dastardly plan to escape testing tonight.

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I'm going to gently point out that they don't make you a shodan based on your grading, but on all of the work leading up to that grading.  It matters, but not as much as your sensei saying that it's time.  Congratulations on your pants :-)

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Before I forget, here’s a link to the exam for those of you not connected to me on the Book of Faces:

 

 

 

Also 10 minutes intoy first class as shodan and my foot split open and started bleeding everywhere. So yea. Everything seems about right in the universe. 

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8 hours ago, RisenPhoenix said:

Before I forget, here’s a link to the exam for those of you not connected to me on the Book of Faces:

 

 

 

Also 10 minutes intoy first class as shodan and my foot split open and started bleeding everywhere. So yea. Everything seems about right in the universe. 

 

Also no idea why despite give g the link for my exam it’s showing them all. But shodan ken is mine. 

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Congratulations!

 

I thought your test looked fine. Shodan is supposed to be a clean demonstration of technique and you did that. Nice, clear and controlled. I did not see any hesitation or deer-in-the-headlights moments. Some of your uke seemed to be taking break falls when they didn't have to, but that may be a style difference. Your version of randori is different than ours. That said, you were handling it just fine.

 

I hope you can relax and enjoy training again.

 

Sorry about your foot. Thank goodness you have plastic-covered tatami. We have canvas covered mats. Cleaning up blood is a constant issue on canvas.

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