Monday, November 19, 2007

Creative Kumite

What can I say? The show was great: very quick-paced and high energy. Unlike previous shows which were not as tightly timed, this one went from start to finish in 1 hr, 20 minutes so it flew!
I added some personal drama. In the dress rehearsal when it was time for my solo, I totally froze up. I remember thinking: I can't be freezing up. I'm not even nervous. It's just that I can't remember what I'm supposed to do or even think of anything to do. But during the show, it went well. Maybe great! I'm a happy camper.

The first video is me, Jay, and Coach. The second video is Scott, Edgar, Pat, Agnes, and Kathy. All of them spectactacular black belts.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Black Belt Spectacular - Nov 2007

BlackBeltSpectacularTeam The ceremony for receiving our black belts is held at the Parker Playhouse.

The show blends karate & self defense skits; demos of XMA, Muy Thai, weapons (some with glow routines); some boarding breaking by Shihan Moti Horenstein (8th degree) and group and individual displays of skills by those earning new black belt levels. We had 36 kohei earning new levels of black belt: one 4th dan, three 3rd dans, four 2nd dans, and 28 new first degree black belts.

Four schools contributed and it was probably half kids, half adults. The preparation is more like the rehearsal for a show than training for karate.

The show itself was a blast. Plenty of nerves. The drama for me was that at the rehearsal right before the show, when the time for my solo came, I froze. KC, Kyoshi, and a few other people yelled out: "Do something!". I had to agree with them, it would be good to do something. After awhile, I threw a pair of bunches and kneeled down again thinking: "Did I just freeze? I can't freeze. I'm not even nervous". Right.
john edelson kyoshi

The show itself went very very well. It was fast-paced. The performances were clean and dramatic. Us first degree black belts were competent, sometimes showy. The higher ranks were not just competent but had pizzaz and technique to burn. Great show.

And of course, after the show, there was some festivities!

Two groups of us ended up in the same restaurant (Buca de pepe).

And then on Sunday, more get-togethers. I'd like to make habbit of it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Black Belt Spectacular

black belt spectacular
The Black Belt Spectacular!!!

This week: many many rehearsals to get all the details right. On Wednesday, there was regular testing and we ran thru the routines at full pace. It seemed to go well.

I just received the online invite and it got me psyched. Also, my name is on the Tshirt!!! This is a big thrill (according to Agnes, the biggest thrill and she says that she'll be giving them to everyone on her Christmas list this year)

The invite has great picture of Melissa and Jennifer.

This spectacular is a little different from previous ones in that we're a much larger group. So there's less individual creative kumites. There are 36 people getting their black belt or receiving an additional dan (stripe or level on their black belt). Leading the pack:
- Steve Lavallee - 4th Degree
- Mr. Mike, Jennifer, & Mr L getting their 3rd degreesothers because there are so so many of us.

To get tickets, go to ticketron.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Power Weekend 3

john edelson carmentottenhoff
John Edelson with his then-fiancee, Carmen
John Edelson It turns out everyone likes looking at pictures more than that like most commentary.

Here's some pictures. But, don't get too excited, they're mostly of me ....

If you send me pictures of you, I'll post them too.

Or, if you stand next to me (and don't upstage me too much), you can also be online....
john edelson

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Black Belt Testing - Power Weekend Part2

sparing stance

john jumping

This morning was the culmination of the black belt testing. We all made it. Not a surprise but a big relief. Aieesa!

It was great. At the finish, it was fun and exciting. It was hard but frankly, there were much harder days of training along the way. The hardest days (for me) were the days with 6 sparing matches plus the timed 2 mile run.

For me, the best parts were doing a series of kata with the team and the sparing. Both represented the culmination of years of effort and demonstrating technique, teamwork, agility, skills, and reactions. The board breaking, partner drills, and physical training outside were fun but didn't have the emotional impact to me of the core curriculum materials of kata and sparing.

The sparing video below (of Jay and me, I'm in the short sleeves) was my final match of the day....I can't decide if I'm proud or ashamed of it but, since it's my only video, it's going up.

It is a great learning tool. I am moving alot, my hands are mostly up where they should be, it's mostly combinations ("punches in bunches") and we're in a nice flow.

On the side of what to improve, I'm mostly circling the wrong way (towards his power side), my kicking is stuck in a pattern of low single roundhouses, I'm never staying inside, I'm relying way too much on my jab, I seem to have forgotten how to hook, and I'm backing out instead of angling. And sometimes my hands are down which Jay seems pretty good at picking up on. This is btw, the first time I've seen a video of me sparing. I'm fascinated (obsessed?) by it.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Black Belt Testing - Power Weekend

John Edelson This is power weekend. Tonight was testing on kata, kicks, and board breaking.

Support team. First of all, thanks to Carmen who has been so great.

Carmen is very pleased about me getting thru the Black Belt cycle and having some control over my schedule again.

Kyoshi ran the class. Between that and having all the other sensei in attendence, this makes for a very exciting night!
We had all the schools from South Florida in to the National Training Center tonight.
Here is the team that I've been in cycle with....(minus Edgar and Mr L and Mr Mike Sweeny and Miss Tammy and Janine (sp?))

Kathy, Agnes, Jennifer, Pat, John (me), Coach, Jay, and Scott.
A few words about this team and what it shows. I think about half of the new black belts are kids (not pictured or counted here) and the other half are adults. I think that's typical of the Lavallee system. There are also an even number of men and women (As an aside, I just consulted the official Lavallee website and counted 11 schools, 3 led by female sensei!). Our team was noted for good cardio in that all of us qualified with some ease for the 16 minute 2 mile run and in fact, most of us finished in the 14-15 minute spot (with Kathy and; Agnes clocking in near 13 minutes for two miles). And we're not spring chickens. At 49, I'm the median age of this group.
Tonight was alot of kicking, partner drills, a few kata, and board breaking.
Did I mention that there was alot of kicking? It was intense. Really fun. The performance level was high.
And while I would like to write more about tonight, I think I'd better go soak in epson salts, eat alot of pasta, and get ready for some Bugo Kumite along with a few miles of running early Saturday (tomorrow) morning.