Today is probably going to be a day of dojo ramble so for those of you who are really not into the martial arts scene, I’ll do the small sum up rambling not dojo bits first.

Small Sum Up Rambling.

OK, so I was at the dojo last night…what? OH! You want to actually read about the ramblings, not just read the words “ramblings”. I just thought that since you were only here for the short of the entry that would do ya. Heh (yes, I *am* a butt, thankyou).

Small Ramblings with more meaty stuff. We got in our EC Krauss wine supplies, which included new yeast (and there was MUCH rejoicing). TheMan fiddled with the wines before coming to pick me up (at the place I am not mentioning yet) and by the time we got back from the place of not yet naming, there were some happy yeasties already growing on the top surface. We kept the house a toasty warm 70ish, give or take but in reality it felt like 70 give about 10 more degrees for the entire night, jsut so the yeast would have a happy growing temp. The things we do for wine! It was a miserable sleep all warm and uncomfy but this morning the apple wine was happier than it has been since, well ever. We really need to get a space heater or only make wine when it’s warm out (which would sort of nix all the fall things like pumpkin and cranberry and such. Hmmm. Space heater sounds better). Here’s hoping the cranberry wine is as happy as the apple wine by the time we get home.

Speaking of home, TheMan and I have reinstated “us” night. Tuesdays are boo and TheMan dinner and a movie nights (or whatever happens to strike our fancy I suppose) now. I’m a big fan of having a night where it is only us because it seems like if we don’t schedule a time for us then there never is a time for us. That just bites. Tonight, for our first Dinner and a Movie Date Night, I’m making dinner. TheMan thought it was a keen idea when we came up with it on the drive home (from the place that shall not yet be named) and he started expounding on the finer points of crocking Cornish game hens. That pretty much got nixed when I realized (about two blocks from home) that in order to do the crock for tomorrow, we would have had to have gotten the hens already. Hmmm.

No big, TheMan has next Tuesday’s dinner then for Dinner and a Movie night and I decided I would spearhead tonight’s dinner madness. I actually like that better because I have all sorts of cook books that I haven’t even cracked open yet. I grabbed my bevy of oriental cooking (all two of them) and my fish book and took a peek at the fishy recipes to look for inspiration. I do like to cook and I like to try out new things. After getting all the way through the Japanese cookbook without so much as an “Oooo” I hit the Chinese cookbook. (In defense of the Japanese cookbook, it really is quite a nice little book but mostly if you are going to be doing some sort of raw fish type dish. Otherwise it has not a whole lot to offer). Damn, those Chinese know how to cook a fish! I found several recipes that piqued my interest and finally settled on “Tea Smoked Salmon”. It involves some funky wok smoking of said fish, which seems (at this point in “not actually preparing it” time) like much fun in it’s “Hey, I’ve never used my wok as a smoker before” kind of way. Hibachi wok! Plus, one of the ingredients of the fish marinade is vodka. How can you go wrong with that? I’ll let you know tomorrow how wrong you can go with that but for now, I’m all sorts of raren to go on the hibachi wok idea.

Our movie of choice will be Snatch. Y’lik degs?

Now is the time where you people who have little interest in the place I have not yet named might want to go look at pretty colors or shiny things because we have come to the point in the program where I start talking about dojo stuff. Bye guys! *wave*

So that leaves, what, two of you who are so bored at work you thought you might just keep reading? Heh, well fine then, even if I’m talking to the walls, *I* think it’s neat. Right walls? Ummm…walls?

Sempi Hagan was teaching last night, which is cool in a history/theory/philosophy way. Sempi tends to give us a bit of background to the stuff we are doing, be it the Japanese names for the stances as we are working on stance work, the history of Itosu as we do our Itosu lines, the philosophy of training as we go through one of the basic drills, stuff like that. Normally, classes seem to be structured in blocks of things, like 10 minutes of warm ups, 15 minutes of basic lines with cali inserts, and then the rest of the class is devoted to whatever the instructor du month has planned. Sometimes it’s working on individual stuff, sometimes it’s two person work, sometimes it’s tapping drill or something else developmental but usually the class spends at most a couple of minutes listening to the instructor go through the physical points of said drills and then we up and do them.

Sometimes, like if either of the Drs. are teaching, things get really funky but that only happens once or twice a year. Last night, we got a dose of philosophy. Sempi went through the 7 basic ways of learning and practicing kata and we went through them while doing punching drill. I can’t remember them all (and one doesn’t make a whole lot of sense yet) but they did include practicing for form, practicing for power, practicing for bunki (application), practicing for speed, practicing for breathing, practicing for keie (keyi? Key-eye! Ahhh…no. Ow!) and the last one which I couldn’t really tell the difference between form and whatever number seven was supposed to be. I think seven was something like practicing for practice. You are supposed to change the form up some from the rote way you normally do it. Or something.

ANYWAY, that was a neat little training tool, especially for the attention impaired like myself. It gives me a fresh way to look at something while doing the same thing over and over. Hey! I ought to remember this for the kids! Since the last half of class was devoted to individual work I decided to have a bit of a go with the whole seven forms of practicing kata idea. I didn’t get far enough through the seven to get a feel for their differences before Sempi came over to check out my form and give me pointers to work on thought. That’s not so bad, I got some good tips on some parts that were bothering me and he also found a few things I was doing that I wasn’t even aware were wrong. My Nihanchi Shodon is getting to the finished and polished stage of kata learning, which is always a happy thing. I still would like to take it through the seven deadly practice ideas though just to check them out as a technique, learning and teaching tool.

We also did a little bit of keyi (errr…yelling, basically) practice/philosophy. Kiyi…kiyis…keiyei…what is the plural of that?) Anyway, those are your typical “HA!” “YA!” “EEEEEEEE!” or whatever a martial artist utters before attacking. We did a whole smack load of lines with yells and tested out various ways of yelling. Each martial artist is suppose to find their own special yell (sort of like a signature) that works for them. Sempi suggested practicing with vowel like sounds for ease on the throat (you shouldn’t kill your pipes yelling) or various permutations of yelling. He has a sort of “Huuuuusta” sounding thing for a keiai, which works for him but sounds a little funny to me. I tend to do a more “HyyyAH” or “Haiiii’ ” type thing, mostly, but I did try out a bit of this and that.

Sempi then told us that one function of a key-eye is to stop a fight before it begins. It should be a vocalization that has the power to freeze people in their tracks or at least make them pause and think about what they are going to do. I’m not saying it works like this all the time but it should at least have that sort of philosophy behind it, just in case. On the way in today while discussing this with TheMan, I realized I already have a kei-ai. At least I have one that stops cats, dogs and small children in their tracks. I seem to have developed an awfully commanding “HEY” over the years. If a ki-ai is supposed to function as a single vocalized “Hey you! There! Stop a moment and consider before acting or I’ll have to come over and smack you upside the head” expression, then I am doomed to be “HEY!”ing I think.

At least I wouldn’t have the Homer Simpson kie-yi. “D’oah!”

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