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Mama Deb
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Pakua Diary 12/25/03

We got templates today. Let's see if I can make it work. On the real form, I'd use last names, but not here.

Author: Debra Baker Date:Dec. 25, 2003
Master:Instructor Dominique, Blue Belt
Time in Pa Kua:Eleven months
Graduation:Green Belt
Time of Graduation:December 7, 2003
Title:Women's General Class, Men's General Class
Given by:Master Brian, Black Belt, First Degree.
Class given at: 10:00-12:00, December 25, 2003, at the Avenue I school.

Students in Attendance Class 1: Instructor Riki, grey belt; MamaDeb, green belt; Penina, orange belt.

Class 2: Instructor Ian, Grey to Black; Instructor Larry, White to Gray; Instructor Rikki, Grey belt; MamaDeb, green belt; Penina, orange belt.

Subjects Viewed:

Women's class:

  • Warm up -
    • ran around the gym for 12 minutes; did 15 pushups and 15 crunches in locked position. MamaDeb led the 24; Penina led the kicks.*
  • One on One. Two minutes Right foot back fighting position; two minute, left foot back fighting position.
  • Sun kicks:
    • squat down, kneel on front leg, extend back leg, rotate 270 degrees towards back leg, up in fighting position.*
  • One-step fighting technique:
    • Orange/Green belt: outside in block, grab wrist, drop to a sun kick.
    • Gray belt: outside in block, grab wrist, drop to floor, lock legs around ankle, bring to floor, finish with punch or kick. Permitted to use this on both orange and green belts. (Note: because this was a women's class, Master Brian called in Instructor Ian to demonstrate the one-step fighting technique.)*
    • </li>
Men's Class
  • Warm up:
    • Abbreviated. Ran in place for five minutes. No 24. Two minutes of one-on-one.
    • </li>
  • White belt techniques:
    • Open self-defense: after clothing, belt or body part is grabbed - reflex kick, grab hand/hands and punch to finish.*
    • </li>
    • One hand belt grab: after belt is grabbed, reflex kick, grab hand and elbow to face.
    • </li>
    • One step fighting: reflex kick to rider's position, then, 1. Block then elbow to waist or 2. push back, get into fighting position, then kick to face.*
    • </li>
  • Report techniques:
    • Discussed proper use of report template and whom to send them to.*

*Feelings during the class: Largely, frustrating. Because Master Brian is a man, and I hadn't asked for a rabbinical decision yet, I felt constrained to not only cover my hair but to wear a skirt over my uniform. The other woman who asked her rav was told she didn't have to wear a skirt, but that's her p'sak, not mine. The skirt is very light, and quite full, but not full enough for some of the higher kicks, and between it and the wool beret, I got very hot. Instructor Riki lent me a bandanna, which was more comfortable than the hat. If I'd have known, I would have worn a different skirt and a different hair covering. I've since emailed my rabbi.

I found the sun kicks easier now that I 've learned good techniques, but I didn't get a chance to catch my breath between kicks. This was probably a good thing, but between that and the heat, I was exhausted. Again, because of the make up of the class, we worked in a triangle for all the techniques, and in both classes. I don't feel I got enough practice in any of them. In fact, I think I got less than the other two women because working in a triangle is confusing.

I also found doing the technique confusing. I kept getting on the wrong leg.

I needed the white belt review. It's been several months since I did white belt, and these things are necessary. I felt very odd that Master Brian went on the accelerated course, so he began his training after I did, but he is now a black belt. Again, the working in a triangle cut my practice time. And I didn't get to do the kick after push more than twice, and I did both poorly.

The report techniques were interesting. I'd like to know if anyone found this style better or worse than my previous one.


I'd like to know if anyone found this style better or worse than my previous one.

I liked the narrative style you used to use better. It read more like you were telling us about your class over a cup of (virtual) tea, and less like, well, a report.

I don't comment much on your LJ posts, because usually I can't think of anything to add, but I always look forward to them.

Thank you.

I think I'll do the lj ones in the old way, and the official ones according to the template.

I have been wondering if anyone reads the pakua diaries, since I usually turn the comments off. I'm glad someone does.

I read them, though I can't usually comment, and the speed of your belt progression baffles me to no end!

It baffles me, too.

But I'm told that one stays grey belt for a long time, unless one chooses to accelerate to another. That's just fine by me. "Black belt is where the training begins."

The accelerated courses make for strange things - Master Brian, who is first degree black belt and who owns/runs my school, started this past *March*. I started just short of a year ago.

I've been studying aikido for a year and I'm still a white belt. Although the exams were cancelled in november because the teachers had to discuss things in the week-end aikido clinic during which the exams usually take place, so I don't know if I might have been eligible to pass one then, which means I might have gotten a yellow belt, six months later. (They don't hand them out right after the exams either.) But this is normal for the style I'm learning, and I don't care what colour my belt is as long as I am practicing and learning. It takes about ten years to get to a black belt, and the belts in-between are not handed out quickly. (In Japan, iirc, they are no intermediary belts at all in some dojos.)

I'm very happy about your progress, but the different approach in pakua is startling.