Yellow Belt!

After grading in November, I am now starting the 2010 year of Wado Kai karate as a yellow belt! Last class I was introduced to a new kata: Pinan Nidan. I observed this kata being performed by yellow belts before, but now I actually got to do it.  :) After training the basic Kihon kata as a white belt, the Pinan marks my first step into training some advanced kata.

Yellow Belt!

The Toronto Wado Kai karate dojo is focused on teaching techniques that can be used for self-defense, more so than training specifically for tournaments. The Toronto dojo still participates in tournaments, as we practice the basic karate techniques; however, training focused on self-defense exposes us to techniques otherwise not allowed at tournaments. You could say we train primarily for the streets, in which case the focus is on survival, and not necessarily a fair fight. For instance, in a sequence of take-down techniques, hitting below the belt can be an early step you perform to distract your opponent while you proceed with a joint lock to control the opponent and finally take him down. The students at our dojo are also exposed to a variety of self-defense techniques belonging to other martial arts, such as Judo.

Karate training is an excellent way to stay in shape and a great way to stay sane after hours of coding. To anyone sitting in front of a computer for long periods of time, I extremely recommend getting involved in a physically and mentally rewarding activity, whatever that may be. Going to the gym is obviously an excellent way to stay in shape, but I find that lifting weights alone gets boring very quickly, unless you have something else to occupy your mind with. This is not to say that gym is not useful; often times the karate training alone is not enough to keep my endurance up in all cases, so additional cardio work is always welcome. Though, as a single activity, karate is one that balances mental and physical challenges very well.

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