Category Archives: Things white belts need to know

Feb 16, 2018. 1st Orange belt class. 7th Kyu Orange – General Training Class 1

Did 30 mins of this class:   7th Kyu Orange – General Training Class 1

Guy in the bike room is biking and singing.  And not very well.

First class at the Orange belt level.  Seems to be variations on a theme.
Not sure but I think there are less classes.

Things have been rocky.  Got moved up to full time at my pediatric home health job on a Tuesday and by Friday the patient had died.  Been scrambling ever since.

Top 50 Martial Arts Youtube Channels for all Martial Artists

I Passed the Yellow Belt Exam! O.O

Holy smokes, I passed the Yellow Belt exam!  O.O  That’s amazing.   Also what’s amazing is that I actually KNOW things in Karate!  I know, that may sound silly, even moreso to ppl who are advanced IN Karate, but it’s true.  To get even more philosophical, reaching a level of competency in a movement Art, an agreed upon level of competency.  

The good Lord has graced us with so many faculties-sight, hearing, sensing, communication, movement, fingers, recognition of tone…   Is it not our duty TO explore those faculties?  Is to not to sin, so slap the Lord in the face and say “Hey bub, you know what, I don’t give a crap what you gave me that is awesome-I’M not going to utilize it!”.  

I say yes. 

Well, Adam Bein the Yellowbelt says “Yes”.  lol 


Dec 20th 2017 Hot gi

Practice test run thrus for Yellow belt today.  I’m DONE wearing a 10oz gi.  This is ridiculous.  I’m getting an 8 oz.

The air conditioning was on-THAT was GREAT.
I used my racquetball shoes-THAT was GREAT.  But I DO need to make them a little more loose; loose like when I play racquetball.
My cocked arm’s forearm is not horizontal.
I need to tie my gi pants so they don’t loosen.   Maybe do a quick run thru/exercises with them before the test to make sure they stay tight.
My camera has a buzzing sound.  😦


April Fool’s Day ideas

New Belts:
Sparkley-be tough AND fashionable

An entire sparkly gi

New videos:
Self defense for mascots:  Moose, etc.
2 guys in a cow costume self defense. Shotokan Cowrate

Bad locations to practice video:
Nuclear power plant.  There’s a sign, a leak, a  man in a haz mat outfit.
Train tracks
Shark tank
Quick sand
Broken glass at a recycling center

Combined sports.  Shotokan karate with:
Ballroom dancing
Official GMAU Merchandise:
Pongfa:  Ping pong paddle as a weapon.
GMAU fingernail polish


Sunglasses with holes
Those lont Mexican cowboy boots
Bad bumper stickers

GMAU Food:

Candy Bar
Protein Powder

Bought a gi and equipment.

Today I bought a gi.  Found a guy on Craigslist selling a size 5 white Shotokan Karate gi with the pants, unopened.  I also picked up from him:
4 escrima sticks
2 sai.
Rubber nunchuku
Belts:  Yellow and orange.
2 books:  Nunchuku and sai.
A martial arts bag for carrying the items.

I bought them from a guy named ‘Luke’.  Energetic and nice, Luke was very willing w/o asking to show me things, teach me things, and impart knowledge.  This guy’s got a great attitude. He works way down in Mission Viejo in the same bldg as the Saddleback Church Corp. HQ’s on El Toro.  If I ever need to practice or get advice I’m sure he’d step up to the plate. 

I went to Bushido, a martial arts supply company.  Santa Ana, CA.  I bought:
A foam bo.  5′ long.  I went with the short foam staff because the purpose of the short one is to have a long light staff.  Plus I can resell it to a young person later on. 
Solid bo case.  Keep the bo looking good for resale-and to carry so no one will get upset. 
Sai case.  Keep the rubber sai looking good for resale and to carry so no one will get upset. 
Shoes with clear soles (so I don’t mark up the racquetball court’s floor).

The Bushido shop isn’t a store or a showroom.  There’s a few uniforms hanging in there but beyond that, zilch.  The guys there were very helpful and zero attitude-other than rolling out the red carpet and being spot-on with items as I requested them.  I can’t say enough good things about Bushido Martial Arts Supply.  


Yellow belt test run thru

I just did a yellow belt test run thru on the racquetball court at LA Fitness.  75% effort.  It went very well.  I need to take another look at the ends of the movement pattern to see if the only angled movement occurs at the every end (of Heian Shodan) and examine what follows the Tettsui Uchi. I think I’ll film this on the racquetball court.

Nov 7 2017 Sample Belt Test – 8th Kyu Yellow – Filming and Practice Guide

It’s coming together but I still am not 100%.  
I’m not predicting the next group of moves that we demonstrate.
Heian shodan-need to work on Renoji dachi.
I need to go slower than this video.
I need to be able to do the whole thing myself (w/o watching the video).

Nov. 1, 2017. Review: Renoji-Dachi (L-Stance)

THIS is why one needs to go back and review/re-watch the classes and lessons-cuz ya’ pick up on little details that you missed.  In this review I learned that the back foot needs to be at 45 degrees.



Nov. 1, 2017. Review: Renoji-Dachi (L-Stance)

This is why one needs to review.  Reviewing this I learned that the back foot needs to be at 45 degrees and not 90 degrees.

This is wrong:


This is right:

Oct 27 2017 Kihon Drill Mae Geri Keage – Kekomi

I went back and did this lesson.  I wanted to clarify that I’ve got the correct kick assigned to the correct Japanese vocabulary word.  I hope they don’t grade on height or speed, I’d like to have an execution that is correct/correct mechanics.   It’s nice to go back with an educated eye & re-do the material/classes.  I think everyone should do this once they have most of their belt’s level completed and are ready to test. 


I need to make an errors page to help out the Senseis.  
I got an extra day/week at a home health job.  That’ll pay for the gi & shoes & the donation to GMAU I keep meaning to make.
The laminated test printout is terrific.  I’ll definitely do that from now on.
I still need to watch the partner videos slower and analyze them.
I got a huge roll of paper from a photographer.  He’d used them for backdrops and had gobs of the things.  I’ll put the test order on it in big marker.
Place to test:
In the racquetball court at the gym:  Excellent lighting, huge open space, walls to hang up (tape up the order of the test/requirements), nice looking wood floor with floor boards, distraction-free background, good acoustics, at the gym, room for a tripod, solitary.

Practice test run thru.

Oct 15, 2017.  I did a practice test run thru at 24 Hr. Fitness. The presentation of the skills needs to be solid;  Definitive demonstration of the skill, definitive entry into each demonstration, clear cut elements between ea. presentation, etc.

Need to look into getting a Gi for the exam.

Need to start practicing barefoot or find specific shoes for Karate.

Need to do dry run thru’s with video equipment.


Class 13 – Kumite Striking and Blocking

10/12/17  This class has a lot of boxing and kickboxing in it.  It is neat to learn and I’m glad to have it.  However, I do not recommend rewatching this video if one is looking for karate class per-se.  Great class, not condusive to studying for the belt upgrade though.  Very insightful.  I will watch it again when I am not in ‘karate learning’ mode as I am now. 

Belt Test Practice for the week of Sept 24, 2017 to Sept. 30, 2017

I printed out a copy of the exam criteria and had the print laminated-wow, what a great idea!  I’ll do this from now on!  I keep it in my car and carry it with me to work, to the gym, etc.  I’ve practiced for the exam at work, at the gym on the aerobics floor and in the racquetball courts, and even at night outside in a parking lot.  SUPER handy.

I have found that breaking down the exam into thirds seems to be very helpful. 

Mae Geri Kekomi. Front Thrust Kick.

9/20/17.  11:08.  I just now followed along with the Mae Geri Kekomi (Front Thrust Kick).
1.  Just like with Mae Geri Keago (Front Snap Kick), I need to have ‘strong arms’.  I need to make them real tight when doing this movement.
2.  I am better at balancing on my left foot.
3.  The shifting of my weight needs to remain consistent/spot on (or else I get wobbly).

I am in the spin room at 24 Hr. Fitness.  I’m in the corner, laptop mounted on top of a spin class bike.  That’s a first-but at least I am being accommodated and not being thrown out.


Practice Test 1st time thru

I followed along with the practice test.  I need more practice.  More room, shoot straight on, know the order.

I reviewed my video.  The good news is that I was able to follow along and do the whole thing, so I’ve got the CV endurance, so that’s good.  I’ve also got the large room TO do it in, so that’s good. And I’ve got an idea & the fundamentals (they are not crisp but I have them).

Corrections to make:
1.  Shoot the video with my head in it.  Probably stand back further from the camera.
2.  Shoot straight on.  Raise the camera.
3.  Be able to stabilize/hold the camera.
4.  Lose wt.
5.  Get in a stance and hold it/freeze-don’t bounce around.
6.  Keep pinky finger in.
7.  Keep fingers together at all times.
8.  Practice knife strike/block 10x walking forwards and back.
9.  Practice back stance.
10.  Make fists be fists.
11.  Back the tables and chairs way back.
12.  Bow with fingers together.
13.  Fully extend the arm in a punch
14.  Practice hammer fist strike.
15.  Think about what the move is and what the movement entails before doing it.
16.  Don’t lose/let up on the stance when doing an arm movement part.
17.  Differentiate kicks.
18.  During kicks, keep arms diagonal at sides.  Maintain the arms during it the whole time.
19.  Slow down the arm movements when doing the parts when the feet are stationary.
20.  Don’t bounce.   Slow down.
21.  Turn off cell phone alarms.
22.  Don’t swing the arms between movements/while pausing/resting.
23.  Learn the vernacular & what’s next.
24.  Hold that back arm/fist in the right spot when the other hand punches.
25.  Write up the order on Quizlet.










Class 5 – Beginner Kata Class

The most intricate Kata class.  Rewatch this and separate the Katas.

Katas we learn:
1.  Kihon Kata .  This, I think, is the most basic kata.

Kata patterns run-throughs by time:
1st run-thru.  Just stances.  This is great to just learn the stances and the movement between them because it isolates the stances.  No arm movement.
2nd run-thru.  Starts at 7:30.  Just stances. No arm movement.
3rd run-thru.  Starts at 9:45 has the arm movements/with Kihon.
4th run-thru.  Starts at 12:05.  Back view.
5th run-thru.  Starts at 13:47.  Front view.
6th run-thru.  Starts at 15:30.  Has more speed & power.
7th  run-thru. Starts at 16:50.  From an angle.  Front view.  Slow.
8th run-thru.  Starts at 18:35.  From an angle.  Back view.   Slow.
9th run-thru.  Starts at 20:55.  Taikyoku Shodan.  Front view.
10th run-thru.  Starts at 22:20.  Taikyoku Shodan.  Back view.
11th run-thru. Starts at 23:30  Heian Shodan (the ‘Traditional Kata’).  Front view. Counting is a little off at the end for a quick moment.
12th run thru.  Starts at 24:45.  Heian Shodan (the ‘Traditional Kata’).   Back view.  A little slower than the front view version.



2.  The traditional kata:  Heian Shodan.  The Heian Shodan kata is almost the same as Taikyoku Shodan  This is one step up from the ‘Kihon’ kata.  It adds 45 degree movements, Kokutsu (back stance), knife hand strikes, and hammer strikes.



Adam, Welcome to Your New Journey


We are so excited that you have decided to train with us in shotokan karate. Shotokan is a mysterious Japanese martial art that can truly unlock a new level of potential in students. It is not purely a physical art, but one that trains your mind and spirit. Not to sound cliché, but that has been my experience with karate.

We look forward to getting you rolling and off the ground. 

This is the first time I have ever posted on a student’s blog! They usually interact with us via our online member’s section. But, I would be curious to see you catalog and record your training experience as you go.

Have a great time diving into training. I hope to get you set on the right path so that you can have a very successful journey to black belt.

-“Sensei” Michael

June 16, 2017. Beginner Class 2.

I did this class:   Class 2 – Beginner Class.  It is a good full body workout  Plenty of warm up that’s not too tough with breaks in the activity, then the instruction and that has breaks in the activity.  Then practice stances.

I’ve not done Karate for 2 weeks-my lungs have just hurt too much and then the accompanying sleep needs.  Working graveyards doesn’t help.  What I need to do is not go out at night to places-cuz that’s how I picked up these 2 colds.  : (


Japanese vocab practice, Flu, sleep, 24 Hr Fitness

5/26/17 Friday night.  Been a little rough going-either this flu is hanging on or I picked up another one.  This is my first time practicing physically in…5 days?  Feeling better now.  Did vocab on Quizlet.  It’s 10:43 pm & I’m at 24 Hr Fitness.  Just did Kokutsu dachi drill-it’s used in the testing & kata.  Photo below (the lights in the room are blue neon O.O ).

Kokutsu dachi practice 1



5/26/17 10:56 pm.   Followed the Renoji dachi video.

11:01 pm.   Followed along with the Choku zuki video.  Straight punches.  Notes;  The hand is pronated until it twists at the end-in simultaneously with the twisting of the back hand as it is placed by the side and the slight twisting of the torso.

23: 30  Gyaku-zuki (Reverse Punch).  This punch/drill comes from the hourglass stance at first but later on in the 1 step drill it looks like that is dropped.   The hand that is doing the punching is the one that is on the same side as the back leg. This is opposite of Oi-zuki. 

I need to get a punching bag for the sister of that kid I’m taking care of so she can practice punching.  Tweeted Adam Carolla about his punching bag preferences.

23:33.  Oi-zuki.  Front lunge punch.  This is done in Zenkutsu dachi and the hand that is on the same side as the front leg is doing the punch.  This is the opposite hand that is used when doing Gyaku-zuki, the Reverse punch.  

5/27/17. Quizlet, flu, kata.

My lungs are getting better-another damn flu going around.  Working graveyards doesn’t help.  Quizlet helps a LOT.  I’m getting MUCH better at Japanese terms.  I’m not able yet though to do the fill-in-the-blank tests.  I watched the Kata videos a few times.  I can now see each individual move & recognize & name the move.  I think what I need to do is be able to verbalize, well, recognize each move first, then be able to verbalize them.

Quizlet image 1

I watched ‘Sample Belt Test 8th Kyu Yellow Filming and Practice Guide’

Shotokan Karate notes
Testing video thoughts
4/27/17 1:28 am
I am watching a video, my first, on the website. The video I chose is the yellow belt testing video. Seems to be a good idea-see what is expected, what is the goal. The video communicates what is expected of the demonstration as well as camera position, communication, and continuity of filming. The video is called: ‘Sample Belt Test – 8th Kyu Yellow – Filming and Practice Guide’

Hey-I can’t download this with ‘Real Player’. I thought we could download them. This isn’t going to work if I can’t have the videos be portable.

The following thoughts come to my mind (I am halfway thru):
1. I notice that there are a lot of Japanese vocabulary words. I’ll make a Quizlet site/flashcards. There’s probably frequently used vocabulary words interchanged. Ie: ‘kick’ is tagged on to the words for ‘snap’, ‘back’, ‘front’, ‘walking’, ‘swinging’, etc.
2. There are (or at least I need to clarify & be able to recognize)
Standing punches
Standing kicks
High punches
Low punches
High kicks
Low kicks
High blocks
Low blocks
Foot position
Foot movement tracks/tracking/paths

3. Maybe I’ll start with what ‘catches on’ to me easiest/is easier for me to comprehend from the get-go.   Then I’ll build from there. 
4. Maybe I’ll start with standing still of the body with arm or leg movements, rather than walking and moving.
5. One arm is doing something and the other arm is doing something else (simultaneously).
6. Some movements occur while moving forward, some movements occur while moving backwards.
7. Maybe I should learn blocking first-to protect myself.
8. Although the Instructor is demonstrating the movements while only moving say, 4 or 5 steps forwards and back, I think I’m going to need to take many steps-do each movement as I walk across a large room.
9. I need to review Japanes numbers/counting.
10.  I need to make one page of this blog site dedicated to vocabulary.

This looks much more involved than I ever realized-and this is just at the white belt level.
Adam Bein
4/27/17 01:50 am