July 4, 2020. Corona Virus.

Over the last 2 weeks or so I have been able to return to practicing Karate.  Over the last 3 months, gyms, restaurants, bars, beaches, stores, schools, public offices-just about everything has been in some stage of being closed.   This, due to the response of the threat of a flu virus-a frickin’ flu virus.

It is now the 1st week of July.  Thank the Lord L.A. Fitness has reopened AND it’s not crowded.  I have the upstairs exercise bike room almost completely to myself almost each time I’m there almost all the time I’m there.

Dave the Airline Pilot returned his iPad Air to the airlines.  They deleted everything, reset it, then sold it back to him, then moi, for…$130?  Something like that.  While the Apple Store is lousy for apps that assist w/learning to write computer code, the gizmo is a pretty good tablet to use for practicing Karate.  My laptop simply does not fit in the space on the podium in front of the class cuz some dummy put a monitor smack dab in the middle, but this tablet does.  Also, I can plug in the table directly to the monitor.  While I haven’t been able to figure out how to transmit to the monitor, I can at least charge incognito and follow along.

The barriers for training have been:
The effects of heat stroke.
My cardiovascular endurance.
My extra weight.
Gym hours.
Having a gizmo that’ll work.
The Orange Belt follow along exam.  Ugh.  What the hell?!

Oh, 24 Hour Fitness-prior to the virus ceased being open 24 Hours.  Midnight to 0400 they are closed.  Now, even worse.

I have begun to stretch more.
Constant back pain along spine in upper back.
Buttocks.  Both.
Groin strain.  OW, good heavens.

Ice did wonders for my groin.  I had to buy an ice chest, fill it with ice and small soda pop cans, then stuff cold soda pop cans down inside my underwear to freeze/decrease the swelling.  MUCH better.

Feb 23 ,2020 Practice: 7th Kyu Orange Example Test

It’s been months since I have worked out.  Reasons:
1.  The Orange Belt example test run-thru really took the wind out of my sails-extremely disappointing.   There’s mistakes & the kata run-thru contain errors.   The training video for one kata is not good enough.
2.  The 24 Hour Fitness chain closed most of it’s gyms between the hours of midnight and 4 a.m.  They outta change the name to 20 hour fitness.
3.  I was sick.  It took two rounds of pet store antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria & then still 2 months after that I hadn’t completely recovered.
4.  The heat stroke has me still injured.  If I get my heart rate too high my heart hurts the next day. : (

I just did the OB practice test run-thru.

I think I might implement ‘Self Defense Sundays’.



8.20.19. OB Test practice

Day #2 of running thru the Orange Belt test.

It’s great GMAU changed the practice video. This is MUCH easier to follow along.

My heart is holding up. Switched up diet even more-GOTTA get rid of even MORE sodium. Ugh. Lots more fruit bowls, half salad dressing, veggie cups. I really don’t mind at all, I could care less about what I eat, I just don’t like feeling so bad.

R ankle still not flexible enough. Jeez.

8/13/19 Studying for OB exam-my constant confusion w/Kata list


6 months later & I am still having problems with the kata list.  Click on the above images to be sent into ‘Gallery’ mode where the image will be much larger & easier to see.    This is a screenshot of the criteria covered on the exam but the kata are not specifically spelled out.  I think it’d just be clear & specific if the katas themselves were listed=perhaps like this:

YB Kata:  Taikyoku nidan
YB Kata:  Heian Shodan

OB Kata:  Taikyoku Nidan
OB Kata:  Heian Nidan

I STILL don’t know if the above is correct.
The following is a screenshot:

Change this to specifics Katas 1

8/7/19 Workout

Feeling MUCH better-rested, not tired, took a nap, super tired the last few weeks, not coughing, no green stuff making my lung flutter (maybe cuz I swam), heart holding up ok but hurts a bit and misses a beat at about the 16th beat or is weak. R ankle still unstable.L knee still unstable.Showed ‘Oscar’ GMAU. Cracked ea other’s backs. In aerobics room at 24 Hr. Fatness HB on Adams.

Feb. 20, 2019. Easy going workout. 7th Kyu Orange – General Training Class 2

‘Took it easy due to my heart & heart rate issues. ‘Didn’t want to get it hot. Still wanted to work it out to get my BP down tho’. Paused the video at least 10 times to keep my HR under 100.
Not too many problems w/my body. R ankle is looser but still hot. Torso didn’t get hot. Hernias didn’t bother me but I took it easy at work this week.

In the aerobics room at 24 Hr. Fitness in Huntington Beach on fAtlanta and Magnolia.
Oh, did 12 mins of Kumites but I think I am doing too many of them, I think we are supposed to only do the Orange Belt Kumites.

Feb. 10, 2019. 1st workout in 3 months.

My first workout in 3 months.  I did this class:  7th Kyu Orange – General Training Class 1, the first class for ppl training to get the Orange Belt.  ‘Went well, but I eased in; I didn’t do all the reps of everything at first, I monitored my HR, I didn’t put out 100% effort every move, and I stopped about 5 times (?) to lower my heart rate every time my heart got hot. 

Stretched a lot. 

Kept my heart rate below 120 for sure, below 110 for sure, and once it got over 100 I felt my heart get hot.  At that point I sat down and did stretches.

I’m not sure if what I had a month ago was a heart attack or not so I’m just going to take things easy.   

Feb. 8, 2019. Injury Report.

4 months since I’ve worked out.  Jeez.  Oh, & pretty much worked out doing anything, not just GMAU items. 

1.  R ankle is tight.  I think it’s fine it just needs stretching.  Dunno how I injured that. 
2.  Hernias are better but still there.  R abd one seems to be the main culprit at the moment.   Inguinal are ok, but the R abd one I’ll have to watch.  ‘Have to hold my side when I cough or laugh.  I’m hoping as I drop wt and build abs it’ll improve. 
3.  Back is fine.   Well, not fine, just back to being what it normally is-full of knots and pops and cracks when I wiggle the right way.   Just have to watch it pulling the heavy patient up in bed. 
4.  3 colds in 3 months-2 bacterias and one flu.  I still have a bit of a cough but no fever. 
5.  R eye is no longer puffy.  Dunno how I injured that. 
6.  Head.  Self surgery a success again.  That’s lump #3 gone.  ‘Took care of 2 lumps 2 years ago, now 3 more have popped up.  All those years working in hospitals and surgery centers have paid off.  For <$20, I got an Xacto knife from Home Depot, rubbing alcohol and 4x4s from the drug store, and in 40 mins, whatever the hell barnacle was growing on my head is now gone.  3 weeks to completely heal/there to be no squishy spot on my head.  Now there’s just a slight dent.  Whatever. 

I think that’s it.


8/28/18. Sample Belt Test – 7th Kyu Orange – Filming and Practice Guide

Long day studying Excel.  ‘Thought I’d get in some exercise tonight since I was sitting all day long, even if I’d work out at 20% effort.  Well, I’m 20 minutes into working out and I’m at 50% effort.  Not bad.  Plus, my lungs hurt.  

Running thru the Orange belt test Jonas made,even tho’ he screws it up at the end.  We need to remake this. 

July 20, 2018 Sample Belt Test – 7th Kyu Orange – Filming and Practice Guide

I am halfway thru the minimum time required to take the Orange belt exam, so, I followed along with the video Jonas’ made for his test.  
I need to make one of my own and upload it. 

Effort percentage:  Watching to 90%  Average:  40%

I’ll do this over & over, it’s a great way to realize what you don’t know.  Maybe I should go back and make one for Yellow belts.

July 1, 2018 7th Kyu Orange – General Training Class 2

The first 26 mins I didn’t learn anything.  That being said, I can use the first part to build endurance.  

Eventually it gets into static and dynamic Kihon drills, but not until 26:00 was I able to really refine or learn anything-cuz at 26:00 the new blocks appear.  This block is slow, then fast.  I need an intermediate speed in there & for more than 10 reps.  I say slow for 10x, medium 5x, slow 10x, medium 5x, etc.  

GMAU April Fool’s Prank video ideas.

April Fools prank videos?
Some ideas:
As you go thru a video all those things behind you on the walls fall off the walls one by one.
You do a complete video with those items in the background upsidedown.
You change the belt ranking. “We at GMAU have decided that the more you know the more you don’t know, so from now on everyone STARTS at the Black Belt level and moves up to the White Belt level.”
Invent knew silly moves. ie: Hops, the Chicken strike, Snake hand attack, an all thumbs attack video, a new yell, etc.
Make a new kata. Include odd moves-dive roll, Charlie Chaplin feet, 720 degree spin, ballet moves, Jazz hands, etc.
Partner sparring a la the modern dance group ‘Pilobolus’ (men who are wrestlers climbing on one another, very neat).
A video on conflict deescalation that includes googly eyes, bad breath chewing gum, foaming at the mouth “Because no one dares get into a fight with someone with an obvious case of rabies!”, etc.
A new type of weapon. Xmas paper wrapping tube, mini-chucks (two chop sticks tied together), spork, pool noodle, coffee in the face.
Trendier gi’s:  Shorter legs (shorts?!), skinny gi’s, tie-dye, carpet, shimmering.
GMAU Competitor.  ‘Karate Karl’s Discount online Martial Arts Training’.  

April 10th, 2018 workout.

I have done the following:

Age Uke (Rising Block) Kihon Drill.  The turn was confusing-the blocking, the direction of turn, and the arm movement.
Gedan Barai (Downward Block) – Kihon Drill.  This cleared up the turning direction.  I assume the turning direction/movement is the same as it was in the Age Uke.  I’ll have to reexamine this when I have an educated eye.
Looked at the test list. 

Sent an e-mail to Sensei Michael re:  Changing the order the Age Uke and Gedan Barai drills are listed/presented on the page.  
Neko Ashi Dachi (Cat Stance)

Lots more review at this level than I’d thought.

Followed along with this:
Sanbon Kumite (Three Step Sparring)
The double hand block to strike will require further study.

Darn wifi here at the gym.  Kept cutting out on me.  😦 

March 8, 2018. Orange Belt: Gyaku Zuki (Reverse Punch) – Kihon Drill

I watched this video at Starbucks.  

Been a lot going on.  The pediatric patient died, I had to deal with that.  I took 2 weeks off to deal with that emotionally and to get over that awful cold that swept the country.  ‘Got a new job and it’s stabilized-somewhat, so I can entertain training and working out again. 

GMAU added ‘assignments’ and ‘stripes’.  Good.  

I need to clean up the website.  Change the blog page name and clean up the tags & categories. 

I am concerned about the Orange Belt test kata.  I think the only video we have to go by is the student video, the guy in his living room, the European guy.  It’s great quality but he restarts after he makes a few errors.  I’ll look into that. 

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. 

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