Adventures in Jodan-sae. Post #2

Once again, this is a continuation of previous journal entries… I think I will be posting a new reflection within the day.

Week 2 – 4/18/2015

Had practice on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday this week and managed to go to all three, even though I was a bit busy with a lot of school and Dr. Ahn related stuff. Here was the week’s schedule:

Monday – katate suburi in chair, a bit of squats and bench at gym

Tuesday – Kendo

Wednesday – Kendo

Thursday – No suburi, great back session, started Power look program with my mods

Friday – Kendo

Saturday – will be doing arms/traps and katate suburi

It’s so frustrating being in jodan no kamae during keiko… It’s hard to pressure with seme as I usually do with chudan. In addition, my torso is still twisted with my left side being too far forward and I’m still too “jumpy” with my footwork… I need to remember to keep calm and pressure with my presence, to literally feel as if I have 백두산 at my back… as if I am a mountain, a fire striking down from the heavens above. That imagery is nice and all, but DAMN… it’s fucking impossible to do it in keiko. I get fidgety, I start bunny hopping, I start tensing up… and it’s frustrating because I SEE the opportunity, I just can’t move fast enough to get there. There’s like… a second delay in me recognizing an opening and me actually moving… whereas in chudan I could just SNAP it. Ah well… more suburi it is then… LOL


Lessons from Youtube:

Fujiwara Takao hanshi sensei’s jodan instructions

  • When tsuki’ed, knock the incoming shinai out of the way with the bottom of the tsuka and fist while hitting men.
  • Keep thumb and forefinger of right hand on shinai, not the whole hand

Week 3 – 4/25/2015

Last week of practice for the semester. Went on Tuesday and Friday, did not do much suburi (only some hitting in the room). I would have LOVED to go on Wednesday, but I fell asleep after stuffing my face at Pinata’s. Tuesday was fun, as Matsuyama sensei came and I got to practice Jodan against him. He told me that in order to get good at this, I would have to lose a LOT. It did feel like my men strike was a lot more natural this week… it had the right sound and feel, as well as the right “snap”. I still need to work A LOT on my kote strike. It just feels so… off. I need to remember that kote must feel like jamming my thumb into the kote.

Anyways, Friday was the inner club tournament. I went against Vai, Henry, and Yumi, in that order. Against Vai, it was a kote. Against Henry, the first was a kote, and the second was either a kote or men, not sure. It was over pretty quickly with Henry, unfortunately. The final match with Yumi was fun. I think both of the points were men, which was surprising. Again, the process of loose upper body and tight footwork proved to be very helpful. Also, the jodan mindset… the slightly more aggressive mindset was helpful.

List of waza that can be used:

  • Shikake waza (proactive)
    • Katate men
    • Katate kote
    • Seme to men, morote men
    • Seme to kote, morote men
    • Seme to men, morote kote
    • Seme to men, gyaku do
    • Shinai wo haratte morote men – knock shinai out of the way, hit men
  • Kaeshi waza (reactive)
    • Debana men
    • Kote nuki men
    • Kote uchi otoshi men – knock down incoming kote and hit men
    • Tsuki uchi otoshi men – knock down incoming tsuki and hit men

I feel like I should have a more… calm stance when doing jodan. But at least it’s letting me see some more openings for the men.


Fujiwara sensei came on Wednesday, 4/29, to practice. He taught me both chudan and jodan. More center with my left (this left a squeeze in the inner fibres of my left pec), much less right arm/shoulder, and hitting through the men. Instead of snapping, like I was used to, I had to hit THROUGH – instead of stopping at the forehead, it was to cut through to the neck. Extension was another key thing… fluid extension. He fixed my jodan stance to a more traditional one, with the shinai raised high (more than 45 degrees) and more centered. Stretching the hamstring of the behind leg was also important, as was better “small steps”. I FINALLY learned how to hit katate kote… less whip, more cut.  An extension, but a cut, nonetheless.


Back at Hong Moo Kwan with Jo Sabumnim. Definitely a different experience, but one that I am thoroughly enjoying. My men striking has become so much better. I am still curling to my right with my chudan, due to the slightly outward left foot position and the right hand dominance, but it has been getting much better. My jodan feels better… I am able to hit kote at least during geiko. But the weakness in my left arm is so evident. The gyaku do is a more natural movement now and the seme to men – morote kote feels great. I am able to tsuki a bit more. I can also hit the kote without having to do the more traditional stance. In fact, I’ve adopted more of a wider stance with both jodan and chudan. With the jodan, I am able to be less “jumpy” and be stiller. One hit, one kill, as they say.


Finally seem to have gotten my left hand grip correct. During the geiko with an older kenshi, I was able to get off a good kote and a decent men. I need to get more comfortable with it. More non-stop attack from the jodan stance will help, I think.


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