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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Women Who Love Karate's LiveJournal:

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Sunday, March 7th, 2010
8:52 am
Cross-training, especially for kumite
Hi all. I'm a 5th kyu in Shotokan karate, my grading syllabus includes a lot of kibadachi (my kata's tekki shodan/naihanchi), and I'm particularly interested in kumite.

I know people say if you want to get better at karate, do more karate, but a) it's just not possible for me at the moment due to time and money and b) I think cross-training is better for you.

So... do people have any suggestions for cross-training? I own a punchbag and a bike and I get free gym and swimming. I've already noticed that the leg extension machine at the gym (sit with your legs bent, weights on your shins, and straighten your legs) works the same muscles as kibadachi. Quadriceps, I guess. I've also noticed that general fitness is an issue, and that I've got better since I've taken up running, in that my stamina for kumite has improved. I remember reading somewhere that cycling is good for building up leg strength for kicks. Do people have any other suggestions?

Another thing is that most of the long-term Shotokan karateka I know have knee issues. Does anybody know of any particular knee-strengthening exercises that could help prevent these? I already wear knee supports (elasticated bandages) when training or running, and I don't run on concrete.

Thanks for any help.

(Cross-posted to karate_women and karate_do)

Current Mood: hopeful
Sunday, September 27th, 2009
7:00 pm
Hi Karate Lovers

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Fran and I live in Toronto Canada. The Style I do is Wado Ryu Karate and have been doing it for 19 months. And I am First Green Belt (6th Kyu). I really do enjoy it. Now that I am at Green I get to do more Sparring which is fun.  I am learning now Pinan Yodan and Pinan Godan amd then that's it for the Pinan Kata after that it's onto ones like Naihanchi and Kushanku.
Saturday, December 29th, 2007
10:46 am
NYPD officer accused of using karate oath to abuse student.
usually horrible news stories in the paper only serve to make me very sad; i reiki the newspaper a lot.

but this morning's paper had something in it that made me burn with anger.

i just don't see how this was allowed to happen...

Current Mood: sick
Saturday, November 24th, 2007
8:11 pm
Karate Videos
Cool website of some good fights:


OBTW, if you type IBBY in search mode, you'll find videos of my instructor. The second to last video on the third page has some great commentary, and a picture of him photoshopped.

No, I don't know how it was done.
Saturday, June 30th, 2007
12:49 am
Anyone still here?
I noticed that it's be a WHILE since someone has written here........ umm.... so is this community still active? I'm looking forward to hearing more stories about your experiences in the dojo. It's great that this is a community for women in karate... how appropriate... I think the girls are slowly out numbering boys. When I had my grading for my shodan, there were 6 girls and 2 boys. It's fantastic!
Anyways, girls, please post!!! :D


Current Mood: cheerful
Wednesday, October 25th, 2006
2:53 pm
just a training update, and a realization.
last night we trained bunkai. what surprised me is that i am apparently the one who is willing to choreograph fights; though i tend to miss adding in extra strikes, and would rather get away. as i suspected, i'm very prone to throw a knee or elbow.

after class, i somehow picked a fight sparring match with Mr. King.

well, he started it, last week! and, bad example or no, he enthusiastically participated. we were going at it for a fairly long time, and i learned a heck of a lot about my weaknesses in those ten minutes. i may have found a few of Mr. King's, too. *wry grin*


between shadow-boxing and sparring kicks in the morning, and this at night, i pretty much had the snot beaten out of me yesterday. i have a ton of (relatively small) fingerprint and kneestrike and blocking bruises. i'm pretty sore from all the running around.

so why am i so happy?


my god. i'm one of THEM.

Current Mood: amused
Thursday, September 28th, 2006
9:43 pm
three little hours of kata...
when i went into the dojo this morning, and mentioned to Sensei that i wanted to "test" twice, he told me it wasn't done. i think perhaps he thought i expected to promote twice. when in reality, i didn't even expect to promote once.

i just like to go to the morning class for the workout, and the evening class as moral support. i think of the Cicero dojo as "my" dojo, since it's where i started, and i really like to be there for promotions.

during warm-ups this morning, Sensei pulled me off the floor and said "OK, if you're going to come to Cicero, I'll test you tonight. You can work out this morning, and tonight you'll be my assistant. I have a card for you, but you'll get it later. I didn't want you to feel bad, thinking I wasn't promoting you."

which was my chance to say "Well, OK. I mean, I didn't expect to get promoted at all."

to which he replied "That's always good."


the workout was kind of brutal, but it was also strangely fun; i came out of it glowing, bouncing.

before i could slip out, Sensei asked me when i was planning to be at the dojo, asked me if i could come for the earlier class: "Be there at six, and you can be my assistant during the junior test, too."

there was that word, again. which left me wondering: what the heck did an "assistant" do?


i found out what the assistant does, at least today. i ended up sort of running the test. Sensei had me take the girl who was testing through Ten-No-Kata and the Geksais. we actually did some decent kata practice. she was even sweating. :)

by 6:45, when he gave her the promotion tape, i was ready to drop.

the guys in my class started showing up about then, and we were chatting, and i was thinking about slipping out - even going so far as to say "OK, I'm just going to go for a walk" - when Sensei ordered us to the floor and went over our lineage and history - always interesting, and always several new pieces of information that i either hadn't heard before or heard once and forgotten. i'm still mixing up the masters in our line. :/

but... then there was more kata. i kept going. part of me can't believe he told me to take the count again. by that point i was pushing through on sheer endorphins.

i've been awake since 4:30 am.


at the end though, i got to see the young man who recently joined our dojo - a junior black belt from another dojo - get his yellow belt. my classmates also promoted. and when it was my turn, Sensei gave me the best thank you i think i've ever gotten from anybody for whom i made such an effort.

he told me he was proud of me. and he hugged me.

and, really, that is all anybody could want.


so when i got in my car at 8:08 pm, and hit the radio button, and that song came on, i just had to smile and sing along. if the person i think about when i hear that song is thinking about me, or not thinking about me, it's all the same.

i'm the same.

it feels like i'm always trying so hard to be good, and today, somebody whose opinion means a great deal to me noticed.


It's not always rainbows and butterflies
It's compromise that moves us along (yeah)
My heart is full and my door's always open
You can come anytime you want (yeah!)

I don't mind spending every day
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved.
And she will be loved.

cross-posted to chris_warrior

Current Mood: rainbows and butterflies
Tuesday, September 12th, 2006
10:22 am
a healer/fighter problem - ever feel unwilling to do damage?
i just got home from the second karate class: serious self-defense drills in which Mr. Delaney seriously grabbed me, seriously bruised me, in an attempt to get me to seriously be willing to hurt him back, to get away.

i don't know how to describe how upset this whole healer/fighter dicotomy is making me. how something inside me went spriong today. i wish i could figure out what the hell i'm doing... part of me just doesn't care if i get hurt, to the point of preferring to be the one who gets hurt.

Mr. King says i need to locate my "reptile brain", that part of me that sees threat and just reacts.

what do you do when you've spent months now in healing energy work trying to get rid of that part of you? especially when it was never all that big to begin with?

i thought that between the two of them, they would have been working on figuring out a way to get me past this mental block. instead i get Mr. King saying "You need mental training."

well, DUH.

(cross-posted to "bushido_babes)

EDIT: so. now it's Thursday. i've had Reiki II for almost 48 hours. during that time i've trained twice, hyperventilated when my mother got angry at my father - called my Reiki teacher after hyperventilating when my mother got angry at my father - and given platelets.

surprisingly or no, i'm almost back to normal. *wry look* training this morning went a lot easier.

now, my Reiki teacher had warned me that the next level was going to mean another psychic flush. i thought i was ready for it. of course, nothing with me can be easy.

i'm not saying i have somehow mystically solved this 'problem' overnight... just that i think a great deal of my being unsettled and urgent about how bad i felt was the fact that my volume had just been turned up and i had NO clue as to how to turn it down again, or if i should.

i wanted to thank everyone who responded, trying to help me get a handle on it. you gave me a lot to think about, and places to go to start thinking. :)

Current Mood: torn, but less loudly.
Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006
8:16 am
three hours, at two dojos, in one hundred degrees.
for some reason - perhaps because it was 100 degrees in Syracuse yesterday - i was the only one who showed up at the Cicero dojo for evening classes. this is odd to me, since the dojo is air-conditioned, but i suppose that the trauma of slipping out of their air-conditioned house and into their air-conditioned car, and driving to the dojo... might have been too much for all of them.

(although, seriously, coming out of Panera yesterday was like running into a brick wall of sufforcatingly hot, humid air.)

since i (being no different from many other sane or semi-sane people) was determined to hop from one artificially-cooled place to another yesterday, i (and my school books) ended up at the dojo two hours early. i curled up in a chair and started studing, idly watching Mr. King pluck, in turn, every weapon off the wall and do the associated katas.

the Bo katas are long, but my god, are they pretty.

it was almost six PM when he exited the floor, got a drink, and said "OK, if (name of jr student who usually trains at six) isn't here in five minutes, get your gi on, and we'll train. Unless you're too into studying."

as i'd been studying for three hours or so by that point, in various air-conditioned locales, that answer would be "no."


i ended up with two hours of one-on-one instruction yesterday, in anything i wanted. Mr. King showed me the promotion recs, and asked me what i wanted to work on, excepting new kata (like i'd choose another new kata, when my Saifa is still so rocky?)

i chose the Gekisai kumite drill. i chose it because kumite is one of those things you just can't train on your own, and it was a lot of fun the last time it came up in rotation. of course, the last time we did it, i didn't have 800 reps of Gekisai Ichi under my belt, and i think it made a slight difference as to how the set feels.

after the fun, of course, came an hour of really annoying - because of my body's inability to perform a simple backfist - tweaks to Saifa. i say 'annoying', but i really needed them, because i do - occasionally - practice on my own, and to me it feels far worse to do a hundred reps of something incorrectly, then try to fix it.

add all of this to the karate drum chishi weight drills in the morning, and the studying, and the awesome hike time with Natalie, and i managed to get quite a bit done yesterday. :)

(cross-posted to chris_warrior)

Current Mood: accomplished
Friday, June 23rd, 2006
12:02 pm
Looking for a bit of inspiration
I have a couple of events coming up: karate camp and a grading, but I've recently started a second job and karate's taken a bit of a back seat. I haven't had much time for staying in shape or on top of my training and when I went to practice the other night I really felt it. I'm feeling kind of bummed out -_- What do you guys do to get back into training after taking a break? I need to turn my training around if I'm going to get through camp *lol*
Monday, June 19th, 2006
9:14 am
Pffffffft... my coach foned me from Hamilton (about a 7 hour drive from where i live in Wellington) to remind me I have to loose waight to get in the under 17, under 55Kg round for the secondary school champs T_T. ok its only about 2 Kg to loose and I can do that in a week but he has organized this hard out training thing for me... normally I would do it no problem but the fact is I had the school ball on friday so I was cutting on sweet stuff... on top of that I got my braces off on wednesday lastweek abling me to finally eat anything I wont! but no... i'll have to kiss those timtams goodbye yet again... which is really sad indeed.

On the positive side (if there is one) hes going to let me compeate! but being negative again, I am against New Zealand's top players because there is no catagories for novis and premiare... coz im only green belt, 4th kyu, im am novise. But ill be against all the hard out international conpeditors... how sad is that...
Friday, June 16th, 2006
9:30 pm
Competition and training
In one month I am going to compete in my first national competition. Its the USA-NKF Nationals and Team Trials. I am only entered in the team trials for kumite. I had to enter open kata and I am also doing weapons. I am getting nervous.

But the good thing of going is that I am getting awesome training in. Especially in off-line training. The majority of the people in the kumite divisions are going to be from shotokan and they generally fight in a straight line. So I have been working on drills that help my angle and go. Another people is that most of the other in my divison are tall and I am on the short side so I have to work on my sweeps and takedowns because I won't be able to get a kick to the head unless they are within 4 inches of my height. That is about it.
Thursday, June 15th, 2006
12:00 pm
Wednesday Training!
First of all, funny how I was thinking about this community just this morning and I logged onto Live Journal to find that amazingly, someone posted!

Anyways, training last night was really awesome! We were doing conditioning drills. Sensei told us to choose a partner who was roughly the same size in height. Of course everyone partners up with each other. I'm kind of left standing there by myself at the end. (I hate it when the class has an odd number of participants.) This ended up working to my advantage though. I was able to partner with sensei. :D I'm quite tall, around 5'9.5" and sensei is definitely shorter than me. I remember he told me:
"Come on you're way taller than me! You should be completely dominating the situation! Just because my forearms are as big as your legs..."
This time I didn't feel too badly about training hard, because I know now that senseis train a LOT. I mean on Monday he mentioned how when he was grading for his black belt he had to stand in shiko dachi for like 45 mins >.< It actually feels better to do conditioning drills with sensei because he's good with not BANGING MY WRISTS like most of my other partners have in the past.

I was only able to get a ride TO karate last night, which made me a little  happy, because I felt like RUNNING ALL THE WAY HOME I was so energized after that class. While I did run some of the way, I didn't run all the way home.

I'm really starting to feel stronger now, although I've missed a lot of the hard core pushup/crunches classes lately and I think my legs are becoming a little weaker than they used to be. I HATE EXAM SEASON IT KEEPS ME FROM MY TRAINING!

So that's my karate story.

5:38 am
holding my breath until i turn blue?
Weird Fact About Chris' Karate Experience #7:

since my first advancement, every belt i've gotten from Sensei has been too big. i've had to bring them home, lop them off, and satin-stitch the ends in matching thread, on my sewing machine.

i'm beginning to wonder if this is so i can't change my mind.


i look good in blue. but my god, do i feel weird in blue.

Current Mood: weird
Tuesday, June 13th, 2006
10:24 am

I used to be a serious TaeKwonDo competitor, however I no longer train. I have a bunch of  white uniforms for $5-$20. Nearly all are crisp and white, and all were well cared for.

one size 0
six size 3
one size 4
one size 5
(plus extra pieces include three size 3 pants, one size two top, one size three top)

Also available: one black/red hogu (chest protector), 1 set cloth forearm guards, 1 set Adidas forearm guards, 1 set Adidas shin/instep guards, 1 set red foam boots, 1 white foam Macho helmet, 1 set of boxing gloves, one pair Masterline training shoes (fits womens 8-8.5).

Pix & specific uniform details available at request.
Monday, May 29th, 2006
5:14 pm
yet again... new comer...(-_-;)
just thought you might want some new faces... hi I live in Wellington New Zealand where I train at Seido Karate... Where commonwealths were held last year. I started Karate a year and a half ago and am a novice with nothing much but a green belt that reminds me im a 4th kyu...

Nothin much else to say so bye for now!!!

Current Mood: hello?!!!
Sunday, May 7th, 2006
4:20 pm
and the survey says...
Hi, My name is Chris, and I train in Goju-Ryu. I'm also a student at the Onondaga School of Therapetic Massage.

See, it sounds like the introduction at an AA meeting, no matter how you word it. ;)

Here's the thing: I'm writing a paper on the intersection of my two passions: karate (or, for purposes of the poll, all martial arts based in the Far East) and massage, as part of my 30-hour project for school. I concocted a survey to gather opinions from people who are training in these martial arts.

If you're interested in participating, the link to the survey is here. It should only take about five minutes.

Thank you!

Current Mood: curious
Saturday, May 6th, 2006
2:20 pm
10, 9, 8, 7, 6th KYU!
Hi ladies! It's me again...

I tested for my orange belt today (actually I just got back).

I decided to do it and I passed!

It was a lot easier than last time partly because I knew what to expect and also because there were less students grading this time around. I have been up since 6:00 this morning, as I had to go to school to help with a weekend school event for 8:00. at 11:30, I left to get changed, pass Go, collect $200 and proceed to the dojo.

The grading was good, even though in my mind I kept feeling like I was screwing up which caused me to ACTUALLY screw up. I'm not really sure if I deserve it or not. I mean I have come a long way since I started and definitely learned more since yellow testing. At the end, sensei offered individual constructive criticism to each of the six students grading. To me he said: "I want you to work on your confidence. You were looking down too much."
In life anywhere else other than within the dojo I HAVE been working on my confidence. Constantly I'm reminding myself to keep my eyes up where I can see and not on the sidewalk where I can see who decided to spit there today.

It seems that ever since I graded from white to yellow that I'm just not good enough. I try to focus, but when I do I end up basically blanking out what I'm even doing. It also has a LOT to do with the beautiful mirrors on the wall where kamiza is. I don't like looking at how horrible my technique is. I know it's supposed to improve me, but it's hard.

I feel like going and giving my orange belt back, but I have no way to get back to the dojo and... I'm too tired.

Monday, May 1st, 2006
8:49 pm
To grade or not to grade...
Hello ladies!

I have a story and also a question.

This evening I attended karate and it was a great work out. We did many drills involving shiko dachi shifting to zenkutsu dachi in a series of 45 degree angles and different directions. Class is always more fun when sensei's friend visits our dojo and brings a couple of his students along. Of course it always means that we work harder, but now I don't mind as much.

Anyways, I've been reminded of the grading that is to take place on this Saturday. Sensei said "I still haven't seen a form from you." I was kind of under the impression that I probably wasn't going to grade. I only earned my yellow belt in February and I haven't been dilligantly attending classes since then as I did previously. My dojo moved about twice the distance from my home since then and now it's out along the highway instead of in town. Every evening classes run until past dark except on Fridays. If I can't get a ride, I don't go. Anyways, I'm torn between wether I actually feel ready to grade or not.

I mean of course I want to. I've improved a great deal even since grading to yellow. I also would feel a little guilty since my sister, who started at the same time as myself was unable to attend karate very much because of migrains and a lot of medications making her body weak. We started together and we graded together last time. I want to feel like I can be happy about my own achievements without feeling like I'm rubbing it in her face. Honestly, even though she doesn't attend karate much, she is quite good at it, she just needs to put in the classes to make the grading happen.

I guess it doesn't matter much since she said that she will probably quit after this summer when it has been a year since we began our training. I'm moving out and I think she feels too insecure to continue to go alone. I plan to continue my training as long as I can afford it both physically and financially. (I'm only 19 years old, so hopefully that will be a very long time from now.)

I know geki sai dai ni well enough and of course once I'm in the grading I feel the pressure to excell, but it's a good pressure that MAKES me excell. Over all, I'm aware that it's my choice and that sensei wouldn't tell me that I'm ready if he didn't think I was, but has anyone else ever experienced doubts about grading for any reason or maybe even similar reasons?

(Sorry to rant on and on, but I guess since no one posts on here a lot, you all won't mind.)

Saturday, April 8th, 2006
6:26 pm
on being trained, and jumpy.
a couple weeks ago, i had a question i needed answered, about having trained only a year (and so being in the middle of a transition from "mundane" to "martial artist") and ending up in a situation that leaves you feeling defensive, angry... maybe even genuinely frightened.

i know the group has people in various levels of training, so my question is this:

Do you - or have you ever - felt a concern that you might over-react to someone grabbing you? By "over-react", i mean that the person wasn't an actual danger, but you hit or threw or kicked him or her anyway, out of reflex. If you did, what did you do about it?


as i wrote above, i was a lot more concerned about this a few weeks ago. in the intrem, a kid at school (a black belt, i'm pretty sure, incidentally) has been creeping up on me and grabbing me, scaring the crap out of me. i haven't swung once. (although after, i've been tempted to chase him down and go postal on him. grrr.)

i generally feel very safe at school, so i know this might be influencing my being able to take a grab and not react, but it feels like i do have control.

what about all of you?

Current Mood: inquisitive
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