NFL Competition

For the past few years, I was running a little football pool with some of the people that I worked with.  It was a lot of fun, and we had a good laugh giving each other a bad time about each others picks.

Most of the people that I worked with have moved on to different locations or back home.  Our plan was to continue with the football pool, but it looks like it isn’t going to happen this year, which is no big deal.

This year, Tracy and I decided we would have our own little competition.  This is 100% for fun.  Basically, we are going to continue doing our football picks each week, but we have decided to to not only keep track, but to make it public for all of you that read our blog.

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Upgrading To Author

A lot of you may not know this, but Tracy and I have decided to do away with  In doing this, we would also like to promote the people that have helped write here at The Northlands.  We decided that one of the things we wanted to do was that those people that have posted ten (10) or or more blog posts, we wanted to give them the setting of Author instead of Contributor, so they can now publish their own blogs posts.

In so doing, we noticed that one person has over ten (10) posts.  Actually, he has twelve (12) posts, which I thought was pretty cool.  Here is a breakdown of the people that have written blog posts for us, and how many posts they have.

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DD1_featuredI know it’s been awhile since I’ve written.  I have a few posts that I want to write up.  Let’s start with this.

Back in September of last year, I wrote a blog post titled New Adventure, which is about me starting podcasting.  You can listen to the first podcast HERE, and you if you want to go to the page to have a look at my show notes, you can have a look HERE.  In my first episode, I talk about my life growing up and about my time in the Navy.  Go ahead, you can listen to it and come back; I’ll wait for you.   :yes:

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Shodan Test

Kagawa Sensei Matsui-sanOn November 8th, 2015, I took my first ever Shodan (First Degree Black Belt) Test.  What comes below is what I had to do for my test.

You can read about my other belt tests here:  Shotokan, First Ever Belt Tests, Multiple Belt Test, 5th Kyu to 4th Kyu Belt Test, Karate in England, 4th Kyu to 2nd Kyu Belt Test, and 2nd Kyu to 1st Kyu Belt Test

1st Kyu (3rd Brown) to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) kihon (techniques)

  1. Zenkutsu-dachi Gedan Gamae
    1. Lunge step forward sanbon-zuki (step forward three times)
    2. Jodan age-uke, mae-geri, gyaku-zuki (step back three times)
    3. Chudan soto-uke, kiba-dachi enpi, zenkutsu-dachi ura-zuki gyaku-zuki (step forward three times)
    4. Koukutsu-dachi, shutou-uke, front leg mae-geri, nukite (step back three times)
    5. Gedan barai, nekoashi-dachi chudan uchi-uke, zenkutsu-dachi ura-zuki, yori-ashi gyaku-zuki (step forward three time)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae
    1. Same leg mae-geri, mawashi-geri, gyakuo-zuki (step forward three times)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae
    1. Ushiro-geri, gyaku-zuki (step forward three times)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae
    1. Turning, stepping forward ura-ken, gyaku-zuki (step forward three times)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae from zenkutsu-dachi
      Same leg yoko-geri ka-age ke-komi (step forward three times)
    Mawatte gedan-gamae
    1. Jodan soto-uke, sideway inward yori-ashi gedan baria, front leg mae-geri, gyaku-zuki (step forward three times)

    1st Kyu (3rd Brown) to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) kumite

    1. Jodan oi-zuki / Jodan age-uke
    2. Chudan oi-zuki / Chudan soto-uke
    3. Mae-geri / Gedan barai
    4. Yoko-geri / Chudan soto-uke
    5. Mawashi-geri / Chudan uchi-uke
    6. Ushiro-geri / Gedan barai

    1st Kyu (3rd Brown) to Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) kata

    Heian Godan

    Junro Godan

    Tokui kata – Empi

    Sadly, I did not pass this test.  My kihon and my kumite were good, but my kata lacked what is called kime, which is like spirit/force, but that’s ok, because I will pass the test the next time.  Don’t you all worry.

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New Adventure

MicrophoneLet me start off with a little background here.  My high school, back in Hudson, Wisconsin, had it’s own radio station, well; it had a radio station that played over the school P.A. system before and after school.  I was allowed to do shows when there wasn’t anybody else available to be part of the show.  At the time, I was allowed to have people on, and play whatever music I wanted.  Now, I actually only did three (3) maybe four (4) shows, and I loved it.  It’s been something I’ve always wanted to dip my hand back into.  The problem has always been that I’ve never had any connections at any studios or radio stations.

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2nd Kyu to 1st Kyu Belt Test

Jiyu Ippon KumiteDon’t forget to read about more about my journey in Shotokan Karate:  Shotokan, First Ever Belt Test, Multiple Best Test, 5th Kyu to 4th Kyu Belt Test, 4th Kyu to 2nd Kyu Belt Test, and studying Karate in England.

On August 9th, 2015, I had my final Kyu (below black belt) level belt test.  This was to go  from second (2nd) Kyu or (2nd) brown belt.  I actually felt very comfortable with testing this time.  I knew all my techniques for my kihon, I got to work with another student for my kumite and all the katas I thought I would be asked to do I knew well.  They aren’t prefect, but I know them pretty well.  Have a look below and see how I did.

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4th Kyu to 2nd Kyu Belt Test

Belt Test Class May 10, 2015To continue sharing of my journey in Shotokan Karate, you can read Shotokan Karate, First Ever Belt Test, Multiple Belt Test, 5th Kyu to 4th Kyu Belt Test, and studying Karate in England.

On May 10th, 2015, I had another belt test.  This one was to go from fourth (4th) Kyu to second (2nd) Kyu, which is I went from second (2nd) purple to second (2nd) brown.  I only have one more Kyu level, under black belt level, to test, and then I will be testing for my Shodan, first (1st) degree black.  I think I was the most nervous for this test then I have been since my first test.  I felt I wasn’t fully sure about my Kihon, techniques.  Well, I knew the techniques, but I wasn’t sure about what they were in Japanese.  Have a look, and you can see how I did.

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Karate In England

JKS EnglandI always enjoy going to England.  I love seeing the people we see, I love London and I have a growing affection for Hucknall and Nottingham.  For me, there is just something special about it.  I don’t go that often as it is expensive, but I do enjoy it when I’m there.

WeaponsThis time was special for a few reasons.  First, I had ordered a pair of foam-padded nunchaku, a pair of wooden nunchaku and a pair of tonfa, all of which were delivered to Mum’s house in Hucknall.  As a matter of fact, when we got to Mum’s house, I opened them up from their packaging and played with them a little bit.

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England 2015 – Part 3

Autumn & TracyDon’t forget to read – England 2015 – Part 1 / England 2015 – Part 2

Once we were on the train, we got to our seats quite easily.  As we had had breakfast, we decided we would wait until we were on the train between Gloucester and Nottingham to get something to eat.  We settled in for this leg of our trip, which would only be a little less than an hour.

Once we got to Gloucester, we unloaded our bags from the train, and realized we needed to cross over the tracks to get to the other platform for our train.  We found the elevator that would take us up to the bridge, crossed over, and found a little waiting room to get out of the wind.  While in the room, we realized that we should have gotten something to snack on from the other side, as there wasn’t anything on our side of the tracks.  We decided not to worry about it as our train to Nottingham was going to be arriving soon, and we would be on that train for two (2) hours, and we could get something to eat on there.

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England 2015 – Part 2

TrainDon’t forget to read – England 2015 – Part 1 / England 2015 – Part 3

We found our car, found the end we were supposed to board on, but the door was broke, so we went back to the other end of the car, though we could have just gone to the next car as the door for that was right there, and put our bags in the storage area for bags and found our seats on the opposite end of the car.  I then realized our mistake, so I went back to get our bags and moved them to our end of the train.  In doing this, I gave the tickets to Tracy.  Once we got on our way to Kemble, which is where we would meet Julie to go to Cirencester, the conductor came around to check and stamp our tickets.  I saw him coming up the center of the train and went into the pocket I usually keep the tickets and found that they weren’t there.  I checked my jacket pocket, and they weren’t there.  I then checked all my pockets and they were nowhere to be found.  I’m starting to panic a little, because I don’t generally lose anything.  The conductor gets to us, and I still can’t find our tickets.  He tells us not to worry and he will be back to see if we found them.  I check and recheck all the pockets of my jeans, my jacket and my sweat jacket, come to find, Tracy had them.   :whistle:   It was actually quite funny.  I brought the tickets to the conductor and he stamped them, then I headed off to the cafe car and got something for Tracy and I to snack on.

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