A Day in the Life of an Uchi deshi

My day starts at 6:00 am. I start a bowl of grits in the microwave and then go downstairs to do the laundry and tidy up the women’s changing room. Then I rush back upstairs to eat my grits get my gi on, put my hair up, and brush my teeth. I have to be back downstairs by 6:30 dressed for class so I can assist members who may need help. At 6:45 I get on the mat and class starts. After class I either rush to fold the teacher’s hakama or help clean the mats with the rest of the members.

If I am working that day I then hurry to go to the school I’ve been assigned by my agency and I pick up 2nd breakfast on the way. Usually consisting of a cream cheese bagel, a doughnut and some tea with cream and sugar. This food lasts for the four hours I stay at the school down the street as their nurse. Afterward I come back and if it is a Tuesday or Thursday I take the weapons or randori class, if not, I stay downstairs and answer the telephone and assist anyone who comes in the door. On these days I end up taking 4 to 5 classes.

If I am not working I stay at the dojo and do the morning shift instead, again answering the telephone and such. I usually scrape something up for breakfast, toast, spaghetti o’s, or celery with peanut butter, etc. Then I take the 12:15 class and on Tuesday or Thursday I am usually too tired to take the 1:30 weapons or randori. If Harvey is teaching, I am required to take the randori class as well, so I end up taking 6 classes that day instead of 5.

Then comes the marathon at the end of every day, the last 3 classes separated only by 15 minutes each. Between classes I usually attempt a small snack like a few pieces of chocolate or some nuts and a full glass of water. After the last class we again wipe down the mats, but the evening class is much less diligent and usually all that gets done is the removal of the dust bunnies from the corners of the mat.

Rarely, I stay after to practice something with one of the members or another uchi deshi. Usually I watch while other people practice kick up ukemi. I’m a naturalist. If you naturally try to closeline me I do the necessary kick up ukemi. It is hard for me to force the issue. I’d rather not end up with an extra injury. Anyway, then I eat a hearty dinner, usually either a large serving of rice and fresh Chinese food, or cold cut turkey, corn, and mashed potatoes with gravy. Dessert varies and can be either half a grapefruit with honey, or half a pint of ice cream.

It is also noteworthy to say that I do the laundry throughout the day not just in the morning. The Laundry includes member’s gis and rags used to clean the mat. Once washed I mark the members name in the laundry book to keep track of how many washes they have left and hang their gi up on the return rack.

Once all is done I shower and otherwise prepare for bed and then I go to sleep. Hopefully around 10:00 if I don’t want to be a zombie the next day.

Sorry for the long time between posts, but Jerry is right, I am very busy and do not always have the energy to post in a timely fashion. Ideas for posts are appreciated.

On another note, I had fun at the camping trip despite my anxiety over pilfered pants and a dashed dance show with my family. The food was really good again this year. And it was fun training on the beach conversing over the fire and doing weapons in the morning. It was a bit colder out than I’d hoped for, but it was way better than last year when I had to wear a hoodie and gloves under my gi while I was training.

I was disappointed that there were only four people when I came on Tuesday to train at the new dojo. Even though I had a bad cold and couldn’t train very hard it would have been nice to see everyone. The dojo was beautiful just like in the pictures Dee sent me. Nice work everyone. I’m really glad you don’t have to pick up the mats anymore.