Well, being in the midst of summer is certainly a blessing. The higher humidity and warm temperatures add to the efficiency of the time spent in training…resulting in more perspiration, more exercise, and basically, more bang for each moment spent in training. Also, for some reason, there seems to be less rubbish to sweep up at the beginning of training. Being able to train in an open environment gives each of us the opportunity to better appreciate the changing seasons of the year, albeit with Hawaiian subtleties. This is a part of what I’m so grateful for and give thanks for whenever we open in prayer.
Today, we practiced certain alternative hand/fist techniques that are useful for specific applications and targets. The ippon ken fist, the tiger’s claw, the ridgehand, the mawashi-zuki, and the shuto-uchi are just some of the twenty-odd hand position/strike delivery options that are a part of the more exotic Shotokan pantheon of techniques. These are fun and interesting to learn and can be very effective in real-life application…however, as with everything else, these are only truly useful when supported by a strong foundation of basics. Strong legs, hip rotation and thrust, and coordination/timing…are key and gradually developed over years of earnest training.
With the second class (purple/browns/blacks) we have just begun very slow dojo-type kumite. Though it’s not very easy to learn, it can also be a lot of fun and takes a surprisingly lot of conditioning to do right. I honestly never dreamed that our humble ministry would have members training long enough and reaching skill/knowledge levels to enable them to enjoy one of the fun fruits of Shotokan training….without getting hurt.
Hang in there everyone, it is such a wonderful journey for each of us…