I pray that each of you is healthy and keeping safe during these interesting times. Hopefully, you have the time and inclination to continue some form of practice at home; probably one of the most important for us, ahem, older folks is stretching. We all know that muscle mass is gradually lost each year once we reach our forties. However, there is an accompanying decline in flexibility and elasticity of one’s muscles and ligaments. Personally, I spend 15-20 minutes early each morning stretching out my aging body. Whenever we do emerge from the COVID19 cloud and can safely/comfortably recommence practice, a hidden condition that must be managed is the flexibility of your muscles. A single stiff tendon or ligament can sideline you from further practice. Typically, stiff and vulnerable ligaments don’t show up until you execute a technique – and karate techniques require a lot more from one’s body than regular walking. So please take a few minutes to stretch out each day….a little goes a long way.
I came across this nice little video containing pics and short descriptions of whom the director considers to be the legends of Shotokan Karate. It was compiled by a karateka in….India, no less! I wonder how many of these Shotokan masters you would recognize? Anyways, your sensei’s and I are thankful for and proud of the particular lineage that brought karate down to us. Of course, among the masters shown in the video are the founder, Gichin Funakoshi (hope you’d recognize him😉) and Mastoshi Nakayama who created the JKA. Also included are photos and blurbs on each of the four successive chief instructors who once led our old organization, the Karate Assn of Hawaii – Hirokazu Kanazawa, Masataka Mori, Tetsuhiko Asai, and Kenneth Funakoshi. It just makes one realize that these were not ordinary karate sensei’s who paved the path ahead for us. I think that looking back and know the source of our karate knowledge makes me even more appreciative of what I often take for granted.