Friday, 14 December 2012

Karate, the Okinawan way!

Kigu undo is often a difficult introduction to Okinawan karate
No sooner had  I arrived home from Melbourne recently, than I had three visitors waiting for me. Due to my own lack of attention I had inadvertently agreed to have two goju-ryu karateka from Melbourne visit the dojo over the same weekend I was training with the JKA (shotokan) on the mainland. I really don't like it when I make mistakes like that....(poor zanshin)

Returning home from the JKA gasshuku at 10.00pm on the Sunday evening, saw me back in the dojo at 8.00am the following morning, ready to help my three guests. In spite of the differences in our karate the three hours passed quickly, and before I knew it the first training of the week was over. I'll be seeing the goju guys again early next year, but for the following six days Jon, my visitor from South Australia, would train with me every morning, as well as join in with the regular evening training.

I have to hand it to Jon, he worked hard and showed some courage to step so far out of his comfort zone. The week provided him with a few valuable lessons as I went about introducing Jon to the Okinawan approach to karate training. Like so many others who have come before him, more than one aspect of our training proved difficult for him to grasp, although as usual, I could see it was the conceptual challenges I presented him with that proved the most difficult.

By weeks end Jon was beginning to make many new connections in his karate
I'm no longer surprised when my visitors tell me that prior to their arrival it was the physical training they expected would be the most difficult; only to appreciate as their visit progressed, that the challenge of accepting personal responsibility (ownership) of their karate was in fact the hardest idea to come to terms with. How many visitors return home and continue to accept that responsibility is unclear; for my part, I can only show them something of karate, the Okinawan way.....the rest is up to them.