Monday, October 08, 2007
Second day of camp
We started off the morning with a sunrise kata session. It was held by the two little lakes. It was awesome.. even with the rain falling upon us now and then. We'd get a shower of rain, and then it would stop, and then another little shower almost as if the clouds were hesitating interrupting our kata. I was doing Kyokushin kata most of the time because I didn't want to disturb all of the extra training that I've been doing towards my hopeful tournament next year.
After the kata session, we had pancakes by the fire made by the brown belts of the dojo. What a wonderful, joyful, and social moment!
Our first class that morning was by Sensei Charley Porter. One couldn't have asked for better! He brought forth the mathematical concepts of angles, and arcs. We did so many different exercises with our partners to learn about angles, arcs, and how to use them to our advantage when sparring. My partner and I were a great match. I learned so much from him, and I feel that I gave him a solid presence to work with. Magic happens when you can do an exercise with someone that you "click" with. For me, one of the most interesting concepts was when Sensei Charley started sharing about the concept of "It's all Shotokan. It's all Jujitsu." He encouraged us to look at how full training in Martial arts brings one to an understanding that at a high point in training all movements are contained in all of the arts. It was a very enjoyable class, and ended far too soon.
Sensei Miguel Araballo gave forth a class that introduced us to the idea of "tunnel vision", and paralyzation when placed in a stressed moment. He had us working towards recognizing body movement, and responding to it in slow motion. We realized how we tended to speed up when defending. We'd tighten, and move our feet all over the place. Why? Why did we feel so inclined to do so when the attacker was moving in slow motion? That was an eye opening moment. Then, Sensei Miguel brought out some homemade padding which transformed him into a mega monster villian who challenged the student to learn how it feels to be accosted, and to have a feeling of panic, get past the fear, and to defend themselves. I volunteered to be suited up in this body armour, and to be another attacker. It was really difficult to move in that armour because the helmet part weighed close to 40 pounds. I found myself having difficulty to see through the little space offered to me. I think it is because I was shorter than Sensei Miguel. Here are some pictures of me being outfitted:
For your enjoyment, I also have a video of my experiences as the Mega attacker. I can't help but chuckle at how difficult it was for me to get back up once the student had struck me hard enough to unbalance me. They only had 5 seconds to successfully knock me off of my feet.
The camp ended on a wonderful high note. Sensei Bill Thornton, the MYB Representative for the state of Missouri, came and demonstrated to us the solid understanding of directions of defense during an attack. He showed us the weakness of certain movements, and the strength of others. More importantly, he showed us how important just "getting out of the way" is above achieving a good block. After this moment, he talked to us at length about our interior attitudes in training. I feel that this lecture was of equal importance to all of the physical training that we had done in the past two days. Sensei Bill reminded us of what is important, what will continue to inspire us, and what challenges lie before us as we walk the path of Martial arts. His words tied together all of the experiences that we had of building friendships, and trust between each other.
I walked away from this camp a lot more complete, a lot more aware, and a lot more filthy with grass stains, and ground in dirt. Oh my GOSH! I've got to tell you how badly dirty my gi was!!!!! It took 3 washings with bleach to get my gi back to reasonable shape! It was raining off and on during our camp, and we trained in the rain ( no problem for me ) but doing throws onto the grass in the rain just enhances the grass, and mud stains. My kids were in shock when they saw my Gi's condition. They have never ever seen their Mom's white ironed gi look so NASTY before.