Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010

I headed over to Florida for 2 weeks to celebrate my 25th Wedding Anniversary.

It was such an enjoyable time. I was able to enjoy so many things, visit so many places, and see such beauty! My favorite stop, although it is hard to pick from all of the wonderful spots, was Chattanooga, Tennessee. We visited Rock City:

We rode the Incline Railway that went up Lookout Mountain:

Also, we stayed at the Delta Queen Hotel:

Yes, this hotel is a River Boat. It was quite a different experience to stay the night on a historic Boat like this. I have to tell you that the Breakfast that they served the next day was delectable! I couldn't have enough of their quiche, and those blueberry biscuits were to die for!! One thing that I will warn you about is that there is no parking available close to the hotel. My husband, and I had to park on a side street about 3 blocks distance away, and walk through the adjacent Park carrying our luggage. (Luckily we didn't bring a large amount of luggage, and the ones that we had with us were on rollers.) We also were lucky enough to visit Ruby Falls ( an underground waterfall), and the Aquarium downtown. ( Sorry.. no pictures available.)

We did enjoy visiting Universal Studios, Seaworld, Hummock Park, Tampa Riverwalk, Tampa Lowes Zoo, etc but to write down everything that we did would take far too much of my day.

Karate-wize: I was quite limited with opportunities to train. We'd wake up, get in the car, drive to our next destination, and tourist around.

However, due to the kindness of some Instructors, I was able to get a few moments of training. I just popped up on the doorstep of a Dojo in Chattanooga, and shyly asked if I could take in a class, and was quickly welcomed. The instructor, Sensei Trevor, founded, and taught the Martial Art of Five Animal Kenpo. It was very interesting to be able to learn about the philosophy of this Art, and to work with my partners on various self-defense movements. Sensei Trevor, and his students were very gracious, and friendly. I had a great time with them.

Later, in Tampa, Florida, I was blessed with having a couple of hours training with Sensei Tim. We knew of each other through postings on a Martial Art Forum, but have never met face to face. He was kind enough to set up a Dojo in his car port with mats, and to introduce me to the Shudo Kan Martial Art Style which originates from Okinawa from Sensei Kanken Toyama. Sensei Toyama was a student of Sensei Anko Itosu ( the same teacher of Sensei Gichin Funakoshi) I was happy to recognize the various terms being used for the stances, and strikes. There was such a family resemblance to the Shotokan, and Kyokushin Karate that I am familiar with, but at the same time, I could see how different Shudokan is from them. We shared the same Pinan ( Heian) kata, but I could see how my Kyokushin training was creating a different flow to my movements. Sensei Tim took great care to make sure that I didn't overheat in the Florida temperature. I was very grateful because I wasn't used to the high constant humidity. I felt sweat pouring in places on me that I've never felt before.

It was a moment that I have been waiting for when I met my good friend, and mentor Sensei Paul. He welcomed me into his home, and shared so much with me that I felt that I was drowning in an ocean of wisdom, and knowledge. I knew that I could only grasp at what was possible for me to learn, and walk away with that with hopes of growing these seeds into fruition in the future. He introduced me to concepts in Tai Chi, and reinforced my Karate knowledge. You can watch him execute a movement with full fluidity, and grace, and it looks easy... but then, when you attempt to do it.. um.. well.. it's not that easy. I have found that this is the case each time that I meet such wonderful Martial Artists. I smile to myself, and encourage myself silently reminding me that it takes years of training, and practice to achieve what they have, and that is why we hold them in such high esteem.

1 comment:

Matt said...

That's awesome that you were able to sneak in so much martial arts training into your trip. Sounds like a very valuable set of experiences!