Sunday, July 31, 2011

Seienchin in the sand

I've always wanted to do kata at the beach in sand, and today I finally was able to do so.

What an experience! For anyone who hasn't tried this, I would honestly recommend it. It is quite a learning moment.

I moved into my first stance, and the whole ground shifted under me.. of course it would move like that... it's sand, but to make matters worse.. as I shifted weight, the ground shifted more.. and then just to make things more challenging.. as I settled into stance, and executed the strike with power... the sand shifted again. I ended up flailing my arms into whatever direction I could to keep my balance, losing all semblance of a kiba dachi, and sensing my feet digging down lower and lower into the sand about 6-8 inches until eventually settling into an uneasy place which was threatening to give in under me at any second.

Then, trying to move from that position to the next was insanely challenging as the sand sucked onto your legs, and resisted any movement now that you have achieved some sort of equilibrium from the position you have taken. Each kick would bring sand up, and it would fly in almost all directions.. up, forwards, sideways.. you name it. I found sand in my hair from my efforts.

One kata felt like the effort of 10 in a row from the drag, and pull of the sand. My legs were burning, and shaking after a dozen Kata. I had to really struggle to remember the movements of each kata because my mind was constantly distracted by the effort to stay standing up.

I learned to position my feet into the stance position, then to sink them into the sand to establish a connection, and THEN shift my weight onto that scaffolding. Only once I was firmly established could I send the technique. Kata became a three fold challenge. Call me crazy, but I LOVED it. By the third kata, I was getting the hang of it, and the kata were coming out more naturally with less stumbling, starting/stopping, and mistakes.

All this was happening on Dry sand. I stood there wondering how much more challenging it would be to execute a kata on the wet sand at the edge of the beach. I'm sure that it would pull, and shift even more at your feet and legs.. and then you would have the shift and pull of the waves of water to jar your mind, and body. I've just GOT to experience that one of these days!!!!!


Mr. Martial Arts said...

Great post!

supergroup7 said...

Thank you