Thursday, 12 September 2013

Muddy Waters...(not the musician).

With Seikichi Kinjo sensei - at the Jundokan dojo, c 2004
I was struggling with something in training this morning, nothing major, still, I was finding it hard to get a good feeling for it; afterwards I wondered why I'd spent so much time trying to "get-it". Then it occurred to me that the 'struggle to get something' was the whole point of training. I have to laugh at myself sometimes...I'm such a slow learner!

Anyway, mixed in with all that thinking I remembered the afternoon, many years ago, when Seikichi Kinjo sensei was helping me with my kata. The kata in question was Sanseiru, and toward the end of it there are a couple of places where I had to drop into shikodachi and use both my arms to block, one with the hands clenched into fists, and the other with the hands open.

Kinjo sensei watched me for while as I did the kata over and over, each time performing the two blocks as well as I could. In his usual unassuming way, he stopped me and then demonstrated the blocks himself. The position of his hands was quite different to mine: "This way" he said, "this Chojun sensei's way."  It was one of those moments in the learning of karate that have given me goose-bumps; here I was working my kata with a student of Chojun Miyagi, and he was passing on to me a technique Miyagi sensei had passed on to him.

Another thought came to mind a little while later, an old proverb that says..."The further from the spring, the muddier the water." Given the rise of sport and commerce right across the karate world, it's no wonder so many today think and behave in ways that display a lack of clarity.