A Better Pic & Back in the Dojo

Ok, so I know I said I did the website updates yesterday, but THIS is important. I finally figured out how to change the file size of a Class of 2008 digital picture that a family friend took. Now, it’s small enough to upload on dial up and it still looks gorgeous. So check us out, front page of the website, all caps and gowns. Oh, happy day!

Now, back to business:

After we bow, Hanshi gives me a big-bear-hug-welcome onto the tatami, slaps me on the back, and says, “Congratulations! We’re really proud of you!” I smile, bow to the other karateka, and then we begin class.

When I left, two new white belts had just joined. Only one remains but he’s loyal, I can tell, and I’m glad for it. Lis is missing, though, and Sienna skipped out early, so once again it’s just me and the guys.

We begin with ippon kumite kata 1-5, where the principle is speed and power. These sets of movements are basically a fast and lethal response to an attack, administering five moves to the attacker’s one. They are also the first five directions of shino kata and moves that Robbie and I practiced at the Pacific residency last week. It feels good to warm up with something familiar and, while we only work the first five, there are 26 total ippons to learn.

Next, we learn taezu naru waza 1-4, where the principle is speed and fluidity. These are also a series of moves but they are done so quickly that five or six moves are complete in 2 seconds or less. The key to moving this way is flowing between the completion of one move and the start of another so that the action is seamless. Taezu naru waza are practiced in one continuous breath and there are 10 total that we can learn.

And since karate always provides me with a metaphor for life, here is tonight’s: The taezu naru waza are supposed to happen in an instant, like life passing you by. At first, this is overwhelming and it seems impossible to decipher how so many moves can be administered in two seconds flat. But, also like life, each taezu is comprised of tiny parts that can be isolated and broken down, examined for the sake of understanding. A movement here, another move there, the breath exhaling here, the conclusion there. In the end, you’ve accomplished something and even though there may be bumps along the way (the impact of each blow), it all runs in a seamless line in the end.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.