Kata-keiko: After a ‘blink of an eye’ break, it was on to the kata portion of the class… Bassai-dai and Kanku-dai were the order of the day. Whether 16 or 60, everyone was already shattered at this point, so to execute 10 Bassai and 10 Kanku was particularly strenuous. We were lucky to get a couple of breaks (gasps of beautiful oxygen and muscle recovery in slack musubi dachi) during Kanku-dai when Tachibana Shihan demonstrated 'Asai Shuseki-Shihan like' applications for ura zuki/hiza geri followed by going to the ground. And the last section of the kata from tateshihon nukite/te osae uke onwards. This was the only kumite featured in this class.
More kihon and the completion of keiko: To cover yoko keage, which was not included in the kihon practiced earlier, we also went through Heian-nidan and Heian-yondan. This training was related back to the various yoko keage found in Kanku-dai. To wind down the 2.5 hour practice we executed yoko keage, simultaneously with uraken yokomwashi uchi, about 30 to 50 times (consecutively on both sides). This was concluded by some well-needed partner stretches and ‘heavenly time’ in mokuso.
Thanks to my teacher, Tetsuhiko Asai, 30 years down the track, I progressively love karate more and more, no matter how hard training is . Why? Because I train with the heart of a mukyu (total beginner), just as Sensei did throughout his life . Honestly following this 'karate way', has meant that my ego cannot restrict my submission to vigorous practice, and the harsh scrutiny required for ongoing development. For more information on my my 'practice philosophy' please read my March 16th article on shoshin wasuru bekaraku: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2008/03/shoshin-wasuru-bekarazu.htmlebertel.blogspot.com/2008/03/shoshin-wasuru-bekarazu.html This is the biggest key of self-motivation and an ongoing/evolving passion for the art. Simply keep loving your 'karate training', and forget the rest!