Monday, 7 August 2017
Sunday, 6 August 2017
August has brought me back to the technical and spiritual soul of Karate, the rawest—of kihon, kata and kumite—which links the movements of Karate to Jissen-Kumite (Real fighting/Self-defence). After all these decades I remain a beginner, especially in relation to my great senpai here in Japan, who have done their utmost to teach me the karate way: not only in technique but also in heart.
Within my current training, Taikyoku Shodan is also included. This kata is pushing me to my absolute limits on all frontiers. The first word that comes to mind is, ‘amazing’; the second is, ‘genius’, in reference to Funakoshi Gichin Sensei and his son, Funakoshi Yoshitaka (Gigo) Sensei.
As the humid Japanese summer further sets in, each training is a tough challenge. When I first came to Japan in 1993, I only experienced the winter. But following visits, over all these years, has taught me about training in the extreme humidity. 24 years on, I am still learning.
The training of karate is an up an down experience but, this year, I have felt much happiness from training. This fruit has come from progression, which is the greatest motivator of all. Always remember, that progression 'must be made' and, when it is, all of the hardship in daily training will bring great satisfaction: because then, after all, it was really worth it! Osu, André.
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2017).