"Oh what fun we had, but at the time it seemed so bad...."
It looks as though Tuesday nights are Kumite nights. Sorry, I missed last Thursday's session because of a meeting. It sounded very spirited in the dojo and my mind really wasn't on administration.
After warming up it was find a partner and ju-yu kumite: half speed with correct Kihon. But you know what that is like- particularly in the third or fourth bout when the blood is pumping. YS always makes sure to calm and slow things down if people, particularly large SA gentlemen get a bit excited. For YS, heijoshin（平常心) remaining calm and focused, is the most important thing. Do not feel emotion, stay cool and never signal your intentions to your opponent.
I was lucky enough to have both Sadig (5th dan) and Otsuka Sensei, which was quite a challenge. YS said to me to really have a go at him actually..."Paul, YARE! Enryoshaide!"
Of course, easier said than done. My main memory of Kumite with Otsuka Sensei is tumbling over backwards in a flurry of punches ;-)...After four or five partner swops it was time for Shiai practice, so on with the knuckle mitts and line up for two minute bouts.
KWF shiai are timed for two minutes but they should never usually go on for that long. If either of the fighters can't pick up two waza-ari or an ippon between them in that time, then it's just poor technique (my issue) or wrong attitude. KWF Shiai are not about totting up points over a time period, or the person with the most points after a certain period is the "winner."
This is KARATE. The purpose of Karate was to put that Shimazu guy down before he pulled his sword and chopped your arm off! So while you have to control your karate in Shiai to avoid really hurting your opponent (I mean, these people are my friends, I like them) in the KWF you just don't go hopping up and down and tap them. This is why my ribs are so sore and covered in blotches.
Roll Up, Roll Up
It was really fun, because we all got a chance to have a go at Ibuki and Otsuka Sensei ;-). Basically, they alternated and we just lined up to have a go. I actually managed to sweep Otsuka Sensei, who was on his fourth fight in a row, only to find his knuckle pad in my face. Mind you, this is not surprising. It's pretty easy for a hunter to swipe at a trundling rhino.
I was really looking forward to going into Shiai with Ibuki but YS actually stopped me. I was pretty tired, so he sent in Pieter instead. Pieter is (a) young (b) very tall (c) very "positive" in his attitude (basically charges forward) so basically YS kept on throwing him until his mitts were bloody!
The lowlight for me was fighting Kimura chan, a Kokushikan fighter. As many of you may know, Kokushikan was YS's university.
Every time I tried to move in on her, she was in and out before I got a chance- ba-BAM! "Sorry Paul-san" she said, with a smile. Kimura chan is as sweet as she is fast. I really don't stand a chance.
Kata: Jion and Gojusho-Sho
Jion practice focused on koza-dachi elements and Gojusho-sho was focused on checking to see that we were assimilating the focus points in the prior lesson, particularly effective blocking.