Sunday, March 1, 2009

IS Training: Introduction to a long, long series!

OK, it's time.

I have been meaning to start reporting on Isaka Sensei's training ever since I launched this communicative enterprise last autumn. IS is a real-life human genius and literally one in ten million; how many men do you know can do a jodan yokogeri keage with 5kg tetsugeta on. How many 67-year-old men do you know can do it?
Anyway, I have particular respect for this man as my own father died, a pot-bellied, alcoholic mess aged 64, the very same age when IS started taking an interest in me.

Some difference, eh?

Aside from his extraordinary physical capability and his excellent Karate, IS is also distinguished by
 his 40-year study of movement and his undying enthusiasm to continue teaching. Yuko and I promised him several years ago that we would begin to carefully record his techniques, opinions, teaching methods and practice styles and this, today, I suppose is the MC's announcement before raising the curtains and describing the first basic renshu patterns.
IS has written up for us over 50 pages of preliminary notes, but when do we get the time to write this up. At the moment this blog is being hammered out in lieu of a quarterly statistical report on the Japanese econonomy. I can tell you all about that but let's summarize: in brief; it's going to the dogs.

Now we got that out of the way, it's time to switch back to the KWF. ;-)
Just a few words first. YS last week at a management steering committee called IS a sennin (仙人) which translates as "immortal mountain wizard (in Taoism); mountain man (esp. a hermit); (2) one not bound by earthly desires or the thoughts of normal men..."
Spot on, I would say!

Only the immortal part is of course out of the question; IS knees and legs contain the marks of a career in Karate, and so does, if you look carefully, his nose. But to follow up, YS also said "Isaka Sensei's training is an essential part of KWF Honbu Karate; if you can't do IS Karate, then you can't do Yahara Karate."
In fact, he repeats this mantra time and time again, and as the years go by, IS genius appears to become deeper and deeper. And through the years students come and go, enthusiasm waxes and wanes, dojos open and close, organizations grow and split, but IS is there, day after day, kick after kick, flex after flex, sweat dripping off him as he prizes another discovery out of Kanku-dai or Meikyo, rewires another circuit in his nervous system, moves left, but actually appears on the right ;-) with a big grinning smile on his face.

Very, very few people have really computed what is going on outside the Honbu: one of these is, however, Bryan Dukas Sensei, who has had intensive personal instruction from IS. So if you get chance, ask Bryan Dukas (when his back is better!) Here he is doing back strengthening exercises under the tender mercies of Yuko during private training with IS at the ShotoKan last year.

Over the coming weeks I will attempt to go through Isaka Sensei's
- Basic balance and spin techniques
- Basic balance, spin and fast techniques
A LOT of this can be summarized by the expressions
"Are your legs wracked with a feeling of intense, hot pain?"
"Then you need....
- Basic Kumite
- Basic standing stretch in
a) Kibadachi
b) Zenkutsu hanmi/shomen
c) Heikodachi
d) Kokutsudachi
e) Shikodachi
-Basic tube training
-Kusshin tube training
-Basic tetsugeta
-Basic tetsugeta kicking
-Basic pressups
-Adanced pressups
And then, maybe next year, we'll get into the Kata.
Next First installment later this week.

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