Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Memoirs of a Grasshopper - Planet Hopping, Stargazing...

A fascinating (and beautifully put together blog) has been drawn to my attention and I took one look and thought- "Great!" It's written by Krista de Castella, who has the wonderful experience of training at Sensei Morio Higaonna's dojo in Naha. The stuff of legend! Oh Happy Daze! 

Memoirs of a Grasshopper has a very different take on things, so for me it's highly refreshing. It's a bit like this: most people know Holst's Mars: Bringer of War but I love in particular listening to all the suites, in particular, Jupiter, which is simply one of the most exhilarating and uplifting pieces of music I know. 

I once knew a young man of very fixed and rigid ideas who told me solemnly that the only "true" Karate was Shotokan Karate. I really didn't know where to begin with him, because such a statement predisposes emotional and academic inexperience that can only be unlearned, hopefully, over time. On the other hand, with Goju-Ryu Karate, I find the Kata in particular awesome. I often think if or when I can get to my sandan, say when I am in my 50s or so, I would LOVE to cross train with our Karate cousins. It certainly helped YS Karate. 

So why get stuck on Mars when you can have a great time on Jupiter or Neptune, or Saturn...? We orbit around the same son. (The critical question is, then, if each planet represents a major Karate school, which one is represented by Uranus? That's a place I do not want to delve into ;-) ).

I was first introduced to Goju-Ryu by Sensei Higaonna's son Eric, who came to train under Yahara Sensei for a year to study Shotokan in 2005. Here is is demonstrating for the KWF in one of our Nationals a few years back. He tried to teach me Sanchin, and I can still feel the sting of his blows, even though I know he was being nice to me! I'll stick to Hangetsu until I can get my leg over without wobbling first though...

We sometimes talk of asking permission and forging links and going down to train in Okinawa, you know, the KWF equivalent of "Roots" or something. Unfortunately or otherwise, the only times I have made it to the main island was on business for a conference. All the other times we have just been straight down to Miyakojima and into the surf and awamori! 

So  the meantime, I'll be checking out Memoirs of a Grasshopper for beautifully presesented insights on something extraordinarily precious.

Yoroshiku ;-)

1 comment:

Krista de Castella said...

Shucks Paul, thanks for the glowing review. It's way too generous but you've just made my day :)