Monday, July 25, 2011

The Forge of Karate

The term "forge" can also refer to the workplace of a smith (borrowed from Wikipedia).

I be the Smith, and the workplace is I.

At age 63. I stand today as my own instructor or guide. For 38 years I’ve been fortunate to forge my karate studies by my efforts and developing understanding.

In January I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes and discovered many of the physical experiences of the past few years I was chalking up to age were my own fault of bad eating habits and slipping exercise. By June I had dropped 40 pounds , was walking 2 miles 3 to 4 times a week, and had refocused my karate training with new focus, training myself in my own version of Tomari No Rohai, as a push study.

Unfortunately in May it was discovered I had colon cancer and in June I underwent a colon re-sectioning, which I’m now in recovery building my strength. I’ve returned to my training the past two weeks, Yang Tai Chi Chaun an important method for recovery of movement potential, my kata studies beginning to build strength, balance and power (abet very lightly to date) and I have begun my walking regime today, about 1/8 mile.

But as earlier this year I know I need more, some new iron to be placed in the forge, to build a new practice and of course meld with the other studies.

These additional practices are personal, not for my students, but a way to increase my understanding of others in karate and their practices.

What I am selecting as a challenging kata the Aragaki Sochin by Aragaki Isumu .

There are two YouTube performances of him doing this form.

The older

The newer

They are not identical though the performer is the same. It appears to me that the older shows more technique, but there is a turn in the newer performance (also found in the Kyudokan Sochin at though the Kyudokan performances does not use the same body dynamics.)

There is an issue of variable versions or perhaps explicit changes for public performance.

I’m not planning on teaching it and to begin I’m using the older performance as a guide. I just fully know I’m not going to be correct, but the exercise will be useful for my own development.

Add another bar of iron into the forge and I will continue to emerge.

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