Saturday, June 11, 2016

I am Disabled, so what, Hear Me Roar!

This blog is first and foremost for my students. But I share it with the world if anyone finds it of interest.


I don’t share it this time to make anyone feel comfortable, but to share an important lesson about being old and also disabled.


I began this journey for me. Didn’t take the time to take photos and movies of me.  Isshinryu was something I did. Step by step, day by day, year by year. Seeping it into my life, until it became inseparable with me.


I am old and disabled, no disguising that. At the same time that does not mean I am done.


I am much weaker, have lousy balance, speak with difficulty. Those are no reasons to stop training. It takes work to determine what one can do. Then step by step you train. I know something about training.


If you want to see my Isshinryu, look to my students. I have spent years sharing it with them. If you want to see my Isshinryu look no further. Here it is.


Things are different, Kicks are gone, I can still kick if I have to but my balance will make me fall, so I don’t do it in practice, if attacked, that would be another matter.  Nor do I wear a gi, it is quite difficult to do so these days. It is better to practice in clothes that I wear every day.


I will start with Seisan kata. When I started Isshinryu it began with Seisan kata. But just doing something is not enough. I needed to address being weaker. I had to change some things to hit harder. I decided that using the tecchu was the answer. Small sticks, wrapped with cord, that I can hold in my hands. Increasing my striking power, so my strike has power and will work. I can dent you.

Then comes what is my favorite kata. Of course all my kata are favorites, but Seiunchin kata has a special place in my hear. For one thing the lack of kicks in the kata, does make it easier to do in my mind requiring fewer changes.

Next is Naifanchi kata. If you think the side to side motions make this difficult to practice, think about how difficult that stepping is to me. But facing difficulty makes us work harder.
Then on to Wansu kata. More turns, more difficulty. More practice needed.

I practice Chinto kata and Kusanku kata less these days. Their use of turning, is most difficult.


However, my SunNuSu (Sunsu) kata still is very important to me. It is a regular practice.


Last of the Isshinryu kata, Sanchin kata is the most important kata I practice. This version is my own personal practice. I do this every day with as much power as I can generate.
The weapons kata are important, but with my current abilities I have set them aside. Handling weapons is more than a bit much for me.
So that is it after 40+ years in Isshinryu. But almost as important to me is the 35+ years I have spent practicing Yang Tai Chi Chaun. That practice is more difficult than Isshinryu. The form requires constant turning. It took me a year to workout what I can do. This is me doing a 1/6 of the form. I do practice up to ½ the form. But this is my normal daily routine.
Never done, each day training anew, Time to see what I can do.
I did not lose my Isshinryu karate. It just has been adopted to what I can do now. Challenge makes us stretch ourselves. This is how I meet challenge.
Now the most important part. I challenge those who read this to make the older or disabled part of your life. I realize we make you uncomfortable. But each of us is a heartbeat away from facing life changes. In many ways all of us are disabled in some way.
Take the time to visit, call, or even write to someone who faces more challenges that you do. Spend some time with them. They did not ask for their current condition. They do want to be part of your life. It is too easy to dismiss them because they make you feel uncomfortable.
Live, grow, adopt….change happens

 And I walk 1-3 miles 4 or 5 times a week.






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