We are now in our last month of training before our summer break.  It’s hard to believe the time has gone by so fast – but it’s been great to see the results of your hard work throughout the year.  The last few weeks have been very busy with the Karate Alberta Recreational and Provincial Qualifier tournaments at the end of May and with Soke Sensei’s visit to Canmore on June 3 and 4.  On the first day of Soke Sensei’s visit, he provided us with an excellent opportunity to refresh our knowledge of moving stances – sanchin and seisan – and to try to perfect them with strong focus, proper weighting, effective use of tanden, shime (contraction) and shibori (muscle contraction with a  twisting movement to add strength). 

On day two, Soke Sensei shared his view that the foundation for a strong kata is the fighting spirit and intent with which it is performed.  This may seem slightly counterintuitive, as we generally associate fighting spirit with kumite – but his view is that without this intent and focus and more importantly, the understanding that every movement within a kata enables you to protect yourself, you cannot perform a strong kata.  One drill he used to emphasize this centered on our strength and spirit as exemplified by our kiais.  As we performed our katas, if we felt that our kiais were not strong enough, we had to stop and restart the kata as the weak kiai identified a weak kata.  The class was extremely loud and intense, but of benefit to all!

One final note on Soke Sensei’s visit – attending the classes, particularly when they are held out of town, may be challenging, but if it all possible, it is important to make the effort to attend – particularly for higher level kyu belts and definitely for shodan level and above.  Not only do we have an opportunity to learn about our style from the world-wide leader of Chito-Ryu, but also we get the opportunity to interact with senior practitioners and members from other dojos – all experiences that help to create a more complete view of karate. 

Announcements

  • Upcoming class cancellations:  Friday June 12
  • The last day of training before the summer break is Friday, June 26.
  • Don’t forget about the Canmore Summer camp – this is another excellent opportunity to learn from Soke Sensei as well as many other senior Chito-Ryu karateka.  The camp is scheduled for August 12 to 16, 2015.  Shimizu Sensei has secured special rates at the Blackstone Lodge in Canmore. Please call the hotel at 1-888-830-8883 for reservations and to receive the special rate, mention the Group Sales Code:  Karate. 
  • Please kindly check your records and ensure that you are up to date on your training fees.

Have a fun and relaxing summer break!

Enjoy your training!

Gary Sabean

Head Instructor