2nd September 2019

Week commencing 02.09.19


Rounding off the long, occasionally hot summer, we had a wedding to attend in Penzance and St Ives, which culminated in an afternoon and early evening lounging on the beach enjoying the last rays of the sun. My thoughts turned towards another ending of sorts, that being the final sessions of SWIKO at Central Dojo in Winners 2000. 

As the name suggests, the club has been training there for nearly twenty years, Sensei Dave established the club at Winners when it opened and many people have come and gone in that time and much water has flowed under the bridge. I have been a club member for about half of that time and consider myself something of a newcomer, however that might simply be something to do with getting older. It was difficult to assess how I felt about not training at Winners anymore, after all, its only the actual Karate classes that have had to move elsewhere, the conditioning sessions are still taking place at Winners, but not everyone can manage to attend those. 

One of the overwhelming sensations I experienced was a fear that some of the learning that had taken place inside that dojo, would remain, like some kind of tangible memory, within the walls of the dojo. Almost as if all the katas learned and the drills practiced and the fights won or lost, were laid down like images on film emulsion, only to be brought with us into the next dojo, if they could definitely be accounted for. This of course, is a ridiculous notion, but I know where it comes from, it is to do with association: have you ever noticed how when learning katas as a less experienced practitioner, some sequences of katas are remembered by your actual position in a room and what you can see when you reach a pause or a Kiai point? So that if you were asked to do the kata in a different dojo, you suddenly wonder if you are making a mistake. Furthermore, I wonder if this is to do with how learning Karate begins by creating body shapes with yourself, because someone is telling you to, until you begin to understand a bit more and actually start to feel what you are doing. When I was much younger, we were at a point in a session of call and respond drills, when the Sensei suddenly paused, then shouted “make the moves real!!” and I never forgot that. Of course, the older ones amongst us will know of the legendary Sensei Oenida, who was occasionally on the telly in his time, and was asked about Karate by an interviewer, he said that “Karate takes about fifteen years to learn, and about twenty five to become any good”……………..

Anyway, new dojo, new Karate, new times. I’m sure we all appreciate the work behind the scenes to keep the club rolling along in the new premises, so lets start building up those memories again and one day we’ll actually get quite good at this!! Oss!!

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