Yesterday, Karl Sensei and I went up to Kuala Lumpur to train with Pathmanathan Sensei. We had planned to go early in the morning so that we could come back early, but due to some work commitments on my part, we only left for KL at 9.45 a.m. After a two hour uneventful drive, we arrived at Pathmanathan Sensei’s apartment and instead of training, we chatted! We then were introduced to Master Bala, Chief Instructor of the Kuala Lumpur Taekwondo Association and we talked on the mess martial arts associations are in due to politics and power struggles. After a delicious lunch, Pathmanathan Sensei then drove the 3 of us to Youth and Sports Ministry in Putrajaya, where he had a meeting on the on-going Ultimate Warrior Tournament. Karl Sensei was a competitor last year and planned to enter again this year. He also roped in yours truly to enter 🙂 for the Melaka Level Tournament. Even if I don’t win, it’ll be an invaluable experience. All this while talking about karate and kumite, this is the chance to try my skills against other exponents from other martial arts. It was way after 7 p.m. before we made it back to Sensei’s apartment. Karl Sensei and I hastily changed into our gi and went for the training at the neighborhood basketball court. We worked on Ippon Kumite and Kata. Needless to say, neither my Ippon kumite nor was my kata (and we only worked on Fukigata Ichi, Fukigata Ni and Seisan!!) was not up to Pathmanathan Sensei’s strict standard. This made me very irritable, yet determined to press on. Pathmanathan Sensei is a strict yet kind teacher who urged me on with his encouragements, and tweaking my moves to the minute details….. “Squeeze here…”… “Push this out…”…”This way…”… “Just a little bit this angle…”… “Lower….”…. “KIME!”. Pathmanathan Sensei is uncompromising when it comes to the training standards. By the time the 2 over hours training was over, I was grateful. We then met up with Revi Sensei of Seibukan Johor for drinks before leaving for Melaka around 11.30 p.m. We arrived around 1.30 a.m. to some well deserved rest. This morning when I woke up, the effects of yesterday’s training was showing, and I was cramping here and there. What that means is that I have to intensify my training to clear the little kinks out and if I hope to be in shape for the Ultimate Warrior Tournament in July.