“Do, or do not. There is no try.” Three guesses on who said that.
Chotoku Kyan? ….. No!!!
Funakoshi? ….. NO!!!
Zenpo Shimabukuro Sensei?….. NNOO!!
Tsk… tsk… That quote comes from the most venerable martial arts masters in the universe…
YODA, Master Jedi.
Now that I have your attention… let’s get to the point of today’s blab session : identity.
The fact is I’ve been meaning to write this post ever since I came back from training with Pathma Sensei in Kuala Lumpur. But somehow, there are always something that cropped up to stunt my concentration to write. Last nite I promised myself to set aside 15 minute to writing this. Training on Monday night was especially tough for me as my asthma just resurfaced the night before. I was weezing and coughing thru the whole class, but managed to hang on… just. There were about 30 students or so from the regular class, plus yours truly and Karl, Ravi from Seibukan Johor and a prospective convert from TKD (may the force be with him). It started normal enough with the class going through kihon renshu and zenshin kotai. After about an hour, Ravi pulled a muscle while doing ushiro-geri and had to rest. We then started working on our kata. Pathma Sensei made us go thru Fuki Ichi and Fuki Ni, and he was very particular on the movements. Especially to us out of town instructors, who don’t get to train much with him. It was good for me to train these two katas, as these are what most of my students are practising now, so I found out the little things that I did not do right. Pathma Sensei then asked the class whether we wanted to do Seisan… and I was the only one to say yes… I guess the rest was too tired and it was getting rather late. So the class was dismissed. Unsatisfied, I asked Pathma Sensei if he’d mind looking over a shorter kata, Wansu. As I expected, there were many mistakes, and Sensei patiently corrected me. We spent about 20 minutes going thru Wansu before the hall caretaker started to signal “time-up’ by coughing. I was really unsatisfied, because we just got into the kata. Earlier I promised myself that I would try to expand my knowledge of Okinawan, especially Seibukan katas so that when I do demos or enter comps, I would perform Okinawan katas rather than shitei katas. It is especially important to me, as I want to represent the Okinawan karate in my classes thru it’s kata and kihon, simply because I am part of the Okinawan Karate family. There is little or no point for me to claim that I am part of an Okinawan group but still do shitei kata. Not that shitei kata is bad. But I would prefer to do them just for my own practice rather than as the main piece. This struggle inside me to do and differintiate between what is required and what is necessary is ever going…. Do I just toe the party line? Will I be satisfied? Will it be fair to may students? I’m never one to toe the party line, somethimes I just pretend to… but my ever rebellious heart…. ever so rebellious… what am I to do? Kata, is the essence of any karate ryu. So maybe, the answer is, for me to truly say ‘I am Seibukan’ and be Seibukan. As it say in the old testament, I am who I am…. As Yoda said : Do, or do not.