Incredible day, incredible class. Learned a lot. First thing I learned is, my endurance is very bad for a 30 year old. I'm getting impatient with myself and these half measures.
The second thing I learned was, I still feel the urge to move backward. It's easy to fight people smaller and slower than you and invite then in and enter them. But Sensei invited these three students from BC to train. Salt of the earth - the lady was a Kindergarten teacher! The one guy, Eric, was big. Big and intense. And when he came, I could feel my spirit retreat. I couldn't enter. I was afraid. I'm not even close to solving the riddle...
The third thing I learned was how important it was to be able to roll. I sometimes feel that tinge of resentment at how happy people feel throwing me and watching me roll safely away when I absolutely can't do the same to them. But it is so essential for people to feel technique work, see it work. That's really important. That is the spark, the seed that encourages the hard work of cultivation. If I can be that seed, I will. I'll learn by watching and teaching:-)
And the final thing I learned was how blessed I was when one of the finest martial teachers in the world moved into my neighborhood. My sensei is a good and beautiful man. Kind and giving. A man of depthless ability. He thanked me for staying behind and working with the visiting students, and drove me home. We joked and talked and I suggested that we record him doing the Bunkai. He shrugged almost as if to say that no one would be interested in that. But I saw the look on the visitors faces as he moved and taught them. It was the same look I held on my face, the same look that I always have in those moments when I realize how easy it would have been never to have met him. It was awe. It was seeing the mountain top, the place where karate can take us. It was seeing how beautiful karate can be, how simple karate wants to be, how complicated we all make it.
We were working on hen shu ho and he was giving us pointers. It's so strange the dichotomy between Kata and Bunkai. You might do all sorts of things in Kata that you don't understand, but the Bunkai makes immediate sense even if you can't execute it at all. Sensei did a million little things that turned a good movement into a flawless one, a movement with no openings. He does something that makes so much sense, that you wonder why you couldn't have figured it out yourself. You scratch your head trying to figure out how he did what he did and he smiles and does it again. There are so few people in the world who fill me with wonder, and I see one of them three times a week.
Three hours that felt like thirty minutes. So much to learn. We need to record Sensei. His understanding is too valuable to be stored in just one place.