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Final Day In Kumamoto!

Up early this morning for a chat with family followed by a good stretching session.  I’ve really been enjoying my training, but I’ve been trying to keep my stretching up in order to get the most out of the experience.  My lower back didn’t agree with the Karate Kid training (pulling weeds) yesterday but just in keeping myself moving my body is feeling 100% better this morning.

After breakfast Helen and I set off  on a casual walk to the Shimitori and Kamitori one last time.  Today we needed to organise some bus tickets to get ourselves from Kumamoto to Fukuoka Airport.  We’ll be leaving the Sohonbu tomorrow morning at about 6:00am.  Once we organised the bus tickets I started on my way back to the dojo via a few book stores so that I would be back in time to meet with Tanaka Sensei.  Helen continued on to make the most of her final day in Kumamoto.

Back to the dojo and it is time to train with Tanaka Sensei.  We trained for just over an hour and had a quick chat before wrapping up. I stayed on in the dojo for another hour and made notes in my training journal and reviewed the key elements that Tanaka Sensei shared.  Tanaka Sensei is a very special person and an extraordinary teacher and when he mentioned that we should train today I wasn’t going to miss it.

I really enjoyed everything from the warm up to breaking down Rohai Dai and piecing it back together and I can’t wait to share these ideas when I return.  I also really enjoyed our chat time and sharing our personal thoughts about training, teaching and sharing Chito-Ryu Karate -Do with others.  As always I have a mountain of things that I can take away and practice.  Thank you Tanaka Sensei for your time.

Below is a picture of Tanaka Sensei and I performing bunkai at a special demonstration on Monday.  I didn’t manage to get any photos whilst training today.

 

 

Time for the evening class.  What a great class to wrap up our time in Kumamoto.  Minowa Sensei pulled together a great class for us all to enjoy and achieve some great learning.  In the last part of the class I got to work with Marc Sensei on Kusanku which was fantastic.  Marc Sensei shared some great points not only for this kata but for my training in general.  I’m really excited to see what I can do with this information in combination with everything else that I have received.   Little by little it will come together and then there will be more.

 

 

Straight after training we were off to the Onsen.  It was the best thing that I could have done.  I think once my head hits the pillow tonight I’m going to sleep well, even if it is only for a few hours.  Thank you Minowa Sensei and Tomiko san for my final visit to the Onsen before leaving in the morning.

To wrap up my training adventures at the Sohonbu here is a verse from Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu:

“Can you keep the soul always concentrated from straying?
Can you regulate the breath and become soft and pliant like an infant?
Can you clear and get rid of the unforeseen and be free from fault?
…Can you become enlightened and penetrate everywhere without knowledge?”

 A big thank you to Soke Sensei, Minowa Sensei (Tomiko & all ladies from stretching/dance class), Naoyuki Sensei (& Yuko, Reika & Runka), Goshi (& Tomoko, Runa & Rui), Tanaka Sensei, Toyodome Sensei, Todd Sensei, Marc Sensei (& Reina), Ichimaru Sensei and Keichiro Oda.

Thank you also to Helen for your company.  This adventure wouldn’t have been the same without you here.  I hope that this experience becomes a foundation for many more trips to the Sohonbu as you continue to advance in your studies of Chito-Ryu Karate-Do and inspire others to embrace this amazing journey.