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National Holiday: Respect for the Aged Day (Keiro no hi)


Today is a holiday in Kumamoto so there are no scheduled classes.  The third Monday of September (national holiday) is “Respect for the Aged Day (keiro no hi) – Respect for the elderly and longevity are celebrated on this national holiday.”

In many ways I’m grateful for the holiday today as I have so many things running through my head.  I’ve received some great information from Soke Sensei, Minowa Sensei, Todd Sensei, Marc Sensei, Naoyuki Sensei, Hirosei Sensei ad now Kugasaki Sensei.

Having some free time like this is where a lot of the magic happens for me in my training.  I’ll collect information until I’m bursting at the seams and then it is time to start to apply and make sense of it all one element at a time. I get the feeling it may take some time to pull it all together but I’m on my way.

Souji has been a little drawn out these last couple of mornings on my own, but I’m starting to get a little routine which works for me.  I think I’m becoming more efficient with my cleaning technique as I’m getting it done faster and it isn’t as hard on my body as it was last week or on previous visits to the Sohonbu.  I guess the more you do of anything the better you will get at it.

I convinced Helen to ride a bike this morning down to the shops and back.  She was worried she wouldn’t do so well, but we returned to the Sohonbu safely.


Helen getting ready for her first bike ride


Shopping done, now time to make the return trip back to the Sohonbu


Time to prepare for a special demonstration with Tanaka Sensei. A quick review of the 30 minute demonstration and then it was time to go.


Getting a chance to review some bunkai with Tanaka Sensei


Below are some pictures of the demonstration organised by Tanaka Sensei.  It was extremely impressive how Tanaka Sensei had many (if not all) the elderly present getting involved with breathing, making a correct fist, punching slowly and then punching with kiai.  Tanaka Sensei has a great gift when it comes to teaching and bringing out the best in others.  I feel very grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this memorable experience.


Tanaka Sensei getting the elderly to ‘Kiai’


Helen performing Chinto


Performing Sanshiru


Bunkai with Tanaka Sensei


Getting a picture with Shingosan (one of Tanaka Sensei’s old students), Tanaka Sensei and Toyodome Sensei


After the demonstration Tanaka Sensei and Toyodome Sensei took us to the Miyamoto Musashi Park.  If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Miyamoto Musashi Park, be sure to try the Musashi Udon.  Delicious!!!


Tanaka Sensei and Toyodome Sensei. Both were extremely generous with their time today.


The grave of Miyamoto Musashi


We said our goodbyes to Tanaka Sensei and headed off with Toyodome Sensei to Ichimaru Sensei’s Dojo.  Toyodome Sensei also teaches at this dojo.  It was such a different training environment to what I am familiar with so I found myself mostly observing everyone whilst I stretched. I was really impressed with Ichimaru Sensei, Toyodome Sensei and their students.

Tonight the students were focusing mostly on tournament training for the All Japan Tournaments.   I have seen a few of the kata previously in the AKF but not for sometime.  When the students were working on kata I was caught up in the moment trying to understand the bunkai to the kata they were performing and whilst they were doing kumite I was inspired by their great training attitude and speed.

Below are a few photos from Ichimaru Sensei and Toyodome Sensei’s dojo.







 A Quote for Today:  “Think lightly of yourself and deeply of the world.” ~ Miyamoto Musashi


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