Last night upon a midnight dreary,
As I pondered weak and weary,
From many reps of sanchin and kata,
Straining to flow like a smooth cantata ...
Okay, Poe, I'm not ... But, as I sit here nursing yet another bruised shin, sore hip, and pulled tendon ... I realized in my body what before were only words in my mind: That I must learn to relax, to move effortlessly, to release a burst of power only at the precise instant it is needed ... or else I will not be able to continue training long 'after the age when most athletes have retired from their activities.'
Since I started karate late in life (39)and have been training for 11 years (don't bother to add it up, a lady never tells her age ), I've watched the young practitioners virtually explode during their training. And, I longed to look like them. I realize now that many of them are using all or most of their power and exhausting themselves in some non-essential movements.
Now, as I prepare for my next dan test, I look to my "seniors" ... the senseis who move gracefully, harmoniously, almost with the wind. Half the time, I can't even feel their blocks and parries. Yet, their counters always find their targets and are quite effective.
My intention is to be active and to train well into "old age" ... whatever that is nowadays. I will train and live completely ... not wasting a breath or a movement ...