The three-hour workout at Van's Tourture Chamber night is known for torture for a reason. Ow. Ow. Ow! I'm going to have to continue this later after I get an ice-pack and ingest some asprin. Stand by.
All kidding aside, please forgive me for taking so long to return.
Van is definitely teaching a serious Uechi-ryu by using Uechi-ryu kata as models and patterns for training. Throughout the kata, there is one common thread, and that is delivering strength with speed. Of course, you say, how could anyone take three hours to do only eight kata? Simple! He visits each petal of every flower. For example, last night we did bag work between kata exploiting certain moves and techniques, then performed the kata again, exploding the movements using the same ferocity and new-found mastery.
The ow, ow part? Muscle movement is triggered and coerced under the sometimes painful (torture chamber, right?) scrutiny of Sensei Canna in an almost dark dojo. I swear that if Van could hit us with a stick while practicing, he would. Ow if you miss a week because the tremendous focus of the forces which come together in one fraction of a second must be practiced regularly to build the strength and stamina
And the few small gaps he leaves is filled by sensei Arthur Rabesa as his time-on-target techniques vibrate through the weary bagholders. Bag work AND fighting are two of Arthur’s specialties.
What does bagwork have to do with kata, and what does kata have to do with fighting? Proper bagwork applied to kata is one of many ways to separate the men from the kata queens, and Uechi-ryu’s fighting secrets are all hidden within the kata.
I like to write a little about Van’s class, and I hope he lets me continue this way, because after my 25 years of samo-samo, he breathes new freshness and meaning into one’s training.
Allen - [email]firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</A> - <A HREF="http://www.uechi-ryu.org[/email] <font color=lightgray>
[This message has been edited by Allen M. (edited 06-24-99).]