The vans arrived on time and we were wisked off for our first training. Boy were we excited! At the headquarters we were able to pick up our beautiful commemorative gi. The WFT logo was on a patch on the left breast of the jacket and our names were embroidered on the jacket and the pants. The left arm of the jacket had the 3 concentric circles that are the flag of Okinawa and April 2004.
Our team of teachers for the first monring included:
Mr. Inada, Mr. Takara, Mr. Nakahodo, Mr. Kiyuna, Mr. Onamine, and Mr. Yonamine. We started out with junbiundo and hojo-undo then we each did our kata in rotation in front of the various teachers. 3 sanchin, 3 seisan, 3 sanseiryu. During or after each kata the teachers would offer corrections. Personally I think the teachers did an excellent job of making corrections that would help each woman improve their kata for their own body structure.
It was fun to get different corrections from different teachers. Nice to see the similarities and the varions among their thinking.
I'll post some of what I received in terms of individual correction as well as comments that were given to the group.
Single Sanchin Thrusts:
-the target of the final strike must be inside the bodyline
-must be done with the elbows close to the body
-stop the retraction dead, stop the whole body, explode with the strike, the strike should stop dead.
-the target of the strike is just below the clavicle
Please keep in mind that as I go through this journal I'm going to post my understanding of the corrections I received. I'm not trying to tell anyone the right way to do anything and I don't even dare to claim that I completely understood everything that was being said. The transmission of karate across a language barrier is going to be flawed. Some other women on the tour may flat-out disagree with what I write. So please take these posts for what they are --- my impressions and memories of my experiences. Nothing more, nothing less. And words are just words, they can never substitute for training.
Double Sanchin Thrusts:
-the hands should close into fists before you retract them
-the fists should then be opened to finger tips by the time the arms end the retractions
-the retraction should stop dead and the whole body should stop dead. Then the strike should explode out.
Double Bushiken Strikes:
-the target for the upper thumb knuckle is the same as the target of the single fingertip strike
-the wrist of the lower hand must be bent back to keep the fingers out of the way so that the thumb knuckle strikes first. The fingers of the lower hand are parallel to the floor, not perpendicular for two of the three sets of targets of sanchin. The only time the lower hand fingers point to the floor is when you strike the final pair of points. However- when you show your sanchin only show 1 set of targets. Show the same set of targets for all three strikes.
-the target for the lower hand is inside the body line
-the target should be somewhere that you are able to grab the obliques after you hit with the thumb knuckle.
-the three shoken strikes are done from a regular sanchin stance. Neither an elongated sanchin stance nor a kiba dachi stance should be used - just regular sanchin.
It was hot, we were sweaty, and with 28 women on the tour, there should have been a long line for the bathroom - but we were too excited to drink. After the first workout we were much better and drank TONS more water. It was hot and humid. 75 degrees isn't so bad if you're in a t-shirt and shorts, But when you're in a full length canvass gi without airconditioning and working your but off - it's hot.
Another group of women were working on Yakosuko Kumite and a third group of women - those planning on testing for a dan rank - were pulled off to work separately as a group. I know that the group doing the 10 point Okikukai Yakosuko kumite learned a few new things - but I didn't have the opportunity to train that exercise during my visit.
After our cool down we bowed out. Our first workout in Okinawa was a huge success!!!
Did you show compassion today?