I wanted to take the time to first write down how we start and end the classes for later reference.
We always line up according to rank, with the higher ranks on the East (to my left) and in two lines. We have about 16 members now so that's about 8 in each line.
- Line up according to rank, facing the front of the room (North) where the country and club flags are hung. We all kneel down into a seiza (kneeling) sitting position.
- One member calls the following
- Mokuso (which means to close your eyes and "meditate". But we only do this for a few seconds.
- Mokuso naote
- Shomen ni rei (bow to the front of the room)
- Noatte (go back to sitting position)
- Sensei ni rei (bow to the instructor)
- O-tagai ni rei (bow to each other - but we bow again to the front of the room. The idea is to have each other in mind when you do it.)
- Then the instructor starts the class, We do Kihon, Kumite, and Kata and then we have the closing formalities
- Again we all line up and sit seiza
- The same member calls out
- Dojokun - everyone repeats after the following
- Hitotsu - Jinkaku kansei ni tsumomeru koto
- Hitotsu - Makoto no michi wo mamoru koto
- Hitotsu - Doryoku no seishin wo yashinau koto
- Hitotsu - Reigi wo omonzuru koto
- Hitotsu - Keki no yu wo imashimeru koto
- Mokuso naotte
- Shomen ni rei
- Sensei ni rei
- O-tagai ni rei
- Then the instructor makes a few comments and then says Renshu owari
- Everyone bows again and runs to the instructor to say thank you.
Kata - Meikyo Nidan and Miekyo
Yesterday the black belts and I were practicing Meikyo Nidan and Meikyo. The last practice we were practicing Gojushiho Dai. And before that we were practicing Gojushiho Dai and Gojushiho Sho. Sometime about this time last year we were doing Kanku-sho. None of these I have yet to memorize, let alone master. There must be twenty kata that I've been introduced to but I've only been able to remember all the moves to about 12 or 13 of them. I just can't remember 50 to 60 steps of a kata all in one sitting. I don't know how these kids learn it on their own, but when I get the chance to learn them on my own, if I can find the time and the space, I start at 1 and go through the first 3 or four steps, and then start over and add the next three or four steps and keep starting over and adding more steps until I can do it all the way through to the end. The meikyo kata are fairly short so they should be easy to remember. But I still haven't been able to remember kanku-sho, Gojushiho-sho and gojushiho-dai.
Money, money, money
I got A and H new face masks and some new leg guards. Karate costs enough money as it is just for class, grading and tournaments. Having to buy expensive gear, which you can't even try on because there is no shop around here, is very hard on the wallet. Karate is an ART and a SPORT. It is a traditional Japanese art, and most traditional Japanese arts are expensive to do. I don't mind paying for lessons, and I don't mind paying a small fee four tournaments, but I still hate paying such high fees for belt tests. That's just a load of bullshit. It's a scam. Almost like a pyramid system. But we still do it. I keep hoping that in time we will get a less expensive instructor, one who doesn't charge so much for tests, if at all. But I imagine that the going rate is probably set.