This morning Chrissy, Julie, Scott and I met for an informal beach training session at Camp Cove on Sydney Harbour. Its a beautiful spot that marks the first overnight camp of the First Fleet when they arrived in what was shortly to become the Colony of New South Wales. From 6.30am we had the beach almost to ourselves – there was one fisherman and a couple of people swimming, but that was it! A beautiful day to start the day with some training.
Before the others got there, I started off with a light run up and down the beach, did a light stretch, then ran through a kata or two. Once the others arrived, we all did a run up and down the beach, then moved into kata (Nijushiho and Sanchin) and yakusoku kumite (Sanchin Waza). When the others had to leave for work, I stayed and had a swim, and practiced my own kata – in and out of the water.
One good thing about early morning training is that no matter what else happens today, you’ve done that one thing for yourself! If you get stuck in a long, boring meeting, you can relax knowing you’ve had a great start!
During the training, we talked about the three timings (Go no Sen, Tai no Sen and Sen no Sen) and how these are applied in Sanchin Waza, and also the concepts of kiai (気合) and aiki (合気), and how these are expressed in kata Nijishiho. While karate is often equated with force that is external and strong (kiai), using the opponent’s force against them (aiki) is equally important. Sometimes you give, sometimes you cede.
Thanks to Chrissy, Julie and Scott for getting up and enjoying the morning session.