Sunday, 28 August 2011


by William Ernest Henley; 1849-1903

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Friday, 26 August 2011

Training with my new Sensei

In my post from the other day, I mentioned about how my original Sensei taught details.

This made me more observant of my current Sensei and how he teaches.

Interestingly he also teaches in detail - just a different set of details. This is probably the details that their Sensei's drilled in to each of them.

So I consider myself to be in a lcuky position of having my details "broadened" - not replaced!!! I now think it's so important to have multiple Sensei's from different associations.

That's good because my job takes me to different places so I can make the most of this in the future :-)

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Lift up the self by the Self
And don't let the self droop down,
For the Self is the self's only friend
And the self is the Self's only foe.

Training with my original Sensei

Today I had the opportunity to train with my original Sensei - Sensei Gareth Richards (and Sensei Phil Culley). I have trained with Sensei Gareth since white belt in 2003. Before today, I haven't trained with him for over a year.

What struck me most was that I was missing detail from my current training. For example, we went through 1 kata in the main class, Tekki Shodan. There was plentiful supply of detailed information about the kata and about the individual techniques. We also covered Bunkai. I found this much more interesting than just going over the Heian katas (over and over again). I also found it a stark reminder of how lazy I have become - to not know the bunkai for the lower grade katas.

Similarly in doing basics, there would be lots of reminders about the detail of different techniques.

However, one thing inspired me more than that. Watching Sensei demonstrating the bunkai, I could really see how it would work, effectively. This is different to my own implementation of karate, probably because I don't fully believe that my karate would be very effective in a real situation. I think I need to believe more in my own karate. I think that when I'm training, I should aim more for perfection of each technique and believe that it would be effective. I also think that I should do more tournaments in order to prove to myself that my karate can be effective.