The Miyagi Chojun Festival was held in The Crown Plaza Hotel over looking the Niagara Falls with a breath taking view; the falls form the border between the USA and Canada.
This was the 7th Gasshuku in Koh – Samui, it is the ideal place for those people that live in cold climates, it is a chance to train hard and enjoy the warm Sun, Sea and Beaches with a Night life second to none, and guaranteed temperatures of over 33°C.
This is the 15th year that I have been teaching at the Institute of Traditional Karate – Do. In that time I have conducted twice yearly Black Belt Gradings and this time was one of the best, in terms of a true family feeling.
This is one of those times that I reminiscence about training in Cambridge University, Keble College to be precise in 1970, at that time I travelled up to Cambridge with a friend and quite well known music producer who trained in Karate at that time, Tony Visconti has worked with David Bowie for many years, other famous people he produce includes, T. Rex, Mary Hopkins and ...Tom Paxton and today, after four decades, is still going strong.
Introduction / Venue
Reading Goju-Ryu Karate Club invited Sensei George to the Pulse8 Gym at the Nirvana Spa, Sindlesham, to instruct an all grades / all ages course on Sunday 27th January. The event had been planned for some time and was the Reading Club’s way of honouring Sensei George’s recent promotion to 8th Dan.
The venue was excellent, with a spacious training area and immaculate facilities.
The Reading club was well represented and Sensei was delighted that other Goju practitioners had travelled from Hereford, Bristol and Hampshire to attend. There were over 25 of us in attendance.
I have searched for instructions on how to hit the Makiwara and the Health and Safety issues, but have not found any information, so have I decided to give my input on my experience from the only man that knows the true way how to hit a Makiwara.
Master Morio Higaonna enjoys hitting the Makiwara more than reading a book, or eating a meal and spends as much time digesting it, I have watch him for 36 years and he only thinks of the Pursuit of Excellence and none stop reparations, I wonder if history could better this observation, as I have not seen any evidence.
People talk about history; I can only talk about what I witness, he told me that he hates not hitting the Makiwara because his Knuckles become softer.
About the Safety issues surrounding hitting a Makiwara, I stand ready to be corrected by the Medical Profession, when hitting the Makiwara you should concentrate on the first two knuckles of the hand, when hitting the Makiwara aim 70% on the index finger and 30% on the middle finger, but when you make contact you hit 50 – 50%, if you don’t you may develop problems with fluid on their knuckles.
The message from Moscow was to make sure you bring plenty of warm clothing and they were right, the temperature outside Domodedovo Airport on my arrival was -22°C and lots of snow.
I was driven to my place of stay which was about 40 minutes outside Moscow; it was called Zhukovsky, the accommodation was in the Sanatorium (houses of rest) where you can have treatment for every part of the anatomy. The surroundings were outstanding with Pine and Birch trees and an aroma to match, everywhere was covered in snow, on entering my room the temperature was a comfortable 25°C and furnishings to match.
Three meals a day were provided so you never went hungry, alcohol was not allowed. I could not sleep the first night due to the silence, and then I could not wake up due to the dark mornings, due to living in London this place was like a retreat.
The Cambridge dojo ran a self defence course for charity on 27th November 2012. All profits went to Cambridge Cyrenians, an organization working with the needs of homeless people.
Chief Instructor OTGKA