Balance. We need it in life and in the dojo. In our technique and in our energy. As mentioned in recent blogs, we are preparing for testing at Contact Kicks Dojo, which means lots of practice of kihon waza, kata, syllabus, etc.
Last night we had a real emphasis on kicks, and balance. After a lot warm up kicks, part of the practice was using focus pads and Jodan Mawashi-Geri, while moving around with your partner. Not so bad right? I’m breaking a sweat and it feels good. Next round we added an Uchi Mawashi Geri followed directly by a Jodan Mawashi-Geri with the same leg. Okay, it’s getting tougher. Next round we add a spin to the crescent kick and follow it up with the Jodan Mawashi-Geri. Okay, now I can feel it in my abs as well. Getting that old stich that I thought was no longer going to come around. So what could be next? The same sequence without allowing your foot to touch the ground! A lot of spinning on one foot. It is so tough, and even more so for my left leg, but that’s what I am here for.
I have seen video of Lechi Kurbanov doing something similar as part of his training.
As Fogarasi Sensei explains, the real point of this exercise is to work on our balance. So we can deliver strikes from awkward position, or defend ourselves. It is also incredibly useful for improving our basic kicks. When you can kick well like this, anything else is going to be easier.
It was incredibly difficult, frustrating and annoying. All the attributes that tell you it must be good and will improve you!
At the end of class, while in zazen, Sensei talks to us about the class and balance. He also focuses on the balance we must strive for outside of the dojo as well. It is this balance that will help us to become not only better karateka, but better people as well.
Balance in our physical through diet, exercise, rest etc. Balance in our mental through goals, staying positive, emotions, etc. Balance in our spiritual side in meditation, or whichever your personal beliefs are. Work-life balance, making sure you keep in check that which is most important, like your health, family and well-being.
Fogarasi Sensei was telling us the world is constantly throwing us off balance and sometimes it’s all we can do to keep it together. All of us are only human. It might take some work, but balanced living offsets any negative events in your life with positive ones. Kyokushin in of itself will have good and bad for us, he tells us. There will come time when we want to take a break, or it’s becoming too much. We must look for the joy again and find that which brings us balance.
It was a great class with valuable lessons that left me thinking long after I left the dojo. Always a good sign that the class has left a mark.
From the Karate Kid:
Miyagi: You remember lesson about balance?
Miyagi: Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything be better. Understand?