Forging the Kyokushin Toolbox

Two days before testing so I assumed it would be a lot of kata, kihon, etc., but instead we worked on our “Toolbox”.

As Fogarasi Sensei said best, which I am still chuckling about, “you can’t make a pig fat in two days”! Osu! He tells us this is a Romanian saying used around the holidays, when preparing a pig for roast. Nothing in the last few days is going to make the pig fatter, and hence, nothing in the next couple of days will really improve us enough to make a difference on testing. We have already been working for weeks on it. OSU!

I love this saying so much that I used it on my team today at work, as they were preparing to go into a presentation. They too loved it and totally agreed.

So, instead, last night we worked on kicking with the emphasis on the most relied on kick in martial arts, including Kyokushin Karate. Mawashi-geri, or the roundhouse-kick.

We partner drilled using Thai pads, with combinations of Gedan, Chudan and Jodan. We also mixed in other kicks and knees, with various count groupings, but the focus remained Mawashi-geri.

hanshi Arneil

Hanshi Steve Arneil, Seminar at Contact Kicks Dojo 2013

At less than 100% power, with attention on technique, endurance and conditioning the shins, Sensei explained that we must forge the best tools at our disposal. You might have a brand new hammer that looks and feels amazing, but go to use it and it shatters in your hands. What use is that?! We must have tools that are proven tough and reliable. So, we work the tools used most often, over and over, so that we know when we reach for that hammer, or Mawashi-geri, that it will deliver exactly what we intend, without having to think about it.

The conditioning, which also included standing in front of your partner and delivering 100 Gedan Mawashi-geri to the thighs, with each leg, helps forge not only a leg able to withstand the strike, but an indomitable spirit is forged as well.

I am finding myself improving a little more in cardio, so I am able to keep up better than I use to. And that isn’t the only thing that has improved. The impact that Kyokushin, and Fogarasi Sensei’s teaching, has had on me has been nothing short of incredible. At the end of class Sensei spoke to us about the evening, our training, reiterating a few things, and was talking about the different reasons we all come to karate.

For some, especially the younger, it is the competition. But for many of us, who are a little older, the reasons vary between heath and fitness, and extracurricular activity and stress reduction. Which is what I am alluding to in my own transformation. I came back to martial arts for a few different reasons. Missing the passion I had for it in my youth, the physical and spiritual components, and wanting to be involved in a style that would get me over my fear of being hit. Kyokushin karate has helped all of those things, but on top of that, I found it has helped with stress.

I work in a very stressful career, as a digital project manager. Working on huge projects. It can be very intense, and I would usually bring that stress home with me. But since joining Fogarasi Sensei’s dojo, Contact Kicks, under his amazing influence, I now not only have an outlet for my stress, but he is teaching us how we can use the tools we are developing through practice of Kyokushin to deal with stress in our personal lives. This part has been huge for me, and I will always be thankful to Kyokushin and Fogarasi Sensei for this.

So, my toolbox is getting a little bigger in the dojo and out of the dojo, with tools that help me both externally and internally. Forged under the watchful eye of a great teacher and mentor.


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