Hottan 始める – “the beginning”

Welcome to my first posting on the Martial Way Blog. I will keep this entry relatively short, as what I am trying to do will materialize on the path ahead.

I hoping this will be a place to express my experience on this path in the martial arts, specifically Kyokushin, inside and outside of the dojo, as well anecdotes and articles that I find interesting.

At 43 I have begun training in Kyokushin Kaikan Karate. In my youth I studied in an American style of Kenpo Karate. However, that was a very long time ago. Though I loved training in Kenpo, it lacked any realism. There was very limited contact, or none at all. I was never hit, nor ever hit anyone. So, I was lacking confidence in this area. Eventually I stopped training.

Many years went by, and not to mention a few injuries from accidents (including spinal surgery), but the interest in martial arts never left. I decided to look for a dojo again. I searched out traditional, or classical, Karate. I was torn between Goju-ryu and Kyokushinkai. I decided upon Kyokushinkai, as it seemed to have a good balance of both the Shuri-te traditions (such as Shorin-ryu and Shotokan) and hard and soft characteristics of Naha-te and Tomari-te styles, such as Goju-ryu, and also included realistic fighting.

I found out, through an acquaintance, who also happened to be a Nidan in Kyokushin, that there was a dojo near my house. After much deliberation I decided to try it out, and my experience was great, but very short lived. Less then a month.

Once I was feeling okay enough to think about it, I was stuck with a relapse of prostate disease, called non-bacterial prostatitis or Chronic Pelvic Pain Syndrome (CPPS). Not cancer, but horrible none the less. This was incredibly difficult. It was something I had battled with for some time, and had returned with vengeance. So, I decided to leave training.

After a long battle with it, things began to settle down. Life began to return to normal. But the martial arts bug never left.

Flash forward five more years, and I am now in my 40s. But the longing for martial arts has never left. I wanted to train again.

Now, as I mentioned above, there was also something I felt missing from my training in my youth. Something that affected my confidence and my self-image. Though I had trained in Kenpo, I didn’t feel I earned it, because of this missing component. None of my previous martial arts gave me this missing piece of the puzzle. That missing piece? Contact!

Now I don’t just mean contact in the form of point sparring or light bunkai work. I mean contact as in getting hit and hitting. Learning to take a punch, kick, and being able to deliver one.

There was a part of me that felt I was too old to be even thinking of this, but there was another part that thought, if I get over this fear hurdle, I could get over anything. So, how was I going to accomplish this? By the only way and style I knew would offer me this intense and realistic training… Kyokushinkai!

I had since moved from the area where the last dojo was, but through searching and a recomendation I have located an amazing instructor, Sensei Steve Fogarasi, whose passion and love for the art shines through. You can feel and see his deep commitment to this art. His technique is awesome, and he is right there training with us. He really is becoming someone I admire greatly and hoping I can aspire to some day.

My age is a factor (did I mention I am 43 y/o?!), and I feel it each class. But, I am hoping with time and training it will be less so. Thankfully my prior training is helping with the kata, kihon, etc., but with kumite,… I am severely a beginner. No question. I have so much to learn. I must overcome my fear. Why couldn’t I have had this type of training 20 years ago?! Well, I have found it now, and I truly believe everything in life is for a reason. I think I have found “The Ultimate Truth”!

I will try to keep this updated on my progress, and the posts will probably not be as long, but I wanted to give a little insight into what brought me here.



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