Last night’s class at Contact Kicks Dojo was a dizzying experience, in the good way. Most of the evening was concentrating on spinning kicks, like Ushiro Mawashi Geri, Ushiro Ura Mawashi Geri, etc. As I have mentioned before, Fogarasi Sensei‘s attention to detail is impeccable and he was working with us on each movement, from the smallest to the largest. I really enjoyed it, though I am most definitely more comfortable in my dominate right leg. I might not ever get as comfortable in my left leg, but I like to try, as I believe it will help my over all coordination.
We begin individually but soon move to partner drills. There is some hesitation from me, as I am not confident of my abilities yet, and I have concern that I will kick my partner outside of the padded area he is holding. After a while I gain some confidence and increase the speed and power. As I do this, I start to lose control, and Sensei picks up on this from us immediately. He explains that we most slow down and concentrate on each individual movement. Perfect it slowly first, before picking up the speed.
“Slow down!” Osu! The lesson he explains isn’t just for a spinning kick, but for everything we do inside and outside of the dojo. This includes sparring. Many times when we spar the intensity rises and before you know it we are going full out, technique can go out the window and someone can get injured. Fogarasi Sensei explains that the biggest battle and challenge isn’t with our opponent, but instead with ourselves. We must slow down, check our ego, check our spirit and check our physical bodies. Take the time to perfect our movements.
This, like most lessons from Sensei, translate easily outside of the dojo. Often at work, and in life, things can get very intense and stressful. We can find ourselves reacting spontaneously, sometimes not in the best way. We need to a breath and slowdown at those times, like taking space and collecting yourself during sparring, or slowing down during spinning kicks, to regain posture, control and balance.
“Today is victory over yourself of yesterday; tomorrow is your victory over lesser men.” ― Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings
It is incredible how much Kyokushin Karate has given me, and more specifically the teaching and guidance of my teacher Steve Fogarasi Sensei. His guidance and instruction are shaping me to become the man I have always wanted to. I joined Kyokushin to overcome fears of kumite, and on top of that Fogarasi Sensei has helped me perform better at work, better with my family and my community. The lessons I am learning could never be measured in any monitory way.
And last night’s lesson was… Slow Down. Osu!