Warm memories

I ran into my old "warm-up" exercises where I least expected to, a Mas Oyama video, of all places. It brought back old memories. I was amazed to find this warm-up associated with Oyama because of his reputation. On the other hand I felt that we were quite in line with old school traditions. As I have said before in these posts, warm-ups in my dojo were quite excruciating and the Oyama video covers just a fraction of the pain endured.

From the first stretch to the last kick, well to an hour might pass...and still we had kata and programmed bunkai and kumite to do.

I've changed my view as to the necessity of this ordeal, but still see its value for young people starting karate for its lessons in endurance and spirit. the sensei always used to say that we should see these exercises and routines as one long kata and this is how you would do them over time as you learned to pace yourself. They also teach you to breathe properly and cultivate a sense of space and awareness of those around you.

Needless to say, I only do a very summarized version now, focusing my time on the kata proper, but maybe I would not have achieved this focus if it were not for those years doing that one long kata.

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