Shotokan on Buddha’s grounds

27 08 2009

temple photo 4 webI had been planning on visiting the Karate class held at the Alameda Buddhsit Temple. I went by once before and the class was canceled. I went to the Obon day service where I had a good encounter with the Rev Sensei. This past Tues I dragged myself out of the apt  and I went by again. This time there was a class.

I peeked into the temp. dojo and was a bit surprised to see the Rev Sensei there  going through some Karate drill with a person in a Gi and with a Black Belt. I took him to be the instructor. I bowed in and was greeted by the Rev Sensei. He asked if I wanted to work out with them. I said no I’m just here to watch. I sat, I watched, I was told they were waiting to see if some of the other people, (3) were going to show up. They did not. So they went through kata and some one step Kumite. As they talked I was told what was going on and found out the Black Belt was just visiting. It was the Rev Sensei who was running the actual Karate class. The Black Belt that was there was his student a long time back.

They went through drills and Kata. The Rev Sensei had not practiced many of the forms but still recalled most of them and the moves. He said it was some 40 yrs since he did some of them.  He moves and kicks were not as sharp and snappy as the other younger guy, but still it was impressive at 69 yrs old and out of practice to see him do the Kata and defense drills.

As it turns out they were doing Shotokan, a style I also had learned and was  Shodan ranked. Rev Sensei told me I could/should come back and practice with him, nothing serious he said, just basic training.  I’m not really into doing karate since I left some 20yrs or more ago. The moves looked simple and stiff compared to my Shaolin.  However, this could be a good way for me to make headway into getting a Kyudo class there at the temple. I wonder if that is bad Karma to have other motives. I could also perhaps add another level of training to what is being taught via my Chinese studies. Maybe a hybrid Shotokan more like Shorin-ryu with some Chan Zazen mixed in….maybe.

I like the Rev Sensei, he seems like a nice person and I had planned on going to a service there one a month or so. Even though not my faith, the Shanga sharing is good for the spirit. With this newly added dimension, this could indeed be the Force providing a way and a place for me in this community. The temple would be a perfect place for a Kyudo dojo with space inside and out. There is also a Kendo class held at this location run by another person. Maybe, even a Tai Chi class could be added even though not Japanese. This could be very beneficial for all. It is interesting seeing how things unfold with this Kyudo involvement, directly and indirectly. We’ll see how this “Do” unfolds…Yosh!

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2 responses

27 08 2009
rickmatz

Regardless of the time you’ve invested in Kung Fu, Tai Chi, Chan; regardless of your plans to move to Japan, what is it you really want to pour your time and energy into?

My own interests are pretty wide ranging, but my practice has become very small, but with hope, deep. I hope to refine it like a laser beam.

27 08 2009
Zen

Good question…

A short answer, living fully.

Hmmmm,
Leonardo, which is it you really want to do, Painting, Sculpture, Inventing, design…

Good question for another blog topic.

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