Sunday, September 9, 2007

Old Sensei

Yesterday I had a class with my Old Sensei.

When I say Old Sensei, I don't mean he's Mr. Miyagi's age. He's actually in his early thirties, I would guess. I just mean he was my sensei when I joined the school in early 2001, and he is transitioning out of the school--another sensei is taking over, New Sensei, who I would guess is also in his early 30s.

It was good to take a class from Old Sensei. I've always thought of him as the world's strongest rubber band--he's so incredibly flexible--and he has beautiful form. I actually did a few kicks with my left leg by mistake, I was so caught up in the class.

"It's good to sweat again, isn't it?" he asked me after class. He also joked with me about my lack of a suntan--I was wearing shorts, and he said he thought I was wearing white pants. I mostly say out of the sun because I had skin cancer once on my ankle, which was actually one of my motivations for taking up martial arts in middle age.

Today I worked on physical therapy for my knee at home, and plan to do some crunches and sit-ups and slow karate kicks before bed.


Rhea said...

Cool. I have friends who are seriously into the martial arts. They have, like, multiple black belts!

BobSpar said...

Thanks, rhea. I will be glad, one day, to have a single black belt!

I like your blog; I think martial arts are my midlife crisis (or a big part of it, at least).

The interactive graphic on life after humans is fascinating.

fred said...

Bob sorry about the knee. I had ACL surgery in 1990 after injuring the knee at a tournament in Los Angeles. I was 40 then and underwent the task of rebuilding my knee and leg. I am still at karate, teaching in fact for the last 7 years at my school. I believe it is sad that you have no kata in your school as this is the foundation of traditional karate which in turn only puts enornous strength in your kumite skills. So many schools have gone the route of MMA that you would have to change the word karate to a kickboxing school. You might read some books of Masatoshi Nakayama on basics and relationships of kata to kumite. M. Nakayama head of the JKA from 1955 to 1987.
Not only will it help with kumite but as you get older it will help you train plus eliminate the injuies older martial artists are subject too. fred

BobSpar said...

Hi, Fred,

It's encouraging to hear about your recovery, thanks.

You may be right about the benefits of kata. My school still taught kata when I joined, but stopped. As I get older I see that kata would be a good activity for me.

That said, I've certainly enjoyed my school, my friends, and I've gotten a lot of conditioning, health and stress relief from my school.