This article originally posted on the SKA.org newsletter website
Practicing in Indianapolis, we are reminded to take advantage of Mr. Ohshima’s practices at the Shotokan Ohshima Dojo whenever we can. I was lucky this year to be in the area around the brown belt practice time. I tried to get to the Dojo early, since this was my first visit. I had to call folks in Indy in the morning to clarify the directions (they had just about finished Saturday’s practice).
The people at the Dojo felt like family. The brown belt practice with Mr. Ohshima seemed to fly by quickly. Thanks to Cal, who suggested writing an article about the practice, I wrote down my notes afterward. Mr. Ohshima reminded us about attitude towards our seniors, especially for older brown belts with younger seniors. The reason we practice “not regretting on our life at an older age” is something to think about. We received a heads-up about the changing the attitude around 12th and 20th Special Trainings. Practicing kata every day is a good thing and helps you feel better. Mr. Ohshima mentioned his friend who did 30,000 Bassai before he understood it.
We practiced maegeri: knee just about the toes and move with hips and quick knee motion. This sounds simple, but how many have we already done just to understand such simple advice. Oizuki is very important in Shotokan practice (“it is the Shotokan technique”) and how the foot positions transfer from oizuki to gyakuzuki. We practiced supporting hand (two to three points are stronger than one). Practicing with supporting hand reveals the basis for the right feeling.
I was corrected two times during Bassai (“synchronize the hand movement on the first move”). Of course the “elbow should be in” during the middle block, not at the side. I am glad we could ask questions. I finally settled the “pulling hand during tetsui block in Bassai” question. Fellow brown belts had many good questions…how to breathe when taking a punch…“letting it slide”…how is the weight distributed in the back stance?…you can’t be swept and can’t be pushed…the 3rd-4th kokutsu-dachi is one count in Bassai.
Born in Europe I realize what it means to have multiple homes. We usually go back home to be reminded where we came from. After the weekend at the Shotokan Ohshima Dojo I feel like I have another home to go back to. Thanks to Mr. Ohshima for that.
– Igor Gejdos, Indianapolis