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29th May

posted May 30, 2013, 7:00 PM by Andrew Glover
Wednesday

We did not sleep well at all, it did not help that my stupid phone suddenly started playing music at 4 am!  I very nearly threw it against the wall.  Very tired this morning, and we had to be up and at it by 9:30 am again as Tokumura Sensei's taxi driver friend was waiting for us.  

When we arrived at Tokumura Sensei's Dojo he was waiting for us, ready to go.  He took each of us to go through the Eku kata, Adam and I were lets say "A bit rusty", but that is not surprising.  Tokumura Sensei then wanted to teach us a tekko kata, but we explained that the tekko is illegal Australia and there was not much point in us learning it.  We explained what weapons we are not allowed in Australia, he was quite impressed.  As we understood it, weapons are not allowed to be carried in Okinawa. You can have them in the Dojo, or be going to training.  Anyway we did some more of the Eku kata and its bunkai and he explained a few things.  Which would have been much more helpful yesterday!  Still we have it in our heads now. 

Then he piled us and a bunch of weapons into his car and he took us down to the beach were we took heaps of pictures.  It was really really cool.  We got some fantastic pictures that will be work desktop wall photo's for sure!  Once we were done, Tokumura Sensei very kindly drove us back to to the Hotel.  We will not get another chance to train with him this trip as he is busy the next two days with work.

In the afternoon, Sensei Bob and Jeff went to the wake of a Yagi-San who they both knew quite well.  As Adam and I had never met him, we decided that it would be inappropriate to go along. Uechi Sensei took Sensei Bob and Jeff to Tatsuo Shimabuku Sensei's tomb. Unfortunately we didn't know they were going, else I would most definitely gone along.

We were also very tired from lack of sleep, so we sat in the hotel room and caught up on admin stuff, talked and read.  Adam bought a very interesting book on the karate masters and it leads to some very fun conversations. 

We did different classes tonight, Sensei Bob and Adam went to their training from 7.30 pm - 9.30 pm and Sensei Jeff and I went to Uechi Sensei from 6 pm - 8 pm.

Uechi Sensei very kindly came and picked us up at 5.45 pm. All classes are about 2 hours long in Okinawa.  When we got to the Dojo it was just us two, then 2 more students arrived.  Interestingly Uechi Sensei did a full formal bow in with them. Uechi Sensei took me through Kata, I have a lot to work on, there were many corrections! Starting with the very first move of the first Kata.  It was amazing to be taught by him, he is a fantastic teacher, easily one of the best I have ever trained with.  I got up to kunsanku with him, then he went and worked with Sensei Jeff.  The black belt, Sato, came and helped me with kusanku.  He was also very, very good. He has only ever trained with Uechi Sensei and it certainly showed.  He is very sharp and very knowledgeable. He is an American student which made things easier. Thought Uechi Sensei does speak very good  English, there is still the language barrier.  Sato helped me a lot with kusanku, sanshin and we just got started on sunsu when the class ended. 

On thing I have noticed with all the Sensei, when they try to explain in English, they always use English words like "punch" and point to the stomach, when you reply "chudan tsuki" there is a moment of blankness.  Like they can't comprehend you understand the terminology.  Adam and I think it is because none of the Americans bother to learn the Japanese words.  Sometimes the Sensei doesn't know the English word and just shows, again a surprised look when you say the Japaneses word.  Learn you Japanese folks!

Uechi Sensei very much sticks to time and doesn't like to stand around for ages talking after class, which I was grateful for, as I was soaked to the bone. Sato drove us back too the hotel, which was very nice of him.  Two free trips tonight!  After a quick shower, Sensei Jeff and I headed out for a late dinner. We were back in the hotel by the time Sensei Bob and Adam got back, they had walk back again from the other Dojo. They also had a tough class.  Adam and I sat up chatting for a while and then crashed.

Today was a very good day indeed.

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