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28th August Thursday

posted Aug 28, 2014, 5:29 PM by Andrew Glover   [ updated Aug 29, 2014, 12:18 AM ]
It was not a late start today, about 9 am.  Adam, Renee and I headed out to Katsyren Castle.  Once again we got a taxi driver who knew where he was going.  Maybe we just had really bad luck last year.  They have been working on the Castle in the last year and got a lot done.

The front wall that was being built is now complete and they have put a road in up to the castle and a new set of stairs. It is a really magical place.  The view from the top is amazing. We just wondered around soaking in the view and the atmosphere.  As expected it was very hot, we found a tree and took a rest.   There was a lovely cool breeze blowing off the sea.  

We played photographer for a couple of groups and some of them returned the favour.  Everyone is so friendly and polite, it makes a refreshing change compared to back in Australia.  We could certainly learn a thing or two. 

After being on the top of the Castle, we headed down to the 2nd level and sat under another tree.  I broughta bunch of fruit with me so we had a snack and chilled out.  Mainly so that we could cool down before we had photos in our Gis and did some kata.  We headed back to our first tree on level 3 and waited for a gap in the tourist traffic and so we could quickly changed into our Gis.  

Doing kata on the grass in front of a Castle, where you are pretty sure people would have trained for battle and where we know people definitely fought in battle and many died is a very sombre and movingexperience.  Knowing that the kata we perform today have their roots all the way back to this place yet many treat them as "sport" and "fun" today is an odd thing to my mind.  Still I guess that is the way the world changes over time, but just like Sensei Andy, I believe it is important to remember the roots of our fighting system now called Karate.

We were quite the attraction in our gi's and more that one group of people stop so sneakily take photos of us.  It was really hot doing kata in the midday sun and there were a number of retakes!  We started to all get a bit silly and decided that before we melted it was time to head home.  Renee asked a chap to take a group photo, he was very accommodating.  He is a Kyokishin practitioner and was really nice.  His mother did Go-Ju Ryu when she was younger.  It was nice to finally meet some Japanese people who did Karate!

We sheltered again under our tree to change and recover, did I say it was hot?  Down at the information center we had a drink and asked them to call a taxi for us.  We got a chap would must have wanted to be a racing driver!  At one point he suddenly ducked off into a the side alleys, weaving around all these little roads.  Adam and I though he was trying to up the cost.  Turns out he was taking shorts cuts and the fare was 270yen less!  

I wanted to try the pork dumplings at the restaurant in the shopping centre, so the 3 of us headed down there.  They were so tasty, I will definitely be going back there next year.  Adan and Renee wanted to go to the Stamp shop and do other stuff.  I needed a rest before my training, so I headed back to the hotel to relax, catch up on this blog and photos.  I had one "scare" moment, I couldn't get the video off my GoPro.  Fortunately John is a tech head too and he was able to use his laptop to get them onto my hard drive.  BIG relief.  

Sensei Andy picked us up and took us onto the Base.  Again it was a really easy process.  Thursday is apparently bag work day and I got to play with Sadao.  Gee the guy hits WAY above his weight.  Especially his right side.  I would definitely not like to be hit by him.  If any of my students are reading this, I have some nice new stuff to show you!   So after about an hour of solid bag work I was feeling a little tired.  We then did about 30 minutes of Kata.  Again it was  really great evening and Celina got another one on one class with Uechi Sensei. 

Angela and Celina were tired so want to go back to the hotel.  Sensei Andy and I went to a curry place.  It was nice to have a really hot (chili) curry and good company.  Back at the hotel all the others had returned from training and Iha Sensei's had just arrived for drinks and food.  I was really tired, in need of a shower  and had to do washing so I didn't join them. 

Another great day in Okinawa, can't believe its been a week already.