February 15, 2014
An invitation was sent out to the Okanagan dojos, inviting all who train in the Okanagan Valley, to participate in a mini camp to cover kata, higher level kata & some goshin jitsu. So as I stated in my interview at winter camp last year in front of all black belts, the one thing I would like to change for our club was to help my Sempai have more students venture beyond the borders of our club. We have had some students attend some tournaments, some camps like winter camp & summer camp, but we don’t usually get very many students who actually start doing this regularly.
Sensei Larry’s invitation gave us a way to get more students involved in Kyokushin events and step outside our small club to join the rest of the organization in fun events that involve a world of learning & developing. By attending this camp it gave our students a chance to experience the Armstrong club’s hospitality and friendship.
With only 6 members from our club attending this, most were very nervous, because it was their first time joining these events. Even though we know our katas really well, we think, until you have experienced practicing kata with Sensei, you find out very quickly that we don’t know our katas the way we should or as well as we should. He covered the practical applications to the techniques in taikyoku ichi, which I am fairly certain, most of our students don’t really think about while doing the kata. Beyond this, he covered these same practical applications while working on our self defense later in the day. Always circling around to tie all these techniques together with what we are doing when we practice kata, in other words putting it altogether in the end, the true meaning of karate being about fighting.
We had one white belt join us on this adventure, who has only trained for one session. I think he was the one who was the most impacted, because as we practiced kata in class following this camp, he was able to remember the katas covered plus learn some new katas above his belt rank with ease because he was visualizing what he was actually doing with the techniques. There were a couple of 5th kyu teens who have not attended any kyokushin functions any further than Oliver tournament. So, this gave them the opportunity to participate in something that will help them gain knowledge & experience with our organization and to create connections for their karate path.
The second session covered higheer level kata, that we don’t always have time to cover in class due to the level attending. This level of kata is covered at winter camp, summer camp or Black belt camps, so this was appreciated by all the black belts attending. Questions were welcomed at any moment, the time to explain was taken so that comprehension was achieved.
The Armstrong club is a very welcoming place to train. As a collective whole they train hard, have fun, and eat well. They provided the lunch, snacks, & refreshments during the training at the gym but also provided an outstanding dinner to follow the training sessions. All in all connections were made, fun was had, knowledge was gained by all who attended. There is also the tentative plan to do this once again sharing the hosting duties between the clubs. Lots of great fun & sweat to look forward to!
Thank you, Sensei, Sempais, & the Armstrong students, for welcoming all of us, & for providing the opportunity! We look forward to our next training opportunity!
Okanagan Mini Camp, Armstrong, BC