I've been a keen karate student for 16 years, Shukokai and Shotokan, but there still seems to be no shortage of things to learn and explore. I'm hoping this blog will allow me to share my experiences and hear other martial artists thoughts.

Archive for Fun

Dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!

Sensei David has a little Christmas tradition of his own. The last training session before Christmas he’ll have some ideas for some games for the club to play. It’s nice to put serious training to one side for one lesson and have fun with fellow karateka.

A couple of weeks ago I had the idea that playing a few games of Dodgeball might provide an interesting warm up at the start of a lesson. Then I remembered that Christmas was approaching so I asked Sensei if he wanted to give it a whirl in the last session before Christmas. Sensei agreed and we tried it out at Tuesday night’s training.

I fully expected all the junior students to enjoy the game as they always enjoy taking part in Sensei’s games. But I must admit to being surprised how much the seniors and other Senseis got involved. Though perhaps the old line about there being no kid like a big kid rings true :-).

It was good to see everyone having a great time and students of all ages and grades scampering up and down the dojo throwing the brightly coloured balls Sensei David had brought along.

I think being able to have fun together as a club now and again is a nice contrast to the hard work students put in throughout the year learning the art. It builds bonds between students and certainly shows them that the Senseis enjoy a good game of Dodgeball like everybody else!

Does your club have any fun traditions or unusual ways to get warmed up?

Work hard, smile hard :-)

Last night was our club’s annual family night party. It’s a really fun night and a lot of credit goes to Senseis David and Karen for all the work they do to make it happen.

It’s great to spend time together as a club socially and learn a bit more about the personalities of the people you’re training with. You see those who are the life of the party, those who enjoy competing in the games etc. It also made me realise a bit more the role you have in relation to the junior students. They enjoy interacting with the senior students who spend time teaching them each week and it’s important, as well as fun, to engage with them and respond to their conversations and questions.

The night also features various presentations. The main award is to the student chosen by the Dan grades as the person they feel has been the best student over the previous 12 months. It’s really nice to see fellow students efforts recognised particularly in front of the wider audience of students and their family.

It’s nice to have a bit of time to have fun as a club and also reflect that there is plenty of room in Karate for smiles as well as hard work and application.

Coincidentally this video of Hideo Ochi, 8th Dan, I found really seemed to complement this post’s theme. Sensei Ochi just seems to radiate happiness, I would imagine it’s hard not to want to train your hardest when being taught by him. It’s certainly a style I want to emulate when I have a chance to teach a class.

What aspects of Karate make you smile?