It’s been two days and my body is still aching… The other night I joined the local Goju Karate school, the Outer Eastern IGK Martial Arts Club, at the back of the Croydon High School gym for a bit of a try-out. This is a small club under Hanshi Tino Cebrano’s International Goju Karate association, and I’d seen a number of the black belts train with Hanshi Tino when he was in Melbourne at the Ultimate dojo in Heathmont.
At three hours, the training session was longer than I’ve been used to. As a kid studying Shotokan we used to train for two hours, but my training with Bushidokan was normally only for hour-long sessions (except for gradings of course). It was also quite demanding, from a longer warmup/stretch period to a level of self-applied intensity.
We did two hours of what is often referred to as basics, but it certainly wasn’t repetitious or boring. We practiced many blocks/strikes and complex combinations of them. Some I’d not seen before and others I’d only ever done in the traditional Goju kata. Taking them as basic techniques and combining them made my head spin at times. I crept back into my old bad habit of too much tension, but I think it was the “new environment” thing. Most of this was static but there was some moving combinations that also confused.
Then it was on to some basic kicks, such as mawashi geri (roundhouse) and side kicks (I’m not sure if they call them yoko geri or sokuto geri). Then it was on to more combinations, such as a low shin kick followed by a mawashi off the same leg without putting the foot down, and then a low/high hook combination. My hips were struggling.
Most of the last hour was spent on kata (see also Goju-ryu kata/bunkai); my favourite. We started with some basic Goju Taikyoku kata that brought me back to my old Shotokan days. I think we did five different of these, including a very confusing one featuring the mawashi block. Then on to the Geke Sai (Geke Sai Dai) Ichi and Ni. With Bushidokan we’d dropped geke sai ichi at the start of the year and I was already getting a bit rusty. We skipped a few and jumped to Saifa. This is their 1st Kyu kata, with Seiunchin being for Black Belt. I haven’t learned this yet, but it’s one I’m looking forward to.
The last ten minutes was spent in awase kumite (slow/controlled sparring). This was closer the traditional karate sparring that I was used to; the Busidokan sparring was much more freestyle. I still suck at sparring but will work on it.
So, by the end of it I was kindof wasted physically and mentally. They plan to do different activities in the last hour each week, such as the self-defence featuring Aikido and Arness training. It’s looking like what I’m after.