Don’t fall over… Day 1 Okinawa.

Yesterday I arrived to Okinawa… It always feels great to come here, the stress and hassle of ‘normal’ life seems to dissipate along with most of your body fluid… After getting some supplies in, a quick nap, it was off to Higaonna Senseis’ dojo for the first training of the trip. To say I was excited was putting it very mildly…

We started to train and it wasn’t long before I was leaking and roasting all at the same time. Kokubo Sensei started to take the class for Kihon and looking down I had a little pond of water by my ankles. About this time Higaonna Sensei arrived and, looking in great form, he started to give us a history lecture.

There was lots of information that came our way, but one phrase stuck with me, ‘sometimes, you need to look to your deeper mind’. Sensei talked about this point for a very short time, and there was some discussion as to what the right English word was to fit his description. We decided, with the help of Kuramoto Sensei that it might also mean soul.

Sensei talked about how people needed to find their ‘deeper mind’ when everything around them was, in my interpretation, ‘going mental’. Now a good friend of mine and an executive coach Suzanne Mountain (check her out of FB and other social media) mentions the need to take time and ‘pause’ a lot. Those of you who know me, will recognise that this is not something that I can do easily. But, I do recognise the need for a ‘pause’ button, mine is just hard to find…

Sensei took us through all the Kata, the differences between different styles etc, we spoke about Hojo Undo and did a little Ude Tanren… all in all a great arrival experience. He also is one of the kindest people, in that he came back to the dojo with little towels for everyone and an article that he wanted to share about the work underway with UNESCO and Okinawa Karate.

By the end of the lesson I was swaying, the long journey had started to take it’s toll and I had only two thoughts in my head…try and remember as much of what Sensei was saying as possible… and don’t fall over…


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