I love travelling, like really love and not in the this is great way… I literally feel at my best when on the move. So the recent trip to Canada gave me loads of time to people watch and get ready for the training to follow. But that is not what this gasshuku was about for me.
Everybody asks me about why I travel so much, how many days holidays I get and what I do for a living… but you know what… even when I was a recruitment consultant I travelled the world with the likes of Senseis Dirk Heene, Julian Mead and others. At this time, I was broke, I travelled for the karate experience and little else, I was determined not to miss out.
The question for me back to people who query my life is this… how would you like to swap 10 minutes of my very stressful life for yours… when I explain the ‘stuff’ that happens in my life on a daily basis to people… all to often the answer is ‘NO’. Then I add in how much I train, how I try to balance everything and well… I generally get glazed eyes. All that said, for the most part, I can’t be bothered to get into the detail. It’s not important.
So when I so get away, I have personal challenges. This time in Canada, it was to get to the gym at 6am every day so that… so that I could have something that no one else at the gasshuku could have. Why..? Well I started Karate many many years ago and Sensei Steve Cattle lead a gasshuku in Cork that, (honestly), to this day no other gasshuku has ever affected me as much… and the one sentence he said repeatedly… was… ‘be selfish, get more out of the day than anyone else, push yourself to find this’, I guess this explains a lot about me… I maintain I have not been to a gasshuku where he is not mentioned…he was in Canada….
I heard this sort of thing from Sensei Cattle and my Senseis when I was like 14… which is life forming… and whilst there is a lot of psychology to explain the possible reasons… it stayed with me. The challenges in my life have not been always been straightforward, so to have words from Senseis like this in my head have helped so very much!
I am a great believer in keeping it simple… so when I look at people who have convoluted training regimes., well as a competitor I used to get freaked out… I mistakenly thought their processes usurped my basic training method…which was focused around speed, reaction and timing… The results proved my ‘never give up’, push yourself harder than those around you and keep it simple…well in those days… that worked.
The mantra from many Senseis at MCF was ‘back to basics’, I like this… it has a level of comfort… proves that what we do.. well it works…but this type of training hurts, it’s relentless, especially with a good Sensei… but you know what…
I didn’t give up… I was about ready to keel over 3 times in the last session on Sunday… before I found out we were to have a final, final session with the same Sensei as a ‘burn out’. Queue the 4th time I thought I was done in…
So by the time I get to the airport I just want to board my flight and go to sleep. As I lined up for passport control, a woman behind me decided I was her new friend… she noticed I was carrying a few bruises… now these bruises don’t hurt at all, but she is determined to start a conversation that suggests I am some sort of victim.
I left her in in no doubt 🙂 I said a huge Danish man did most of the damage…
This gasshuku was just awesome. I will try to continue to never give up.