The weather has really closed in over the last 12 hours and the amount of rain that has fallen… geez, it’s been going all night with no let up. The storm drain behind where I’m staying which has been a trickle since I arrived is now in full flow and the wee turtle that usually paddles around in it is now safely on a wee shelf watching all the water and debris go by.
I wanted to do another challenge whilst in Okinawa, really there is no need to be in Okinawa to do it, but well, the location is pretty awesome. I also have wheels that I’ve hired so, taking life in my hands, I headed onto the roads in the rain and cycled up to the Karate Kaiken. I have to say, it was like being in London, not the traffic, but it was certainly not warm and the rain, like London didn’t help drivers use their mirrors. 🙂
It’s just amazing that the Karate Kaiken exists, anyone can use the Tanren Room as they like and the floor…absolutely ridiculously smooth. There were two locals training who were not shy of 80 years, in fact there is every chance that they were that plus some time. They say that people in Okinawa live a much longer life then most of the rest of the world. I’ve followed a lot of the work that Dan Buettner has done and he named these places ‘Blue Zone’.
In 2003, Buettner began leading trips to these destinations while collaborating with a variety of experts, including anthropologists, historians, dietitians, and geneticists to reverse engineer longevity, in a sense. His early trips focused on Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; and Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and Loma Linda, California.
It’s worth watching his TED talk, ‘How to live to be 100+’.
Anyway, enough of the science talk, what impressed me was the way these two gentlemen were training, they were doing Chi-Ishi and Tetsu Sashi and were working on kata, one seemed to be kobudo specialist and did Bo and Sai kata!! No words were spoken during the training, although one of them did seem to chastise himself when he made a mistake. I seriously want to be like them when I am grown up!!
I am sure they must have noticed that I was doing the same kata over and over again and they probably thought that I was a some sort of mad woman :). Anyway, what started as a great idea to do this challenge quickly changed to become a tough session and by the high 60’s my brain was starting to really play with me! Oh yeah, the challenge, 108 Seisan Kata. I had a devotion for this challenge…I was dedicating the time in memory.
Once completed, I revised me plans to go to the far south of the Island due to the rain and headed back into town, did some bits and pieces in the apartment and headed to town for some food. All this seemed to take me to 16:00… as mentioned earlier, time seems to have some strange speed here! We’ve found this great wee cafe, well Sensei Linda and Hannah did and so I headed back there for their amazing Tempura Seto.
I had an additional challenge to undertake afterwards… but more on that later! I’m happy to so that the challenge was very well passed… once done I headed to the Dojo Bar with DJ and it turns out that Sensei Paul was celebrating his birthday there! It was a great evening although absolutely not suitable to be re-broadcast!!!
All in all a wicked day! There was no evening training as the dojo was being used for the grading so back to it tomorrow!