Today is registration day, that means that over 1,000 people need to arrive to the Karate Kaiken and collect their individualised registration pack. I’ve been trying to stick to my training regime and so because we needed to be at the Kaiken at 09:00 I headed off for my morning run at 06:30. I was so confident that it would be slightly cooler due to the early hours… oh how wrong I was. Siri told me in a very happy tone that it was 29C outside! For an Irish girl this is ridiculous.
I’m really impressed with the way in which the locals live here. I’ve been running with a range of people every morning, Naminoue seems to be a destination of choice and to be honest, there have been people who are way older than me who have passed me 🙂 More than that, loads of people were working out on the beach and then swimming! You’ve probably guessed by now that I love it here.
After some well needed coffee I headed to the Kaiken where the Gishki staff were already in action bringing more than a thousand registration packs into the main hall. I have to say, this registration was incredibly well organised, helpers from Canada and Tooting were the most obvious in respective stand out shirts but in honestly there was no lack of help! I was gifted my favourite role, “floater” (we had to explain this to Marius 🙂 ) which basically meant make sure things are moving and that people had their problems solved.
We were to open at 10:00, now the thing with Karate people is if you say 10:00 they will arrive at 09:30 just in case. So by this time, there were hundreds of people in the reception area waiting to register. This was the first time on the Island that the Gishiki people had all been together so the energy was immense!! I met so many friends and got so many hugs!! I love that Karate people hug so much..!
Registration went by in a blur, there were no issues and everyone was pretty much sorted before 1pm. Now Okinawa has so much history and the Karate Kaiken also has a museum which has literally hours of reading material on the styles that evolved on the island. It’s well worth a visit and so a few of us went after lunch. I’d recommend that anyone who has an interest in Karate, martial arts or Japan in general goes along, it’s quite spectacualar.
Now I have to say, hats off to Sensei Linda, we had spent the entire day working in the Kaiken and after a snooze the Tooting squad headed to Higaonna Senseis dojo where Sensei took a session for us! I can’t imagine being here and not training and the fact that Sensei made herself available to teach is one of the reasons I genuinely love my IOGKF/EGKA family. The head had not abated at all and once more after a few minutes I was once again dripping. Most people would not see this sort of thing as a “holiday” but I was telling someone recently how this place makes my brain slow down… in a good way. I find clarity and perspective that I often lose in London. Outwith the training, I find this is the most valuable thing that Okinawa brings to me. My life is run at a million miles an hour in London, here it is simple. Sleep, train, eat, see people… repeat.
The other thing that happens here is that I don’t need to make decisions, my entire life in London is based on people wanting my viewpoints and my decisions, here no decisions. Just the pursuit of excellence in training, something that could keep me here indefinitely! That’s a hint… I love it so much here, I’m contemplating not coming back 🙂