Well, so far so good! Had me first GKR [Go-Kan-Ryu!] karate ‘training’ in the ‘dojo’ last night!

Admittedly I should’ve prepared myself a little more in terms of the protocol/etiquette, etc. as I had no clue! Fortunately, the ‘sensei’ gave me a brief run-down before the class, but it was, well, frankly, all Japanese to me! So I was actually a little ‘scared’/anxious [not a good state of mind to be in for a ‘martial art’] before starting in a room full of people who [apparently] already knew what to do!

Firstly, they’d said ‘wear what you’d wear to the gym’, so of course I had ‘shoes on’. First no-no. And jewellery, which they didn’t ask me to remove, though I later ‘read’ that I should’ve. Oops. Rei [bow] ing when entering/leaving the dojo. The ‘warm-up’ meditative thing, then of course all ‘the moves’! Once I got over the fact that I wasn’t going to ‘pick it all up’ in one lesson, I relaxed a bit and actually enjoyed it very much! Gotta get used to shouting ‘hai’ every 5 seconds though, and remembering to wait for the ‘command’ to ‘go’ – kime/hajime? From ‘aerobic’ training, I guess I was used to ‘acting’ as soon as the instructor announces the next move, but in karate it’s all about ‘following the leader’, and well, I quickly picked up how to count to ten in Japanese! Oh, and have to remember to let out an almighty ‘kiai’ when finishing each ‘set’.

After the initial ‘basic moves’ [most of which I got, thanks to my ‘kicky fighty’ experience – ahem – or, rather, the monkey-see-monkey-do approach!], the ‘beginners’ went into the adjacent dojo for a ‘brush up’. Yay! We basically went through the strikes, blocks, kicks, etc…




Now, my knee is defo gonna have problems, but I think ‘doing it at my own pace’ and strengthening my quads may be a very good thing!

But mostly, I really appreciated why it’s called a martial ‘art’ – I love the ‘control’, near-balletic nature of some of the moves. It is an art, it is quite a beautiful thing to watch, so, for me, it’s not about ‘self defence’ and actually applying it to real situations, I’m pretty keen to just slowly perfect my technique, etc… and from what I gathered [in one lesson!] it can be about whatever it needs to be for the individual!

Kiai! Ging