--- On Fri, 14/1/11, SteveW <eugnostos2...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Hi Mel. 
MEL: Hi Steve!
I also practice Shotokan (Shodan). My original training was in the JKA version, 
but recently I have been exposed to some of the kata devised by the late Master 
Asai, formerly the technical director of the JKA before he left to start his 
own organization. I have also trained in Shorin Ryu, Judo and Hapkido. 
MEL: Steve, unfortunately I cannot impress you as above. I got no higher than 
orange belt in Goju in the early 90s and had basically left all karate dojos 
behind due to safety considerations. I had seen far too many accidents, and one 
occassion was even caused by a teacher(I heard that the late Enoeda-sensei was 
also reputed for being not above injuring students). I've gone from Goju to 
Kyokushin, Shotokan(3 different kinds), Seido, and Taichi
My training was not extensive, but I guess that was my fault for giving up 
classes. Some Goju, some Shotokan. Shotokan finally became my thing, because 
I've always had preference for straight lines and directness
They also offered a period of zazen for those kids who wanted to stick around 
after class. 
MEL: That's...VERY GOOD...and I'm glad for those kids
As you know, the traditional approach to Japanese karate is "moving zen". 
MEL: I've been preachin' that for years, and nobody would listen..*sighs*..
I am very sorry about your arthritis. 
MEL: Thanks. Runs in the family, amongst other things(high sugar level, high 
blood pressure, heart disease.....all those nice things that come with being a 
Filipino and eating and drinking like a king everyday)
I am in my fifties and I am already starting to feel the long-term consequences 
of innumerable injuries incurred during training. 
MEL: I'm turning 48 this October, and I've overdone it with...
- endurance training(therefore arthritis and gout)
- punching and kicking trees and steel during my younger days
Don't quit! 
MEL: No, I won't. Besides, I've really got this thing for all things Japanese. 
Should be Okinawan, but there I go. This love I have for Japan's 
culture(including the arts, music, etc) and history is just too big, and I now 
shake my head when I remember telling some Japanese neighbors a long time 
...'I hate miso soup!'......
...which I now love very much together with the rest of Japanese cuisine. 
But....Fugu fish sashimi? No thanks!(*laughter*) 
Above the door of that first traditional class I attended was a quote from 
Bodhidharma: "To fall seven times, to rise eight times, life starts from now!" 
MEL: That's good...I like that...
BTW, my favorite traditional kata is Kanku Dai. What's yours?
MEL: I can't blame you if you think that I'm a little(little?!) over my 
head..*laughter*....but I've been working on all the katas shown in Karate 
Do-Kyohan(15 katas only). That book is my karate manual..or one of them anyway. 
I've got no particular favourite kata, but I remember learning Kanku by myself 
and it wasn't easy. I didn't perform it in my last Shotokan class, or 
the Japanese teacher wouldn't have been too pleased. I'm not sure she was 
happy with me performing HEIAN YODAN and GODAN in the sidelines before the 
class started either
So, I perform all 15 katas at the aerobics room in the gym when no one is there 
I'm currently not in regular class, but I'm shopping around again. Maybe I'll 
try that JKA class 2 suburbs away from me in February when they open again for 
the year. I don't know what it's like in the US or Europe, but karate schools 
in my area don't approve of visits. Practically each and everyone of them that 
I've contacted by phone or email prefer that the prospective student(s) try one 
free class to see if they like it. Anway, we'll see. I really prefer to stay 
with Shotokan. I really like this style. Or maybe I can continue it in private 
and do a class in another style...whatever's available out there that is 
suitable for me(I don't know why, but I had never really taken to the likes of 
Shukokai and Wado)
thanks Steve!


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