Tuesday, December 18, 2007


"1000 punches" as it were. That's the tradition at Shiramizu's annual year end training.

This year's "end" happened on Dec 16th at the Asukaru Satte community centre's large gym. At 11am was the year end training for all younger students.. They didn't have to do the 1000 punches but they did do 120 squats. They were also subjected to my relentless "ho ho ho"ing as I got to dress up as Santa (with a black belt heh) and handed out treats to all the kids. In fact, there were two Santa's, as Kay, a German work intern who lives in a western part of Saitama that came to train a few times, also dressed up. You can find all the pictures of the hilarity on Arakawa Sensei's blog. I also had the borrow the picture above from Arakawa Sensei's blog because it's not exactly easy taking pictures while kicking.

After a quick lunch, it was time for all the older students to take their turn. The training was quick but thorough, going through some punching and kicking drills, all the ido kihon, pinan nidan, shodan, godan, and seishan.

Then came a demo from some of the dojo's students including wanshu, kushanku, chinto, and finally unsu.

We took a short break and then lined up again to do the senbontsuki. Each person got a chance to count to ten, up until 900 at which point the last row (for high school students and adults) did the last 100. Even with rows of 15 people each, 900 still took half the rows available. Done in naihanchi dachi and with a kiai on every one, I was eager to see how I would turn out.

The first few hundred are pretty easy but from then on, as the autopilot slowly takes over, I realised my legs were hurting and it was starting to be physically straining.

But then I hit 500 and, almost suddenly, my arms became faster and faster. I can only presume that with my muscles fatigued, there was no tension slowing them down anymore and each twist of the hip sent my fists flying. It was a very interesting sensation and Arakawa Sensei simply smiled, nodded, and added that it's around that time when one's technique is at its best.

Til about 800, all I could do was stare in amazement at how much faster my arms were. then I began to feel like I was floating. After "floating" til 950, it was my turn to count to 10 in my hoarse and strained voice.

But finishing the 1000 (which took about 15 minutes- 1 per second almost), I didn't feel particularly worse for wear except for my legs. And it always feels nice to take on something seemingly daunting and get it done.

Then I found out some dojos do senbongeri- 1000 kicks. Hmm........ next year perhaps.......

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