Senshin: The Enlightened Mind

Martial Arts Blog

normrobitza On June - 15 - 2016

20160614_194721Tomorrow morning, bright and early, we leave for IKD World Camp. A group of karateka from the Maritime IKD will be hitting the road before 7am (AST) to drive from Amherst, Nova Scotia to Haliburton, Ontario. This will be a long trip but I know it will be a great weekend of training.

This year, the IKD will be introducing Oyo and Traditional Weapons. Traditional Weapons are pretty straight forward. For decades, karate has been thought of as “Empty Hand” without weapons. Which is what it literally translates to. However, karate’s history is solidly linked with weapons. The art of self-defence required the uses of tonfa, sai, nunchaku or any other tools that could be reused as weapons. Remember the origins of karate comes from peasant Okinawan farmers who required the art to defend themselves, their family members and farms from bandits and overbearing samurai. The bandits and samurai would have been armed but the farmers were forbidden to have weapons. They would have to rely on farm tools and their own bodies for protection. Some of the things we call traditional weapons have origins as farming tools. For example, the tonfa. The tonfa is a piece of wood around 15-20 inches long with a perpendicular handle about 1/3 of the way down the main part of the weapon. These were used as police batons for many years. The origin of the weapon is that of the handle from a millstone. I purchased a pair of tonfa only weeks before camp. I am obviously not proficient in the weapon.

Oyo is new to me. It is the application of kata. Wait, did you think that bunkai was the application of kata? So did I! It turns out that Bunkai is a demonstration of the kata’s flow while being attacked. It is used to show the basic techniques in the kata and how they would be used against multiple attackers. Oyo on the other hand goes beyond the bunkai. It is a look at how you would use the techniques in a one on one fight. The kata is not strictly followed but yet freed to make it more practical in combat. To me, this will be interesting to learn. I love bunkai and this is the next step in the progression of understanding how to defend yourself.

With Oyo and traditional weapons being a highlight of the weekend’s training. Along with receiving some credits for the IKD Kenshusei program. I look forward to having the opportunity to finally meet so many karateka from around the World. In my role as the IKD web designer, I have communicated with many IKD members over the years. Now is a chance to actually meet them for the first time. I know I will be busy with my training and with other projects that are on going but I plan to spend some quality time with my colleagues in the organisation.

20160614_195016Packed and ready to go. For days we have been packing and preparing. My daughters will be getting together while we are gone to spend some time together. Katilyn only gets home around once, maybe twice a year, and this will be a good weekend for her and Rachel to hang out together. I have loaded some karate books on two tablets so Jolene and I will have reading material for the trip. We both have several papers to work on for the IKD Kenshusei program so the tablets will be put to use. I am also working on my paper for my Godan test. So being in a vehicle for hours with no other distractions, will be a great opportunity to catch up on the reading that we need to get done.

Yesterday, I found out that Jolene and I will be getting a private room at Camp. Most camper share a large cabin with several others but we have been put in the hotel building. This cabin is set up with several individual rooms each with a double bed and series of shared washrooms. When we found out we quickly unpacked our sleeping bags and changed to sheets and a blanket.

I have spent the last week working on the IKD International website. It has a sleeker look and is easier to navigate. I will have my netbook at camp with the hopes to get more information on some of the dojos around the IKD. I hope to get updated pictures of the Shihan Kai and other officials of the IKD.

This trip is a vacation, karate training and work trip all rolled into one. I know that I have looked forward to travelling to this camp for a long time. I hope that you will enjoy experiencing it through my ramblings here. In the future, remember that you do not have to be a member of the IKD to experience camp. If you training in shotokan karate and would like to experience what the IKD has to offer, this is the opportunity. You also do not have to be an instructor or even a black belt for that matter. There are classes for all ranks which allows for karateka from all levels to experience a great weekend of exchanging ideas with other like-minded people.


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