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Himokiri Karate
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:25 am    Post subject: Bizzare, strange, weird masters and training places. Reply with quote

This somewhat the sequel to my strange kung fu master thread who was referred to as master x story that had the student post his strange story in 2000s which i still can't find...

Anyway this thread is about eccentric masters, teachers of martial arts and their training halls.

Curious to know if you have any strange or unintentionally funny stories?

Just to clarify that I have an eccentric boxing coach but he is VERY effective and so this is not about disparaging towards the unconventional. Some strange folks can be insanely insightful.
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Spartacus Maximus
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strangely enough, most martial arts teachers are the most ordinary kinds of people one could ever meet. There is nothing obvious at first glance about them that might indicate any unusual skill or ability whatsoever.

What is observable to anyone with enough experience and intuition who can read body language is that these martial arts teachers walk, talk and move with radiating inner strength and confident calm, assurance. In short, they look very strong but disarmingly good-natured.

Training mostly in Okinawa and Japan, experience allowed me to cross paths and train under many such teachers. Every time these instructors never failed to surprise and amaze in the dojo. Outside the dojo when not training they were great company and the most down-to-earth people one could ever meet. They certainly knew how to enjoy themselves and all had interesting things to share besides their skills and knowledge in Karate.

As far as strange or unique places to train, there are a few and all were outside or not in a conventional or purpose-made building. Had instructors who would conduct training on a tiny island of mainland Okinawa. Another place was the outer wall ruins of a 500 year old house. Lastly, there was a place that used to be a cemetery. Training outdoors is quite common and any place with somewhat even ground is usable.
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Himokiri Karate
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Strangely enough, most martial arts teachers are the most ordinary kinds of people one could ever meet. There is nothing obvious at first glance about them that might indicate any unusual skill or ability whatsoever.

What is observable to anyone with enough experience and intuition who can read body language is that these martial arts teachers walk, talk and move with radiating inner strength and confident calm, assurance. In short, they look very strong but disarmingly good-natured.

Training mostly in Okinawa and Japan, experience allowed me to cross paths and train under many such teachers. Every time these instructors never failed to surprise and amaze in the dojo. Outside the dojo when not training they were great company and the most down-to-earth people one could ever meet. They certainly knew how to enjoy themselves and all had interesting things to share besides their skills and knowledge in Karate.

As far as strange or unique places to train, there are a few and all were outside or not in a conventional or purpose-made building. Had instructors who would conduct training on a tiny island of mainland Okinawa. Another place was the outer wall ruins of a 500 year old house. Lastly, there was a place that used to be a cemetery. Training outdoors is quite common and any place with somewhat even ground is usable.


Curios to know the idea behind the outer wall of ruins of a 500 year old house and cemetery?
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mushybees
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The first time I met one of the most influential and highest graded wadoka in europe he told me he'd overdone it at dinner and was heading back to his hotel room to put on looser trousers!

He was unassuming with a gait which reflected his advanced years but when he stepped on the training floor I witnessed true waza. He moved effortlessly, he allowed himself to be taken down to the floor to help in young karateka's development and understanding and he hit hard!

He's still with us and I'm very fortunate to be training with him again this summer.
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Spartacus Maximus
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reasoning behind the idea of training in a former cemetery was that it was an ideal place where it was very unlikely to be interrupted or distracted. To someone who was unfamiliar with the local history, it just looked like a nice clearing with a few old trees around it and slightly overgrown paving stones. Very good and even to walk in comfortably. The second reason is that anyone who knew the place and what it once had been would avoid it.

Traditional and personal beliefs fueled by folklore made it feared, revered or both. The instructor belonged to that culture, but reckoned nobody living or dead would be offended as long as everyone left the place as it was found.

The centuries old house was chosen for nothing but the most practical reasons. The ruins were made up of remains of the four outer walls and the floor stones, which were flat and smooth. Walls were between waist to shoulder height on an average size man depending on how much each wall had deteriorated. In the mid July heat and humidity the dojo was too uncomfortable and it was decided that the small group of 8 students would go outdoors. It was the best and most suitable place available.
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Patrick
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Bizzare, strange, weird masters and training places. Reply with quote

Himokiri Karate wrote:
Just to clarify that I have an eccentric boxing coach but he is VERY effective and so this is not about disparaging towards the unconventional. Some strange folks can be insanely insightful.

I appreciate this. Thanks Himokiri Karate!

Patrick
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Himokiri Karate
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 12, 2018 5:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
The reasoning behind the idea of training in a former cemetery was that it was an ideal place where it was very unlikely to be interrupted or distracted. To someone who was unfamiliar with the local history, it just looked like a nice clearing with a few old trees around it and slightly overgrown paving stones. Very good and even to walk in comfortably. The second reason is that anyone who knew the place and what it once had been would avoid it.

Traditional and personal beliefs fueled by folklore made it feared, revered or both. The instructor belonged to that culture, but reckoned nobody living or dead would be offended as long as everyone left the place as it was found.

The centuries old house was chosen for nothing but the most practical reasons. The ruins were made up of remains of the four outer walls and the floor stones, which were flat and smooth. Walls were between waist to shoulder height on an average size man depending on how much each wall had deteriorated. In the mid July heat and humidity the dojo was too uncomfortable and it was decided that the small group of 8 students would go outdoors. It was the best and most suitable place available.


Sorry I missed your post.

How did you find your experiences in these environment. Was it distracting because you were placed in an unconventional place?


I ask because when I started training in a park, I would feel very self-conscious like if the people passing by are pointing fingers, laughing or making negative comments. With passing of time, everything became complacent and I only had to worry about my technique and nothing else.
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Spartacus Maximus
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 6:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Testing concentration and learning to adapt and adjust to an unfamiliar setting was one of the main ideas of training in such places. For the obvious reason that if one ever has to use martial arts skills to defend oneself, it is highly unlikely that it will happen on a nice even floor clear of obstacles like in the dojo.
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DWx
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having travelled around most of Europe for TKD I've trained in some unconventional places. Lots of multistorey carparks, hotel roofs, beaches then weirder places like in front of Roman ruins in Greece, medieval castle walls in the centre of Tallinn. I was meant to go to Pyongyang last September but had to cancel as had elbow operation. Know plenty of people who have gone though.
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Himokiri Karate
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
Testing concentration and learning to adapt and adjust to an unfamiliar setting was one of the main ideas of training in such places. For the obvious reason that if one ever has to use martial arts skills to defend oneself, it is highly unlikely that it will happen on a nice even floor clear of obstacles like in the dojo.


That's actually not a bad idea!
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