The first training of the year is called ‘Keiko Hajime’, and is traditionally done, I was told, at sunrise. The wise people of Kapiti Karate Academy deemed that 9am would be early enough, which we all agreed with! I think getting amongst it early might be the only way though to manage doing the amount of training I need this year, and write about it, once school and work start up again.
New Years day 2021 dawned sunny and warm and it was absolutely beautiful at Raumati beach. It filled up our hearts to have it this good! We bowed in at the waters edge, bowing to Kapiti Island. Then we proceeded to get very wet!
I was told later that we attracted a little audience of people who sat and watched us, including a crew from the Fire Service who turned up in their truck and then stayed to watch (we’re not sure why – cruising for some action? Called in by a concerned member of the public, worried about people in the water who clearly needed help!?).
Doing kata in surf and sand is infinitely harder than on the wooden gym floor! The shifting sands quickly moved your feet apart, so that holding a stance was particularly challenging. The waves would also play havoc with your balance, and moving against the weight of the water made my quads burn! Some of us had fun with kicking techniques that were effective at drenching the Sensei! We also did kumite which mostly seemed to involve being thrown into the water in various amusing ways. We performed the highest level kata we knew, which for two of the black belts involved a jump that ended face-first in the water! I did Tekki Shodan which is a short kata. I was bit distracted by a wave though and I think I made up a new longer version.
By the end of about 50 minutes in the water, I was exhausted and shivering with cold. As soon as we bowed out I sprinted up the beach to get changed, which made everyone laugh.
It was an invigorating and spiritually satisfying start to the year!