Sensei Albert made a special appearance at the dojo this week. Sensei Ricky and Sensei Angela both train under Sensei Albert so this was a very exciting class for the students who were present to take a lesson from their Master! This was a special hour and a half class and our Sensei's were honored to have him.
Sensei Albert said that he joined karate when he was only 10 years old and worked his way up to earning a black belt by the time he was 16. One thing that I took notice of was Sensei's belt. Sensei Angela had told me that are two belt rules that you never break. You never let your karate belt hit the floor and you never wash the belt. All of your hard work and labor are imprinted into your belt and is a source of extreme pride.
Sensei Ricky and Sensei Angela were students AND teachers this evening. Sensei Albert started out the class with stretching to prevent injury.
Sensei Albert focused on technique and walked around each student to ensure that each student understood how it was done and why. One example included one student had a thumb pointing up. Sensei gave demonstrations on how that could cause unnecessary pain. He went through the moves slowly and explained why each move is important to be orchestrated and executed as it was intended to be.
Mitchell had a game so he arrived afterwards. He tried to sneak in unnoticed, but he was noticed.
Sensei also explained the art of taking a bow to your partner. You don't want to look right at them but you do not want to look down either. You don't want to bend over too far (sneak attack!).
This ..... is the wrong way and why.
Sensei Albert explains the process of bowing 4 times and to whom. It is important to show respect to those who came before. And he gestured to the wall where a framed portrait of the Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of Shotokan. He expressed more eloquently than I am here that Gichin Funakoshi represented the past. He asked the group what they represented. Some offered up that they were the present. There was a small pause. He gestured to where Sensei Ricky and Sensei Angela were standing and said THEY were the present. The students paused. Sensei Albert explained that they were the future. At the point they become the Sensei ... The teacher of the next generation, they would then be teaching the future generation and would themselves be the present.
Sensei Albert brought the group's Sensei's up to the forefront with him to take place in the four bows. Such a wonderfully powerful and inspirational moment. The group's Sensei's were standing with their own Sensei.
Sensei Ricky and Sensei Angela's T.I.M.A. Thousand Island Martial Arts class with Sensei Albert on May 3rd, 2018 in Ogdensburg, NY.