Friday, April 15, 2011

I Need To Be Me

Sensei Peter Giffen
and a student from the AKC
A good friend and fellow karateka, Captain Jamie Creelman, passed away suddenly from a heart attack on April 7th, 2011.  He was a man who had a passion for all things karate and was meticulous in learning every detail that he could and was eager to share whatever he learned with everyone.

As a memorial to Jamie, Sensei Peter Giffen taught a class at the Atlantic Karate Club on April 11th and I was in attendance.  I spent a fair bit of the night taking photographs as he first worked with the kids class and then later with the adults.  You can find the raw photos from those classes over on PicasaWeb.

Sensei Giffen taught many of the basic principals of karate that night.  Things like dropping your weight into your stance to become immovable or as close to it as possible.  Holding your hands comfortably on your hip in such a way as to make it possible to punch forward even when there is resistance.  How to create a strong stance to ensure a strong technique.  None of these concepts are new.  In fact, these are the same basic concepts that senseis have been handing down to their students for generations.

The important message for me that night, however, was not about any one particular technique that he reviewed.  The message to me from this class was that here was yet another karateka giving me permission and, in fact, encouragement to be myself.  Over the years my senseis have encouraged me to find the techniques and stances that would help me better understand myself.  Chito-Ryu is about the individual; unlike some styles we do not measure our stances, punches, or kicks with a ruler but with our own bodies.  What bigger message do you need to understand that you need to be you.

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