|Sensei Ernst Arnold, PhD, teaching karate in Maryland|
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
First Day of Training at UW
By Ernst Arnold, Sensei, Hagerstown, Maryland
I can remember my first day of training with Soke. I had been training in Kempo karate for nearly 2 years and was looking for something different. I heard about Soke’s class on the UW campus and decided to look into it. I introduced myself and observed a class. I was very impressed and invited to participate in the next class. I was full of nervousness and apprehension at the next class. After bowing in and stretching, the class began floor exercises. In one exercise, each person faced a partner. One person would step forward with an oi-zuki and the other person would step back with a block. This would proceed the length of the gymnasium and then back. As chance would have it, Soke was my partner. This event had a large impact on my philosophy towards training. As I punched at Soke, he would strike my wrists with great force. He explained that he liked to use full power in his training. Soke would strike and hit pressure points in my wrist and this caused a loss of feeling in my hands, which was a blessing in disguise. Although the pain was real, I was determined not to shy away and I survived. The lesson learned was an important one; train as you would fight. Lack of focus and intensity is a waste of time. Although battered and bruised I was eager for the next class.