Kangeiko is a tradition of Cold Weather Training, traditionally done in the New Year to get the year off to a good start and make a commitment to carry on with the same level of motivation and spirit for the rest of the year. For several years now we have been joining our friends at Kiazen No Michi for the last day of Kangeiko on the beach at Cleethorpes. This year we finally decided to take the next step and do the full week of training on Ethel Ward Park in Haxby. This is how it went:
Monday: A small but perfectly formed group met at Ethel Ward Playing Field at 6am. We started with a gentle jog around the park to get the blood flowing and then moved on to basics and 5 step (well 10 step as we had the whole park to ourselves!) kumite. After some drills to get us used to moving on an uneven surface (and with trainers on!) we finished with Kiazen No Kata just in case we cover this on Sunday!
Tuesday: We started with some stretches and then a run around the park to get warmed up. Then again focused on partner work and moving backwards and forward in different stances with the added challenge of the uneven ground and lack of light. Then we went through all the Heian Katas and finished off with Kiazen No Kata. Thank you to Paulfor leading the session this morning. No Ben this morning as he "forgot" to set his alarm this morning - but Holly did join is (in spirit!) from Newcastle!
Wednesday: Once again we started with some stretches and a run around the park to wake us up! Then moved on to Kihon in the dark and basic 5 step and 1 step Kumite before working through Heian Shodan, Nidan and Sanden. We finished up be focusing on the second half of Kiazen No Kata looking at the opening sequences of the Junro Katas. Thank you to Helen for leading this morning’s session.
Thursday: It was a little more wintery this morning – colder with a little rain – but that didn’t put us off! After warm up and a jog on the road around the park (due to the grass being very ‘squishy’ we decided to use the car park for training as well) we started with some Kihon and then went straight into Kata. After a run through of Heian Shodan we were then challenged to ‘mirror it’ – turning to the right instead of left and vice versa. This proved quite challenging for a very early, cold and windy Thursday Morning! Next we split into pairs and were tasked with doing the same for another of the Heian Katas, and then present it to the class. This was a very useful exercise which really gets you to think about your kata again, rather than doing them by rote. We did this exercise once more with an another kata and between us covered Heian Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan, Godan, Tekki Shodan and Bassai Dai! We then finished off by focussing on Kiazen No Kata, mainly working on the beginning section of Junro Yondan.
Thank you to Jason for leading the session this morning.
Friday: A somewhat colder start this morning, but that didn’t put us off! We started with some stretching and then some shuttle runs to get the blood flowing before moving onto training. The focus this morning was on Junro Shodan and Nidan. We first broke each kata down into sections and performed them as Kihon sequences in order to learn them, before joining them together to perform the entire kata.
Of course we finished off with Kiazen No Kata – again focussing on the Junro sections. Thank you to Ben for leading the session.
Saturday: It being the last day of training on the park it would have been silly not to start off with a gentle run around the park to get us warmed up and then some stretches to make sure we were nice and loose. We trained on the grass again this morning as it had dried off a bit from the rain earlier in the week and the Kihon section focused on Kokutsu dachi (back stance) and Neko ashi dachi (cat stance). We then partnered up to do 5 step Kumite, but again in Kokutsu dachi and Neko ashi dachi rather than Zenkutsu dachi (front stance). We then moved onto Kata, and considering the uneven, muddy ground, poor light conditions, and gusting wind I decided that Gankaku would be the perfect Kata to round of our Kangeiko on the Park. Of course we finished off with a quick run through of Kaizen No Kata.
Sunday: We had an even earlier start this morning, it was 5:00am when Paul, Ben, Helen, Aiwin, Edwin, Lucy, Poppy and I met at the Dojo for our annual trip to Cleethorpes to join our friends at Kaizen No Michi for the last day of Kangeiko.
It was a bit foggy on the drive over, but I grateful I had the quiet car (Ben had taken Poppy and Lucy with him!). We arrived in good time and after saying hello to our fellow karate-ka from Kiazen and Selby, it was time to start training.
Simon Sensei from Selby led the warm ups and then we went for a gentle 1.5 mile run along the seafront (which gave me the chance to have a good catch up with Andrew Sensei). Then it was onto the beach where I lead the warm ups and then we were placed in Luke Sensei’s capable hands for the training. The focus was on the Tekki kata, and we did all three (Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan) with some interesting Bunkai that of course resulted in numerous takedowns to ensure that everyone was covered in sand! After going through the kata individually we then performed them together as the kata Naihanchi. This was the original form of the kata which was split into three section and slightly ‘Shotokanised’ to create Tekki Shodan, Nidan, and Sandan. All in all a great training session.After some photos, when then retired to Browns cafe for a full English breakfast and good chat to restore ourselves before the drive home – I don’t think that Poppy paused for breath the entire journey!This was a brilliant end for our first full week Kangeiko. Thank you to Andy Sensei for the invite and Luke Sensei for the instruction. Jason, couldn't join us in Cleethorpes as he had family commitments, but that didn't stop him training on his own this morning to complete Kangeiko - now that is true Karate Spirit!
I have been incredibly impressed with everyone who has taken part in Kangeiko this year, it takes a lot of motivation and spirit to get up so early and come out in the cold to train.
Well done to the following who all took part:
Jim: 7 days
Paul B: 7 days
Helen: 6 days
Ben: 5 days:
Aiwin: 5 days
Edwin: 4 days
Holly (in Newcastle!): 4 days
Matthew: 1 day
Carolyn (Paul B’s daughter): 1 day
Lucy: 1 day
Poppy: 1 day
Thank you to Edwin and Aiwin's parents for bringing them to training so early each morning!
We are planning to make this an annual event – so how would like to to join us next year?