So Friday was a day of endings (and beginings): as well as leaving the homestay and college, it was also my last day at Shorinji (hence my cooking for Hiroko and Misaki on Thursday – so I could go out drinking with the guys on Friday!).
Class was fun – we went through the last bits of the brown belt syllabus (sankyu) that I had been working through, and spent lots of time on a couple of techniques that are really core to Shorinji, and from which a lot of others flow.
Also, Kousei gave me a CD with some photos on, so I am going to put some of the dojo ones in this post, and some of the funny homestay ones in another post.
This is the board showing the names of all the members. Kousei, who is Chief Name Painter, made me one! I have left it in the dojo though, so I have a reason to go back sometime :)
One of the guys had been in Hong Kong for a few weeks – I’d met him once before (when we went for yaki niku). He, Kousei and Izumi started chatting in very animated Japanese and then proposed we do some sparring. Kousei was injured/not feeling well, so sat out, but X (not sure of his name – bad Fi) and I had a good few sessions endeavouring to kick the crap out of eachother. It is really interesting to see the differences and the similarities between Karate and Shorinji – theirs is a very defensive style and has some of the evasive elements of Wado. All in all I think it was a pretty evenly matched game. My kicks are good and fast-ish (they think they’re superfast, but they haven’t been to a Wado dojo!) but I am bad at getting out of the way. He also had an awesome rangey maegeri that kept getting me. Izumi and I had a little spar too, but he is very slow due to his insistance on doing weights every morning (to look hot for the ladies!) so that was a bit like trying to poke a tortoise with a long stick – too easy and cruel to be any fun ;)
This is a funny shot of me kicking Hiyashi Sensei, who looks scared. He has some sort of weird thing going on with his foot – he kept dropping to the floor in pain. It turns out it’s some vitamin deficiency brought on by not eating vegetables, drinking too much beer and only eating combini food. Not good! I reckon it could be gout! He is hilarious though – he reminds me of Hiro from Heroes. Whenever he cries out in pain I can’t help laughing, and to top it off he wears those funny toe-socks.
Afterwards we went to one of the usual izakaya’s and had a good nabe with some kind of chicken bit that we don’t eat in England (I suspect the stomach) and lots of beers. Matsukuma Sensei came out too, which was previously unheard of, as did one of the older guys whose name I never managed to retain. I managed to get to bed at the early hour of 12.30 – woo!
This is everyone! From left to right…
Backrow: Not sure of their names :S The guy in the middle is bloody brilliant though – he goes to one of the sports universities in Tokyo and trains 6 days a week. Really sharp and fast.
Middle row: Kousei, Matsukuma Sensei, Izumi
Front row: Hiyashi Sensei, Me (the dogi is Kousei’s – it says “Suzuki” in kanji in the back, which causes no end of confusion for people who haven’t met me before), not sure.
And that, as they say, is that!