Today's training was challenging in many ways.
First, the weather made for very humid conditions and it felt like we were training in a Sauna. Within minutes of warming up we were sweating heavily. Secondly, Sensei split the group into two groups with the theme of developing a strong focus between partners during the kumitachi. The group I was part of was asked to work through the two shoden kumitachi but with emphasis on complete focus from beginning to end. We were also asked to challenge each other with faster attacks. The result was a very intense class that fatigued us quickly due to the concentration required. It is to be expected. Sensei is trying to lift our game.
Time and time again, I hear or read about going back to the kata. This is an example of this. We all have much to learn from the very first kata. We now know the kata but aspects have yet to be internalised. It really felt like we were doing something completely different. It was invigorating and challenging at the same time.
After this, we worked on the first of the chuden kumitachi. This was done at a slower pace as not all of us had done these techniques before.
Once again I find myself reflecting on just how much more there is to learn in this art. I am excited by what may lie ahead.