Train outside! Whether in your backyard, on the beach, or in a park, it’s all awesome. There is a Japanese practice called ‘Shinrin-yoku’, which literally translates to ‘forest bathing’. This is a meditative practice of walking in the woods to destress and connect with nature. Hiking and running in the woods is great. I find training Kata outdoors provides that same connection with nature, only with a little more kick. (pun intended :).
Here are a few pics of our last outdoor karate classes. Social distancing was maintained, and then some.
Last week I had the opportunity to train with my sensei, Hanshi Legacy in Matsumura Hakutsuru White Crane. This is a beautiful system which, for me, provides a bridge between Karate and Tai Chi. It’s softer than even the ‘ju’ of our Goju system, and yet harder than any Tai Chi I have learned to date. Hanshi took me to a park where he trains regularly. It was a beautiful spot, somewhat separated from everything.
Every time I train with one of my sensei, I walk away with many lessons, both new and relearned. This session with Hanshi Legacy was no exception. Hanshi touched on everything from broad concepts like ‘the beginner's mind’ and ‘telegraphing’, down to extremely detailed specifics such as hand position and articulation, along with innumerous detailed movements and concepts. Before the lesson even began though, I was struck with an appreciation for our outdoor dojo. It doesn’t matter whether it's a park, the beach, your backyard or a balcony. There is an energy and vibration when training outside that is simply wonderful. I cannot recommend this training enough. Our Canadian summers are short. Be sure to enjoy it!