New targets, second DAN

DSC_0351On the way to the second DAN: Which path has always been strai­ght? Mine, at least in the mar­ti­al arts, does­n’t. But from here on out, I have my eye on the next tar­get. The second DAN is tar­ge­ted. The thoughts here:

As alrea­dy writ­ten, obtai­ning the first black belt is only a first step towards fur­ther know­ledge, on ano­t­her level. What at first sounds like a pla­ti­tu­de, a phra­se, is real­ly true. Des­pi­te many years of trai­ning, the path to the mar­ti­al arts starts all over again after you have reached the 1st DAN. In any case with me. Becau­se all fur­ther steps, all fur­ther DAN gra­des, should not only be the pro­ces­sing of exami­na­ti­on regu­la­ti­ons. One more kata, ten more tech­ni­ques, one more weapon.

I have been thin­king for a long time about what con­sti­tu­tes the “next step” for me. Spur­red on by the words of mas­ter Her­bert Zielin­ski Herbert(“Keep going fast, you’­re not get­ting any youn­ger”) I first had in mind to take the next black belt exam this win­ter. The phy­si­cal requi­re­ments are real­ly not without their chal­len­ges. And des­pi­te my 50+ I gra­te­ful­ly renoun­ce a “grand­pa bonus”. So I asked my Silat tea­cher Niki, if he could take me under his wing a litt­le bit in Kem­po and pre­pa­re me for the belt in indi­vi­du­al trainings.

A very good idea. But it quick­ly led me to throw my sche­du­le off cour­se. Why? Becau­se in trai­ning with Niki I rea­li­zed that Kem­po offers much more than just “new” tech­ni­ques. Sin­ce the occup­a­ti­on with Silat and also the con­ta­cts to Ste­phan Yama­mo­to and Frank Pel­ny I unders­tood, it’s more about princi­ples of move­ments (for me). In trai­ning with Niki, I quick­ly rea­li­zed that I was still far from under­stan­ding the next level of the­se princi­ples. What does that mean in con­cre­te terms? An obvious and prac­ti­cal example:

The strai­ght fist punch is actual­ly super simp­le. Or super com­pli­ca­ted. As a begin­ner, you more or less quick­ly rai­se your fist. As an advan­ced, you learn to keep your shoul­ders down, keep your upper body strai­ght and turn your fists cor­rect­ly. The hip work comes a step fur­ther, the princip­le of the vibra­ting hip brings much more steam behind the fist. And the foot­work is inclu­ded — the who­le body begins to stand behind the so simp­le fist punch.

Multilehrgang 11This is my sta­tus at the begin­ning of this year and can be trans­fer­red to many other tech­ni­ques. But while working with Niki I noti­ced that he moves qui­te dif­fer­ent­ly in some cases. Much “roun­der”, much “smoot­her”. Why? Becau­se Niki not only works in the hori­zon­tal pla­ne, but also lets a wave move­ment from bot­tom to top (or back) flow through his body. Simi­lar to a fle­xi­ble whip, arms and legs are only the last ends of an elastic sys­tem, which vir­tual­ly shoot towards the oppo­nent by them­sel­ves. In words dif­fi­cult to descri­be. And belie­ve me: also dif­fi­cult to train! If you get into it, who­le chains of move­ment are des­troy­ed and com­ple­te­ly rebuilt. I have been working on my Age Uke for an hour alo­ne and I am far from finis­hed. Shake trai­ning, wave move­ment, hip work, loo­se­ning up the spi­ne — I’m just sor­ting mys­elf out com­ple­te­ly new.

It was the­re­fo­re clear to me very quick­ly: this is exact­ly my next goal. I am far away from a cham­pions­hip like Niki’s, but I would like to under­stand the princip­le of the wave move­ment through my body and to be able to use it for mys­elf. So the next Kum­i­te and Kata are not the lear­ning goal. They come “on the side” so to speak. Decisi­ve are the new move­ment pat­terns. For me it was like an enligh­ten­ment. Which also fits even bet­ter to my under­stan­ding of a com­bi­na­ti­on of Silat and Kempo.
So the sche­du­le was in the bar­rel. Blow pie this win­ter, des­pi­te my advan­cing years. The bones just have to last a litt­le lon­ger. Next sum­mer, then?

No, it’ll be next win­ter. Becau­se recent­ly my Kem­po trai­ner asked Flo if I would like to work out the next DAN gra­des tog­e­ther with him and my old part­ner Uwe. Of cour­se I wan­ted to! Trai­ning tog­e­ther is always nicer. But the two of them had set their sights on the end of 2018. But half a year later is no pro­blem, becau­se my Kem­po does­n’t get any worse in that time. Even if Mas­ter Her­bert encou­ra­ges me to con­ti­nue quick­ly: “If not­hing comes bet­ween, I will do the second DAN at the end of next year at the age of 55. On this page I will con­ti­nue to report on my pro­gress, if you are interested.

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