The black sheep among white ghosts

Last wee­kend I was (once again) out and about in mar­ti­al arts. This time, howe­ver, rather to meet orga­ni­za­tio­nal hurd­les — name­ly to extend the trai­ner licen­se. The wee­kend was an event of the North Rhi­ne-West­pha­li­an Kara­te Fede­ra­ti­on KDNW. They offer the­se trai­ning cour­ses in a spe­ci­fic field. Which was a decisi­ve rea­son for our ent­ry into the Ger­man Kara­te Fede­ra­ti­on (DKV).

Man­fred Inoue and Joa­chim Höl­scher

We went to Rade­vormwa­ld. Sounds Bava­ri­an, but it’s in the Ber­gi­sches Land. The­re is a hotel with sports halls, espe­ci­al­ly built for such pur­po­ses. Satur­day we star­ted at 9 am. That meant depar­tu­re at 6 o’clock. I had an appoint­ment with my col­leagues from Shao­lin Kem­po Wesel-Büde­rich, i.e. Joa­chim Höl­scher, Man­fred Inoue and the pro­s­pec­tive DAN car­ri­er Marei­ke Decker. I was espe­ci­al­ly loo­king for­ward to the gang, becau­se besi­des many fun­ny say­ings, they tick very simi­lar to me in Kem­po.

The 16 par­ti­ci­pants were main­ly Sho­to­kan Kara­te kara­te­ka, plus a small group of Goju Ryu, a lady of the Yoshu­kai style and “us” from Shao­lin Kem­po. The only one who was com­ple­te­ly in black was me, of cour­se. But our gi is black, even if all other par­ti­ci­pants wore their white (ghost) suits. But nobo­dy was bothe­red, becau­se apart from some inte­rested ques­ti­ons we, me inclu­ded, were right in the midd­le of it. I will not go into the indi­vi­du­al con­tents of the exer­ci­se units here. Just this much: Tho­se who would like to be the inst­ruc­tors have com­pe­tent con­tac­ts and tea­chers in DKV and the North Rhi­ne-West­pha­li­an regio­nal asso­cia­ti­on KDNW.

Without competition, but with performance

But what impres­sed me and made me wri­te the­se lines was the mood, the spi­rit of the par­ti­ci­pants. For one thing, despi­te all the dif­fe­ren­ces in age and ori­gin, we quick­ly beca­me a real team. This was not only expres­sed in the open­ness in which ever­yo­ne dealt with each other, but also and espe­ci­al­ly in the prac­ti­cal ele­ments. This beca­me even more pro­noun­ced when it came to shop talk about explana­ti­ons and inter­pre­ta­ti­ons. Almost all par­ti­ci­pants were expe­ri­en­ced trai­ners with several years of mar­ti­al arts expe­ri­ence. Many of them were at a more advan­ced age. Nobo­dy had to pro­ve to the other what a gre­at pike he was or how much bet­ter his inter­pre­ta­ti­on or style was com­pa­red to the other.

At the same time ever­yo­ne, young or old, male or fema­le, was wil­ling to per­form. The bad habit often seen in Shao­lin Kem­po, to take things very com­for­ta­b­ly from a cer­tain DAN level on and to cross your hands over the round bel­ly and lea­ve them the­re ins­tead of moving, did not exist here. Do not for­get: It was “just” a licen­se rene­wal. No per­for­mance was requested or deman­ded here. But all par­ti­ci­pants were actively invol­ved, from the brown belt to the 5th DAN (or hig­her?). Actual­ly remar­kab­le that one noti­ces this as remar­kab­le, right? 🙂

This was true, and this brings me to the second remar­kab­le occa­si­on of this wri­ting, also for the lec­tu­rers. Kira Lagmöl­ler as semi­nar lea­der was the “chick”, has just pas­sed her sports stu­dies and will streng­t­hen the team of the KDNW office in the future. Okay, from such a Kara­te­ka at that age one also expec­ts a wil­ling­ness for activi­ty. It is not wit­hout rea­son that the sports sci­en­tist intro­du­ced herself as “spin­ning Kira”. 🙂
The prac­tice unit of the first day was then led by Susan­ne Nit­sch­mann. The hol­der of the 6th DAN has been active in the KDNW for many years, among other things as a natio­nal coach. And she is a fist thick behind the ears. In the area of Kata as well as in tech­ni­ques of Kum­i­te, i.e. figh­t­ing, she not only gave us valu­able sug­ges­ti­ons for our tasks as trai­ners. But she also expo­sed some slop­pi­ness in the tech­ni­cal exe­cu­ti­on with an expert’s view. We were deeply impres­sed by the com­pe­tence in theo­re­ti­cal explana­ti­on as well as in prac­ti­cal demons­tra­ti­on. The style, age or DAN level no lon­ger mat­ters — befo­re Susan­ne, ever­yo­ne was the same! 🙂

The game and idea bubbler

On the second day — besi­des the spin­ning Kira — Micha­el Bol­der exp­lai­ned how to get new momen­tum in your trai­ning. The KDNW’s edu­ca­ti­on and popu­lar sports con­sul­tant spark­led with ide­as on how to lure child­ren, but also older Kara­te­ka, out of their com­fort zone. Also with this Kara­te­ka it did not depend so much on the (very good) con­tents of his explana­ti­ons, but rather on the enthu­si­asm and com­mit­ment for “his” Kara­te. I won­der if ever­yo­ne on the board of the KDNW is like that? At the end of the semi­nar I was flat from the chan­ge bet­ween prac­tice and theo­ry and two days of con­tent soun­d­ing, but also very satis­fied and pro­vi­ded with new con­tac­ts and new ide­as.

If this exchan­ge and the tog­e­ther­ness at eye level is not just a slip of the tongue, but a nor­ma­li­ty in dealing with each other, then I am cer­tain­ly loo­king for­ward to fur­ther cour­ses in DKV or KDNW, whe­re I will be hap­py to play the “bogey­man” again. Or the black sheep, depen­ding on the inter­pre­ta­ti­on! 🙂



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