The black sheep among white ghosts

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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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