Friday, May 27, 2011


Last weekend Sensei K, Sempai S, Jared and I took a 7 hour drive to Edmundston, New Brunswick for a Kyokushin Seminar. It was held by the Edmundston dojo and was attended by many people from all over Canada. Shihan Fujiwara, from Connecticut, 6th Dan, Uchi Deshi under Sosai Mas Oyama and also Ushi Deshi under Sushu Shigueru Oyama, ran all the classes.

The first class of the day on Saturday, was the children's  class. Shihan Fujiwara was inspiring. The man had so much energy and really enjoyed being with the kids. He began with the tradition warm-up,
kihon, with them. At first, they were very quiet with their kiai, barely audible. By the end of kihon, he had inspired them so much that their kiais echoed through out the school. Watching him spar the children was extremely entertaining. He started with each child, one by one, for about a minute of sparring. He was tossing them around room in such gentle way. The kids had so much fun, that even when they landed a little hard, it was with all smiles.

The next class was for the adults and we went through kihon and then katas. Katas went so quick. I got lost on some of them. After lunch we worked on punching with weights. Started with the jab, reverse with 2 pound weights in each hand, adding on different combinations. I know you are thinking 2 pounds is not a lot of weight, but do punching combinations holding them for over an hour. The next day our shoulders were screaming.

He grabbed 5 black belts and 5 kick shield and lined us all up in front of them. We were to go up to the kick shied in our line and do a 1, 2 (jab, reverse) five times each and get back into line. Then a 1, 2, 2, and then next set was 1,2,2,2.

Shihan lined us up so that the three men holding bags had lines of men, Sensei K had the line with all women, and the woman next to her held the bag for the children. The woman's line was pretty long, Shihan was going to move some of us women over. Sensei K says very loudly, "Take Patty, she hits like a man!" to which everyone laughed.

I was near the back of the line. The two ladies behind me went to the far line with the men, and I went into the middle line with the men. Shihan Fujiwara would walk back and forth among the lines correcting people. I was hitting hard. Shihan said to hit with 100%. By the last set, he was standing near me when I was doing the 1,2,2,2. He actually held the guys back that I was hitting and I was pushing them both back.

We soon had our lunch break and as we were headed back to the locker rooms, Shihan Ray came up to me and told me that they had a nickname for me. He said that since last October they had been calling me Powerhouse Patty because they had forgot my last name. My Sensei said that was perfect because my last name is Pittman, Patty "Powerhouse" Pittman. I think my head grew 3 sizes bigger. However that set up my team to call me a man all weekend and if I wasn't paying attention they would shout "Powerhouse!"

All afternoon we worked on kicks and how to avoid them, especially working on spinning back kicks. Shihan would walk around the room correcting us. You could see every-time he would walk by someone, they would try even harder to do the technique right.

The next day we worked in a refereeing clinic, to teach how to be a judge for a fight. I got to pretend to be a fighter doing illegal techniques. It started with the adults, but the kids really wanted in. They were hamming up the acting with all their fake injuries.

It was such a great weekend. I can't wait to do it again!!