Members of the CKA,
When I look back over the events of 2020, I am reminded of a very old martial arts quote….
人生意気に感ず : “A man is moved by the spirits of others.”
Across the world, no one has failed to be impacted by the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Lives have changed forever. In the relative blink of an eye, we went from a world we know to unchartered waters.
I never thought I would see the day when all our CKA dojo’s would be forced to close and I have to admit to you all, the thought did cross my mind….is this the end of the CKA?
But how wrong could I have been……
The Dojo Heads – Erin, Paul, Mike, Bernard – committed their time (and moved their furniture!) and ventured into an unknown world of teaching via Zoom. They had to learn to teach all over again! Things they had taken for granted now had to be adapted from a dojo to a front room.
Our students could have simply stopped training, but you continued. And continued again & again. You trained with the same vigour in your halls and your kitchens as you did in the dojo. You had to adapt to a new world where your kicks & punches were limited by the position of the sofa and the tv.
And then we had a chance to open some of the dojo’s but, again, under a new set of rules. No bare feet! No Kiai! Train in a 3mx3m square! How on earth was this going to work? Would it even feel the same? But our Sensei turned up to teach and our students turned up to train. We continued on this life path we embrace & love… even if it meant training with shoes on!
The Nijū Kun reminds us that Karate goes beyond the dojo…
一、道場のみの空手と思ふな – (Hitotsu! dojo nomino karate to omou na!)…
In other words, do not think that Karate training is only in the dojo, it can be anywhere and the events of 2020 have more than driven this message home!
We now move into a New Year, with hope & confidence that an end to this most testing time will pass. As our dojo’s close again over Christmas, with Buckinghamshire now firmly in Tier 4, we do not know what the immediate future will look like. Potentially more Zoom lessons, and then hopefully back in the dojo sooner rather than later.
Above all I know that the CKA will continue to flourish no matter what. The commitment and dedication of the Shihankai, the Yudansha and the CKA Students has genuinely moved me & I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. I could not be more proud of this group that I am a part of.
I leave you with this simple saying: –
起死回生 – ki shi kai sei : “Wake from death and return to life” :
From this global, at times desperate situation, we will return to the life as we knew it before.
My best wishes to you all & your loved ones for a fabulous Christmas and a happy & healthy New Year.
Chief Instructor – 6th Dan EKF