This week we have done some really fun things (lots of it including food). The other day before training we wanted to go out for some lunch and we found an amazing sushi place. My favourite part of the meal was the mochi ice cream at the end, it was delicious. At least we wouldn’t be training on an empty stomach.
Once we got to Westbank for training in the park, I was pretty happy that I got to lead the way for the first 10 minuted of the kids class. It was great to introduce them to some new things that they haven’t done before.
Unfortunately I didn’t do my jump picture on this day, but I’ll try not to forget again.
Finally, we were back out to the shops again and this time we tried even more new treats. Since I’m not a huge fan of peanut flavoured foods, I had a really hard time trying to find something to try. Everything here has peanuts in it! Even though I don’t really like them, I decided to just grab something with them in it.
Whilst we were out, I did my jump of the day. At least I didn’t forget that day.
On the way home from the shops we saw a deer! This was my first time seeing a deer and it was amazing although it is common to see them a lot here. The photo that I took wasn’t close enough, oops.
Oops! We had a pretty big sleep in to start the day from a very long night. Since only waking up after midday, not much happened yesterday, but we still managed to get out and about for a bit before some more training in the evening.
Before we headed out for a short walk we went out for another quick subway lunch just to get it out of the way. For our short walk, we walked along Okanagan beach. Along the way we found that the houses here are very different to back home and we thought that was interesting. Along the way we also saw a cool ice cream shop which was very tempting, but we thought that it would be nice for another time.
Today training in Penticton and was only about a five minute drive and this time we would be training in a school hall.
For the first class, being the kids class we were re-introduced since only a few of the kids were at the last nights training and tonight we played a similar role again from the previous night.
After this, it was our turn for the teens/Adults class. Tonight it was the same tournament focus as last night, but there were just more people. Although we did kata and kumite training, there were also other interactive, challenging activities that we did. Activities like getting two basketballs, with one that you would sit on and the other your feet would be on and you had to try balance on top of the two balls. Another exercise with these two basketballs was juggling with only one hand. I had the most trouble with this one. The last one, with only one ball this time, we had to punch the ball up into the air as many times as I could without stopping. I only reached 21, but the highest was 140!
At the end of training we played this game similar to netball, but contact was allowed. There are two teams and one ball, whoever has the ball can not run or move anywhere and has to pass to their team mates, but the person holding the ball can be tackled (this is encouraged). If someone gets the ball into the hoop, the team who scored has to do either 10 push ups or 10 sit ups and the team who lost the point has to run laps of the hall until everyone on the other team is ready to start playing again. This turned into a very competitive game, I even managed to score one point for the team. We’ll have to start using this game at the QLD camps.
Tonight we didn’t get any photos because we were told we needed everyone’s permission first and we were unable to get any photos, but luckily throughout the day we were able to get some photos from our short walk along Okanagan beach.
And here is my fourth day of doing this jump in a row. I thought this was a beautiful spot to take a picture.
By the third day of the trip I was feeling like I had caught up on all my sleep and felt like I had pretty much adjusted to this new place. We started the day off as usual and headed down into the backyard for some quick training.
My main focus lately has been to fix up my posture. Since recently I’ve been experiencing an increase in power from my techniques, meaning that my posture and balance has been thrown out of whack. To work on this, we did some Bo and some kata. As my issues that needed fixing aren’t easy fixes, the Bo was used because it is more challenging to think about and to control when there is something I your hand.
After Bo, I did one of each of the kata have been preparing for the tournament, just to get the feel for the posture improvement. Yes, this was a challenge for me, but I still think that I did make at least small improvements throughout that session.
After getting outside, for some training, we headed inside for some downtime. Whilst we were sitting down, it was my turn for putting the Australian patch onto my sleeve. This was scary because it was my first time ever doing that and it was also extremely frustrating. But in the end I finally managed to get the patch onto the sleeve successfully.
By the time we had a little bit longer of a rest, it was time to head out for our first official training session with Taneda Sensei at Westbank, which was around a 45 minute drive. So, on the way we stopped by at a nice little Japanese restaurant to get some lunch and it was really well priced for how good it was.
The first official training with a class was in a park in West Bank. These evening classes go from 5:00pm-6:30pm (kids class) and 6:45pm-8:30pm, but usually around 9:00pm (Teens/Adults class). For the first class we were mainly observing and I also tried being involved to help some of the kids out.
For the second class we actually joined the lines and trained along side everyone else. As you could probably imagine, most of the training at the moment is basically focused on the tournament. Training here brings differences to my attention, as does even staying here. As I have said before, everything here in Canada feels very similar, but also just a little bit different. This also goes for the karate as well. It is very similar, but there are just small differences.
After pulling all of our kumite gear off, I had thought the session was finished, but not yet. From the small field we were training at, we ran to behind this big building on the top of a very steep hill. After we cleared the hill from pine cones and whatever else that would be sharp underneath our feet, we made our way to the bottom of the hill. Now we sprinted. We sprinted up the hill and our rest spot was the fast walk/jog back down the hill. We did this at least 7 or 8 times and when we thought we were done, there was more. For this lap we had to crab crawl all the way up to the top of the hill with our feet first. For me this was the most physically challenging even though we only did one lap of this, compared to the multiple laps of sprints. Finally, after a final lap of sprints we were finished and ran back to the small field to finish off the session.
By this point, it was around 9:00pm and we were invited to dinner at Boston’s Pizza which was amazing and delicious (very filling too). Since the drive back home was quite long, we didn’t get back home til around almost midnight.
And here is my third day of doing this jump. I completely forgot to do it throughout the day, so i ended up having to do it inside which made it a bit blurry, but I still had to do one.
Second day so far and I feel like I am already starting feel like I have mostly caught up on sleep from the long day yesterday.
Since we hadn’t really seen much yet, Senpai Anne took some time this morning to show us around Penticton so we would be able to slowly find our way around.
First stop today was to Budget, to hire a car. This was a nerve-racking experience for the both us since we are both used to driving on the left hand side of the road, but now everything is the opposite. But after starting to get our head around things, we decided to go and check out the tournament venue.
After taking some time to check the tournament venue out, we went down to the local mall, Cherry Lane. Here we found some food for lunch and also a quick new treat to try. Whilst we were out, we also found a store called Coles just like the one back home, but this one wasn’t a grocery store, it was a book shop!
Feeling hungry at this point, we headed home to get into our lunch and after that I had a small-ish nap. Feeling refreshed from my nap, we had some dinner and Senpai Anne took us for a short evening walk along the beach and then back home to meet some chickens with a pair of funky crocks hahaha.
At this point it was already night time and the sun was still out! This was really different for us, as we are used to the sun setting much earlier back home. Here is a picture of the sun starting to set at almost 9pm.
The air started to cool down, so we decided to head inside for bed. But before we settled down for the night, we had to try this cool machine.
Although, we didn’t get any training in today, there will definitely be some waiting for the rest of the week starting tomorrow morning!
Day one of the trip was amazing! The first flight to Vancouver was surprisingly good apart from the having to sit there for 13 and a half hours and the bad plane food, it wasn’t all that bad.
On the plane I did try to get some sleep, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to, so I ended up watching a total of 7 movies before we finally landed.
Although there wasn’t much to do on the flight, I did find it really cool how we landed a couple hours before we left.
After landing in Vancouver for around a 10 hour stop over, despite the lack of sleep, we managed to tour around for the day.
For the day, we enjoyed a 12-13km walk around Stanley Park. As it was a Sunday, only few shops were open, so the city wasn’t too busy and there were light showers going on all day which was probably also helping with the fact that it was fairly quiet all day. Although the walk felt like it went on forever, it was also a beautiful walk whilst also learning about some of the history. We didn’t finish the whole track, but on the way back we treated ourselves to some lunch at Subway.
After this, we headed back to the airport where we still had around 4 hours til our 2nd flight into Penticton. In this time we had a small wander around the airport and then we just sat down and waited. In one of the stores when we were wandering around, I found Maltesers! That’s some pretty exciting news.
When we were waiting for the flight, I was trying really hard to stay awake, even though I hadn’t slept in over 24 hours at this point… I ended up just sleeping. I also ended up sleeping through the whole flight.
Finally after two flights, we have made all the way from Brisbane to Penticton! Now for the next 2 weeks before the rest of the team makes it here, we will be staying with Senpai Anne and her husband Wayne with lots of adventures to come!
It was wonderful to see such a good turn out for our first Sunshine Coast Tournament of the year. Lots of new competitors, lots of the old regulars, competitors from Gold Coast & Blue Mountains too.
Tournaments take a lot of work both behind the scenes and on the day: compiling entries, preparing event draws, setup, table officials, referees, event marshals, canteen/BBQ and lots more. As always we’re very grateful to everyone who steps in to give so freely of their time, without your help, these events would not be possible.
This tournament also coincided with a visit from Miyazaki Sensei (7th Dan, Kyoshi) from Japan. Miyazaki Sensei spent 4 hours on the Saturday before the tournament working with our seniors to help with our referee development. It was a great day of learning and a really good opportunity to learn from a very good referee. On the day of the tournament, Miyazaki Sensei also assisted by refereeing all day and continued to offer feedback and advice to both referees and competitors.
Supporting the small team of competitors from the Blue Mountains, Mark Snow Sensei (5th Dan, Shihan) & Adam Macdonald Sensei (3rd Dan) refereed all day. And supporting the Gold Coast team, Adam Higgins Sensei (3rd Dan, Shidoin) also refereed all day. Plus other seniors from all dojo many of who were also competing.
After the morning session of competition, everyone was treated to kata demonstrations from Miyazaki Sensei and Mark Snow Sensei.
It was great to see everyone competing with great enthusiasm and spirit, whilst still demonstrating good manners. It was a real testament to the hard work that everyone is putting in at their respective dojos.
Congratulations to Sam Phillips for being chosen as this year’s winner of the Canada training scholarship. The training will be hosted by Taneda Sensei in Kelowna and Penticton, British Columbia, host of this year’s Soke Cup. Sam will be accompanied by Sensei Martin and will be joining the rest of the Soke Cup squad for the tournament in late July.