Early start for a Saturday morning. We started the day off with our second time running Bear Creek. It is a really beautiful run and we managed to capture some pictures throughout the run. We also have some photos of me afterwards of how I was feeling and also my jump of the day.
After going on the long run we picked Sam up from the airport and headed out for a quick lunch stop then to go ride some helicopters! I was fortunate enough to get to go in the front (even though I didn’t want to at first). On the second flight I went in the back, but it was still an amazing experience and would love to do it again.
Overall, these past two weeks of training and getting to explore our new environments have been amazing! Although the training was mostly just tournament based training, I was able to pick up some great pointers here and there and can’t wait to continue putting them into practise. As well as doing lots of competition preparation I was able to join in on some fun games and exercises that I will definitely be bringing back to Australia to spread around.
One of the more simpler games that we were introduced to since being over here is “the stretching game”. This game is difficult to explain in words, but with a demonstration it is pretty self explanatory. Basically, the aim of the game is to make your partner have to stretch out into the splits until they can’t go any further with the penalty being burpees. This is a great way to have fun and get competitive while stretching.
Another fun game we played a few times was “dojo basketball”. This game was similar to netball, but contact. There were two teams and a ball between each player you have to pass the ball without running and score. The team who scores does either 10 pushup or 10 situps and the opposing team runs laps of the hall until the game is resumed. This game becomes very competitive and intense, but is great fun. Since we don’t train in a hall very often, this would be a great game to introduce to one of our QLD camps.
Aside from some of the games there have been many things that I have been learning throughout training. Since arriving here two of my main focuses have been my posture (keeping my hips under) and finding the contrast between fast, slow, hard and soft techniques mainly throughout my kata that I’ll be using for the tournament. Both of these have been challenging, but I have been seeing improvements over the past two weeks.
Overall, I think that being able to train here prior to the tournament has been great to life my spirit. I have found that over here the energy is always buzzing and it’s really uplifting. Everyone in the dojo is so respectful and supportive of one another which always puts me in a better state of mind for training.
After a long day yesterday we are back for another long day today. Today we headed out to around the same place as yesterday, to Myra Canyon. This time we went out for a long bike ride with Taneda Sensei.
On the way there, there were a few mishaps… First, the bikes fell off the truck and if I didn’t see them fall off, we would’ve completely lost them. And then it happened a second time! Thankfully we were able to make it the rest of the way there with the bikes intact.
The first half of the ride was exhausting. I was peddling so fast and I was literally moving no where. I tried changing the gears, but it wasn’t working. Once were almost half way, we figured out that one of the gears was completely broken from falling from the truck and it wasn’t all my fault after all. But, once it was fixed as much as we could we get on our way through the very scenic ride.
As we got on with our ride, we encountered some very cute, little squirrels. Taneda Sensei brought along some nuts to feed them and surprisingly they were quite tamed and friendly.
Once we reached the end it was time to head off for training I’m the park. In the car I fell accidentally fell asleep. We ended up arriving a bit late, but we needed a bit of food before getting back into it. Overall, it was an amazing day!
After not doing too much the day before, we were ready to have a great day out. Since the drive to where we were going took more than an hour to get there, on the way we stopped to grab some more snacks to try out.
Once we finally arrived at the ropes course, I had to do my jump of the day.
The staff gave us a quick introduction to what we were doing and how to do things and then we were straight into things.
There were 7 different ropes courses with a few ziplines included into a few of them, with some ziplines at the end if we were up for it. The first five were mostly pretty straight forward and weren’t too much of a struggle, but the sixth and seventh course were much harder and more physically challenging. Here are some pictures from the day including some beautiful views.
This day was a pretty quiet day sinse we were so tired from the parade, but by the end of the day we managed to get out for a bit.
That evening we went out for dinner at a pizza place which was really nice. After it was made we went back to the car and drove to Okanagan beach and sat down to enjoy dinner.
After sitting for a while we had a nice walk through a small Japanese garden. Whilst on our way back in towards the car we got a milkshake from a little shop that looked like a peach. Instead of heading back to the car we did even more walking to find some good spots for training next week.
After a few hours we finally got home to rest. Although this wasn’t a long day, it was a good day to rest from yesterday.
Yesterday we had a nice early start to our Saturday morning ready for a big day. First up, we participated in a parade in West Bank called Westside Daze. This was my first ever parade that I’ve been in, so this was an exciting experience. As soon as we arrived, I completely forgot my gi top, but thankfully someone was kind enough to lend me one.
For the parade there was a group of people doing some bunkai on the back of a big trailer, a very big group doing zenshin kotai, a group of people doing kumite and one doing weapons. I was apart of the group doing kumite, but every second time we stopped, we would do zenshinkotai as well. Although we would only have about three turns at doing a combination each everytime we stopped, it was really hot. It was also my first time using this type of bogu which was really different to what I’m used to wearing.
After the main performance part of the parade, we all hopped onto the back of the truck and we got our water guns out ready for the water fight. I didn’t really get too wet, but it was still really good fun being a part of it.
After the parade, we all headed down to Bear Creek where we all just socialised and had lunch in the park. Whilst we were there, I was given an awesome hat, but I’m not too sure the rest of the team will be too happy about.
Whilst we were here, we played a game called Ninja. It would be pretty hard to try explain here, but when I get back home I’m sure I’ll it a go at explaining it. It got pretty competitive which I loved.
Lastly, we ran a track which was probably only around 2.5km, but it was still challenging. It was only optional to run it, but it was my first time, so I thought I should just run it.
Basically the first half was all up hill and it was really steep. Right at the very start was a big lot of stairs which we had to do twice and I was already dying and it was only the start. But, the second half of the track was mostly down hill which I was grateful for, but I was pretty sure my legs were going to give out. Once we finished the track we had to walk all the way back up to the top to meet the rest of the team there. It was exhausting.
Big shout out to Faith for being such a trooper! She was just in front of me for most of the track and when I caught up to her, she was giving some great tips along the way. Her little legs were probably moving twice as fast as mine and she did not give up. At the end I ended up in front of her and I was starting to walk back up again and then I saw her coming down the last hill, so I waited for her and we finished it together.
After walking back up the hill to meet the team there, Senpai Mike reminded me of doing my jump. So, for yesterday’s jump I explained how to do it to everyone with the photo of just me and then we all did an amazing group photo. This one is by far my favourite picture!
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!