Cold Water, Kyokushin Karate Training

My Dojo's 2008 Cold Water Training (I wasn't a member yet)

I went to my Kyokushin Karate class tonight, and had an amazing workout. It’s actually the first time in a long time that I’ve made it to a full class, with all of the stuff that’s been happening lately. Ajima Sensei, one of the best teachers there, came up to me afterwards and asked me what I was doing on Sunday. I told him just doing an English lesson (private lesson) and he wanted to know if I would be interested in doing cold water training. A group of students will go to Oari beach which isn’t very far from here, if you have a car, and practice karate in the icy cold waters of the Pacific Ocean. I answered out loud “I might be able to make it,” but in my head I was thinking “ARE YOU CRAZY!! We are in the dead of winter, and you want me to freeze my ass off in the Pacific, doing cold water training?!?!” I told them that I would call later this week to let them know for sure if I could make it. After sitting and thinking, I actually started to consider it. It would be quite an experience. I’ve never done that kind of karate training, and I always see them doing that kind of hardcore training in the movies. It does look cool on TV, but I’m not so sure know how cool it’s going to be to freeze my testicles off real life…I’m just sayin’.

I can’t believe I’m actually considering this…pray for me,

Donald Ash

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  • Gary Uchikura

    Hey there, haven’t had time yet to read your other articles but this caught my eye after surfing for “Kyokushinkai” related links. I spent 7 years in Japan, but unfortunately was too sporadic a trainer to achieve shodan. I was only 2nd kyu brown belt when I went back to Canada and now have a shodan on Shotokan. A big part of me sorely misses.. (Haha pardon that pun) Kyokushin training with the nearest dojo in Alberta a 3 hour drive away. I would have leapt at the chance for winter training at Kiyosumi mountain. But never seemed to make the necessary time for it. The 2 summer camps I attended were awesome though. Hope you did the camp, would be a super opportunity.

    • Donald Ash

      Oh my gosh! Kyokushin and Shotokan. Umm…I have to interview you. I really want to hear your thoughts on the differences between karate training in Asia and North America.

      It’s always nice to meet a fellow karateka. You were here for seven years! That’s amazing in and of itself. Shotokan is a great, traditional style as well. I haven’t attended a summer camp, yet, but I plan to this year. Thanks for the heads up.

      P.S.-Nice pun! :)

      • Gary Uchikura

        I started out many years before that in an Okinawan style called Gohakukai under Kinjo Yoshitaka when I was about 13 years old until I was 16 or so. I believe Kinjo sensei is now 9th dan. After that, a few years passed where I did not do any karate until I went to university in Guelph, Ontario and started training in Kyokushinkai.

        I was immediately drawn to it’s no-nonsense approach to training and the general dismissal of the pervasive “mystical” power that some styles seem to promote. I also later dabbled a few times in other styles with a friend who practiced Goju-Ryu, and spent one summer training in Wado-kai. They all maintained some common themes in training, but Kyokushin power leaves little to the imagination, and eventually led me to take it in Japan.

        I also became interested in kickboxing for a time and practiced capoeira in Japan for a few years as well. There was such a smorgasbord of arts to sample, it would have felt like a shame to not get at least a little involved with some of them.

        I’m thinking of setting up my own summer camp in Alberta this year for my new students. It would be great to conjure up some of the memories from Japan again.

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