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The Journey Begins...

Firstly, Welcome to all our karate friends to the first ever Kimochi Ryu blog post. I am personally very excited to share the adventures and journey of our group and to pass on any knowledge that could develop or improve the martial arts study.

Let us start at the beginning, after watching the famous Bruce Lee movie ‘Enter the Dragon’ at an early age, I fell in love with martial arts.

This is where my journey begins, the very distance memory of walking into the little church hall called the pastoral centre was very nerve racking experience and I spent most of the time wondering what leg and arm went where while looking around, but I was hooked!

As the years passed, I grinded away trying to improve my technique, as everyone seemed to be better than I was. I went through many stages in my karate journey, including competing and travelled around UK and abroad to compete.

I really did enjoy the competitive side of karate, especially kumite as it makes you feel alive and real.

All said and done, the most eye opening experience of my karate journey was visiting Japan.

During my short time there, we travelled to Kobe, Kyoto and Tokyo and I was personally taken back by the culture.

I had many experiences that I would never forget, including visiting a Buddhist temple and having lunch, travelling on the Shinkansen (Bullet train), visiting Gichin Funakoshi Grave site and many more.

But above all, training at the world famous JKA Hombu dojo was a dream come true, it was both intense and fulfilling and the time passed in the blink of an eye. I was lucky to have a lot of opportunity to train a lot during my time there and what I took from there was truly in valuable.

Over the next few years, I travelled around attending seminars with a lot of inspirational and talented Sensei to further my study and continuously improve my karate. It was then at this time and with advice from my Sensei decided to start our group.

I started our group because I personally wanted to build a group of people to share the study of karate and pass everything I know, but above all have at the heart the true spirit of why we train.

The word Kimochi translates as “Feelings; a state (frame) of mind, spirits.” When I came across this word, it signified the positive attitude and drive I wanted our group to have in and out of the dojo.

Our first class took place Nuffield gym on a Friday evening and it was a very nervous time and it is a blur what I actually covered during that class, but I knew it was the start of our journey.

After around 3-4 months we opened a second evening on a Monday evening at Holloway Community Centre, this proved difficult at the start as it took a while to take off. I am happy to say both classes are doing well and we are looking forward to doing a Sunday Keiko to enhance our study.

In this short time, we have come so far already and I am delighted that we are in our 3rd year as Kimochi Ryu and continue to grow as a group and build the foundations with all the values I hoped for when we started.

I am looking forward to our new training opportunities together with Sensei all over the country and who knows what’s around the corner.

One phrase always echoes through the dojo when we study, one of the famous quote for Funakoshi Gichin “Spirit First, Technique Second”. That will always be a pillar of our group.

The Journey Continues…

Ian Sensei

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