When it’s not about the natural setting

When it’s not about the natural setting

The Shotokan Karate of America (SKA) Pacific Northwest Winter Special Training was held at Casey in January. Forty people from across the Pacific Northwest gathered for one of the most important events to any karate student. Many students agree that Special Trainings are the most demanding and strenuous mental and physical experiences of their lives.

This chapter of SKA has been coming to Casey since 1983, but unlike most groups, their reason for coming isn’t because of the natural setting and large playfields. Their event depends on students sharing a common experience by living, eating, and training together.

Cost is also a consideration. Special Training represents an opportunity for the serious karate student to advance both mentally and physically. Special Training is passed on from established martial artists who seek a way to put their mental and physical powers to the test by calling upon their innermost strengths. Students realize the intense training experience that they, too, possess these strengths.

The ideals behind Special Training are most clearly articulated by SKA senior Sadaharu Honda. “We know that human beings are very kind to themselves and are living as easily as they can. In this situation, we only maintain what we have, and the only way to obtain something new is to push ourselves strongly forward. The purpose of practicing karate is to develop physical and mental strength by putting ourselves into hardship.”

The schedule for this year’s Winter Special Training reflected the ideals of the founder Tsutomu Ohshima. The day was filled with training sessions in the gymnasium from early morning until late evening. The first training session started at 5:45 a.m., the last at 8 p.m. There was time set aside for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a group meeting before the last training session of the day. Clearly, this group did not come for the forests or beach that border Casey, but for the flexible facilities Casey offers.