It was, therefore, with this in mind that we gathered outside in a circle today at 7am to commence our stretching exercises in preparation for the customary morning run that was to follow. The first order of the day was to impart to the incoming freshmen the cheer that we take turns to chant while running towards the Tenmangu Shrine at Yaho. Not unlike how Darwin theorized about the ‘survival of the fittest’ being the law of Nature, the process of natural selection is perhaps applicable also to traditions and practices that survive through the ages to continue to be passed down in the world of today.
This tradition of having a morning run is no exception: while not strenuous an activity in itself (and therefore often misunderstood as having little value at first glance in terms of its validity as a form of training), the fact that this practice is shared also by not only civilian groups but military organizations as well is itself a testament to its importance. Chanting a particular slogan while running may seem like a simple task when attempted by an individual, but running in step while keeping the rhythm through group cheering is no mean feat, for it calls upon the unity and team spirit of the group as a whole. The run today saw not only the seniors chanting at the top of their voices; the freshmen, who were learning the chant for the first time today, gave it their all when it came to their turn to lead the cheer as well. With this inspiring start, I dare say that we will all grow to be a strongly bonded team in the near future!
Having practiced our floor techniques in the morning, the training session that followed in the afternoon saw us pouring our heart and soul into refining our standing techniques via a series of drills and sparring rounds.
Our members, hard at work during a sparring session.
The wizened veteran and feisty beginner collide: 山岸さん vs 高橋君!
山岸さん, an alumnus now doing his Masters, graced us with his presence and imparted much priceless advice regarding the proper form and posture for particular techniques. It is really a huge blessing to always be indulged by the sheer kindness and generosity of our ever supportive alumni members in dedicating what precious time they have away from work, school and family to nurture and guide us every way they can. Here’s to a fulfilling and exciting week ahead!