The daily routine for the new class was very much the same as nowadays except that it was more strenuous. All the basics (kihons 基本) were done about 100 times each. Due to the large amout of students and the very small space, the first few lessons were done in shifts. Half of us did 100 times then the other half did their turn. At least we could take turns to rest a little bit.
Good things won't last. After 2 weeks, we were down to 10+ and Harada sensei decided that........
The big day was finally here. I set off from home at around 6.30pm and arrived at the dojo just in time. The place was small, very small for a dojo by any standard. It was on the top floor (4th floor) of an old-style Chinese tenanment building (唐樓) measuring approx 15 feet by 30 feet. There were racks of bar-bells on both sides of the wall making the space smaller. The worst part was there were 50+ students in the class. A photo of that class taken on the second day is shown here:
I thought I was in good shape, being trained in kung-fu before and playing soccer at school, but how wrong was I at the first lesson. My knees were wobbling after class and I almost fell down the stairs going home.
Karate-do training was tough, very tough in the 60s. After the first week, there were only about 20 students left in the class. New blood was needed and on the third week, new students joined the "old-hands" or die-hards who by then was down to around 10. Amongst these newbies were some of the future pioneers of Hong Kong Karate-do.
"When the going gets tough, the tough gets going" , so goes the saying. How true, how true.