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BM | 29th Jan 2007, 7:15 AM | 武道經歷

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:

BM is front 3rd row - 2nd from the left, my instructor, Harada sensei is the black belt folding his arms

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. emoticon

 

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. emoticon

 

During the very first lesson, Harada sensei warned us that karate-do is only for the tough at heart. We must prepare mentally for a tough and rough training session every time we step into the dojo. He said the drop-off rate in Japan was at 90%. emoticon

 

Harada sensei was a 3rd dan (三段) from Meiji Gakuin University Karate-do Club (明治學院大學空手道部), one of the university clubs in Tokyo under 山口剛玄 Yamaguchi Gogen kaicho. Harada sensei was a Kumite champion of Gojukai in the early 60s. He was a very straight and good teacher. It was a great pity that he died of cancer at a very young age in early 70s. emoticon

 


 

 

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