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June 2018
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2009 KHD Annual Beach Training

jones-beachI’m not a morning person. At 3:30AM the buzzer rang and quite frankly, I was growling obscenities in my head. But, I put my brave face on and by 5AM we were at the dojo. Around 6AM we arrived at Jones Beach.

Despite my adversity to the wee hours of the day, even I must admit that there is something very special about sunrise. The weatherman had reported rain, but our luck held fast and the sun edged its way around the pink dawn clouds.

Sensei kicked around some sand on the beach and showed everyone how to make a seiza bench. As Sensei and the students sat in meditation, I was thinking “donuts… donuts… must save the donuts from the seagulls.” Not a part of the training myself, I could allow my thoughts to wander toward hunger.

The training went very well. I cannot help but smile when I think of the nervous faces of the students as Sensei leads them in punches toward the water. Are they thinking, “how far out are we going? when is hemeditation going to turn around?” Yet, they carry on. Brave souls. Lucky the water was so warm from the rain.

By the end of training, everyone was good and filthy with sand in their hair and salt stains on their gi. Pangs of jealousy. I would have liked very much to have been sliding my zenkutsu dachi along the sand with everyone else. Alas, maybe next year.

All in all it was a great morning. The rain held off. With strong determination of spirit, Umid showed up just in time for the donuts. And we all narrowly avoided arrest for swimming before the lifeguards were on duty. I guess it’s not a party until you receive a strongly worded warning from a NYC Parks & Recreation officer who hasn’t had his morning coffee yet.

punchesThe blindfolded watermelon break resulted in a broken sword (Justin doesn’t know his own strength!) and a bruised bag (sorry, Takeshi!), but amazingly no sand in the fruit!

I would be seriously remiss not to thank all of the drivers who graciously gave their time and service to helping their fellow students get to the beach and safely home again. Thank you also to everyone for putting together a delicious post-training breakfast (hooray! donuts!).

Next year, we aim to be on the beach BEFORE sunrise! OSU!


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