SENSEI AMOS TRAINING SEMINARS
On Saturday July 21st, at the Staten Island dojo, the first major WTKO kata/kumite session including USA team squad selection training was held.
It was attended by approx 30 students and senior dan grades; among them, some came purely to take advantage of sensei Amos' teaching while others were hopeful of a place on the team for the next international event.
The 3 hour seminar began with a detailed breakdown of the generation of power and how it derives from the floor up through the legs and hips. The importance of concentrating on the driving leg became obvious during a series of grueling exercises both with and without a partner. Speaking later, sensei Amos said he hoped that these exercises will be incorporated into our regular trainings in order that we may follow the progress of these seminars and improve throughout the year. One of these "specials" is scheduled to take place every 2 months and, as a trainee, I personally feel that to absorb mentally and physically the knowledge and concepts discussed and forced upon us in the session would take at least a couple of months. I already feel a nervous excitement about the next class, scheduled for September 8th.
Sensei Amos' approach is one of such clarity and logic that it is almost impossible not to believe that the speed and power he generates cannot be accomplished, to a certain degree, by all of us. He is relentless in pushing the important points home while keeping a continuously intense pace throughout the class: encouraging here, poking there. One minute barking at someone with uncontrolled enthusiasm for the exactitude of the movement, another moment later he pops the bubble of frustration we all happened to be feeling by giving a comic example of the wrong way to do something - and we all recognize something of ourselves in the caricature.
The second half was devoted more to kata and, although some of us were expecting an "advanced" kata, we were treated to a demonstration of the importance and severe difficulty of heian shodan. The fundamental basic depth of heian shodan has never been so clearly demonstrated. We were drilled again and again on subtle points that would usually be swept under the carpet but now were so obviously part of a larger whole.
Egos were cast aside and training purely to understand and improve was the pervasive attitude.
I, for one, will not be missing another class like this and fully expect to see the WTKO develop into a powerful group under the kind of leadership shown by sensei Amos and his partners sensei Mullin, Serricio, Beauvais and VanVeen.