Every summer the Broken Bokken Dojo moves to the great outdoors and we have a 'Samurai Summer'. We typically work on Bokken, but this summer focused on the Bo. As I have posted before, we are a relaxed dojo and have a lot of fun. Well, for some reason, however, when I looked at my students swinging wood one evening they reminded me of the movie, Monty Python and The Search for the Holy Grail.
During the summer we tend to not wear full gi's or wrap obi's around our waists. We usually just wear gi pants and/or shorts, depending on how hot it is. To me we look like a bunch of misfits and tend to get a look of bewilderment from passerbys.
I am not sure if I should be scared or proud, but when I asked my students, most of them in their late teens and early twenties, if they ever saw the above-mentioned Monty Python movie, you should have felt the buzz of excitement. Jennie (age 17) claimed it was her most favorite movie of all time...and then Ross (17) and Jake (13) run to their gi bag and pull out two coconut halves and begin using them for the horses hoof noise like in the movie.
It took all I could to contain myself. We then had to play Monty Python...swing our swords or bo's in the air and run across the park screaming like we were being chased by the killer rabbit. Staunch traditionalists would be shaking their heads in disgust, but for us, Karate is a Monty Python adventure. Surreal and Fun. Many of my students are very artistic and creative in many ways. Somehow I attracted these fun and wonderfully colorful people that make up the Broken Bokken.
They keep this old guy feeling pretty young...and I am really proud they love the classics and live their lives 'outside the box'. This will serve them well as they progress through the ranks of Karate. I encourage thinking outside of the norm and I am proud we practiced Monty Python Karate this summer...at least for a little while.
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