|April 2015||May 2014|
Just been sent this fantastic recent picture (on the left) of Katie (not her real name) practising a sword kata. There’s so much that’s great about this picture, but above all it’s the confidence and utter focus in her eyes and body language, that make this such a wonderful visual illustration of how martial arts training can strengthen and transform us.
It brought back memories of the first time Katie ever handled a bokken (wooden training sword), which was at the Reigate Priory Sports Festival in May 2014. We’d brought a load of weapons along for demonstration purposes, and Katie couldn’t stay away from them. She asked if she could have a go with the sword – Martina and Richard were happy to oblige, and taught her the first few moves of the kata you see her practising in the first picture.
And among the photos from the festival . . . sure enough there were a few of Katie, tentatively holding her bokken. This one (on the right) is quite similar to the 2015 picture on the surface – but at the same time so completely different. It’s been wonderful watching Katie steadily grow in confidence along with the other kids in her class; but it’s actually quite astonishing to see the difference brought out so starkly, in the contrast between these two pictures.