Reporting Post #9 – Rick

While You Were Sleeping…Rick Is Training In Martial Arts.

Rick Alexander has been training in Kosho Ryu Kempo (empty hand or karate) and Muso Jikiden Eishen Ryu Iaijutsu (Japanese Swordsmanship) Martial Arts early in the morning for the past 8 years.  (Please do not ask me how to pronounce these words as I had to have Alexander write out the names for me.)  

Alexander rises between 4:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. to head to the dojo in Pottsville, Pa.  A dojo is a Japanese term for “place of the way.”  The term can refer to a formal training place for any of the Japanese arts but typically it is considered the formal gathering place for students of any Japanese martial arts style to conduct training and exams. 

“We focus on Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu (or just Iai for short) training consists of warm up cutting patterns, solo waza practice (waza are specific techniques taught to deal with a variety of situations in which a swordsman might find himself), katachi practice (where you work with a partner with a wooden bokken, and sometimes tamashigiri (test cutting rolled mats with live blade),” says Alexander. 

Alexander takes pleasure in his morning workouts. He almost always trains with others.  “I live 99 miles from work and it is hard for me to do this training in the evening since I do not get home until about 7 p.m.  Getting home late doesn’t leave me much time to do anything until I have to go to bed and get up to do it all over again,” explains Alexander.  

I asked Alexander what inspired him to start his martial arts training and he said that he started because he thought it was a cool thing to do, but he found out later there’s much more to it than that and has been hooked ever since.  

Alexander has competed in a few karate tournaments during the first few years, but he does not compete anymore as he is not a big fan of “sport karate.” 

Alexander says he has always been a morning person and really is not a night owl at all.


One Response to “Reporting Post #9 – Rick”

  1. Christine Says:

    So after reading about your interview with Alexander, I feel extra lazy for not being able to go running every morning. I can’t even wake up early enough to work out on some mornings, let alone partake in martial arts activity! He must have to meditate as well, being that he has over 180 miles to travel to and from work everyday. I think that your topic has been interesting. I knew everyone had their own schedules and routines but I can’t believe people wake up to do certain activities. It shows commitment, it is obvious that he really enjoys it. I have friends who are involved with martial arts and they also started because they thought it was cool and wanted to learn the moves. I was in a recent conversation wit my friend Drew who says that it is much more than the moves and technique. He, too has learned so much about himself and says that it keeps him focused and positive. It makes me jelous because I have always wanted to take some form of martial arts.

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