Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Training with Shihan Gotay

Sensei F requires all the brown belts to train regularly with Shihan Al Gotay. I've only been to his John Jay College dojo four times, but I'm amazed each time at how incredible Shihan Gotay is. Rumored to be Master Peter Urban's ichi-ban (first student), Shihan Gotay teaches boxing, karate and judo classes back-to-back each Tuesday and Thursday. I can't speak about the boxing class and have only watched the judo class, but I can say the karate class is non-stop for almost two hours. While we are preparing to end the class, he's getting into his judogi and readying for the next class. Did I mention he is 70 and had a knee replaced this past summer?

Watching him move through drills and kata is like watching the Russian Ballet perform "Swan Lake" - amazing and not something you really believe you're watching while you're watching. All the grace, precision and beauty is there, too, which makes it even more amazing. Did I mention the man is studying for his Ph.D. and also teaches SCUBA diving and skiing?

I wanna be like him when I grow up...

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