Shift out of the way, block the strike, take the hand in a wrist-reversal and take your training partner down. As they land, they shift with ukemi and roll back up.
Back and forth, again and again.
When your name was called out, you finished the technique and as fast as you could move, ran across the dojo, down the stairs, around the corner to the park.
Three laps around, fast, and back to the dojo, picking up with the technique.
The first few times, nothing but energy.
A few times in, and now the arms were heavy from being hit.
Punches a bit slower, but still with focus.
Legs began to get tired and just standing in posture was hard.
A thirty minute e thirty minute exercise of kihon waza lasting almost two hours.
After class, a cool down mediation, struggling not to fall asleep.
A few months later, the same exercise with some of the new students, did they understand?
Movement can be taught.
Movement can be copied.
Movement can be shared.
But the body needs to be relaxed and free of tension in order to be able to move freely.
The difference between just being a technique and actual martial arts is in the relaxed movement and flow.
Dragon exercises, junan taiso stretching, breathing, all help to relax the body, and are part of the daily building blocks of training, but sometimes more extreme lessons are needed.
Hard to be tense in the body when you are exhausted.