The next training after the session at the university was at Cipete. From the university, we were driven through the Jakarta maze where we witnessed the filthy rich and the dirt poor co-exist side by side in an unexplainable social irony (unexplainable to me-emotionally but of course, Indonesia’s state of great economic divide is very easily explainable by the concept of naked capitalism, but I digress).
The sensei-s took us for lunch at Sensei-S’s favourite Javanese food joint, where my mister had his first taste of Nasi Gudeg and I had my Mie Saring, both of which were delicious. And of course, I washed it down with Es-Alpukat. What is it about the Javanese people? They are such great cooks, no?
After lunch, we headed to the dojo which was near the Javanese resto we were at. We were told to rest and at the very least, take a nap because the next training session would be tough on us, especially since we were fresh from training at the university earlier on.
The cosy dojo before the mats were laid. Outside surrounded by nature. Very zen, I loike!
Firstly, I fell in love with this particular dojo. It was really cosy and uncannily, not unlike the dojo I have been envisioning in my mind to be our own one fine day in the future. Secondly, upon reaching there, I spied a quaint cafe nearby and almost immediately, I decided to give the afternoon nap a pass. I snuck (or is it sneaked?) out once the sensei-s were dozing off and my mister was in the loo.
Part of the cafe from where I was sitting, which was on comfy couches full of pillows and National Geographic magazines. Very ideal lepak place and the drinks were good and cheap!
” Eating again?!!” my mister’s booming voice shattered my peace and tranquility about half an hour later, when he found me. I was gleefully slurping my mango-lychee smoothie and munching on a plate of siomay– while reading a 1988 edition of National Geographic which I found there. Darn. (sebok aje!!!). I told him that after the accident, sureeelyyyy, I can afford to indulge, no? He conceded defeat and ordered himself a latte. So we didn’t take a nap. Which I found out later was a big mistake on my part.
The next training was tough and then I understood why we were told to sleep. It was the lesson on Ki extension through katatedori, shihonage and iriminage techniques. These Indonesian students, are damn good I must admit. Made me feel like a lost rookie. But of course, they have Sensei-H all to themselves most of the time hence it is understandable that even their white-belters are like sho-dans to us. I couldn’t last the whole session. My head was throbbing and my stamina was ground zero. I bowed out and sat outside the dojo, just observing things that impressed me, namely the discipline and commitment of these Indonesian students.
I have more than a thing or two to learn from my fellow Indonesian counterparts. Firstly, they respect the teacher like no other. Secondly, they respect the knowledge and the art and understand them the way true budo should be understood. Thirdly, they respect time. With Jakarta’s famous macet, I find it very amazing that almost all of them report for training way before time and were all ready way before Sensei stepped into the dojo to start the lesson.
When training session was over, from where I was observing them (a comfy couch outside the dojo- nursing a ‘benjol’), after the last bow which signifies that training for the day was over, within 5 minutes flat, everyone was back into the dojo, this time bowing and submitting to a higher being, led by Sensei-H.
Maghrib prayers right after the evening training session. That sole lady at the back prostrating is my new friend, R. Kecil-kecil cili padi. Small and mighty lady this one. Already a shodan (black belter).