Sidney’s Glass Beach turned out into an outdoor dojo Monday afternoon as Hastings Martial Arts hosted what promises to be an annual tradition.
Nearly 30 students stood neatly lined up and waist deep in the water just off Glass Beach and performed 100 punches with the iconic blue Satellite Fish Market Building looming in the background.
Facing them on the walkway were close to 100 family members and friends watching this feat of endurance.
Cory Hastings, who holds a 5th degree black belt and serves as head instructor of Hastings Martial Arts, said Monday’s training exercise was meant to help the students learn to control their breathing and focus regardless of the external factors such big crowds, cold water and so on.
“On a deeper, more spiritual level, it’s meant to help students learn to persevere and overcome adverse situations,” he said. “It’s not easy in there and this helps them realize that they can achieve more if they put their mind to it. This is a really important philosophy in our karate training.”
Monday’s training session was the first time Hasting’s dojo has done what he calls Winter Spirit Training.
“I have personally participated in a similar event for the past 10 years with another dojo from Victoria, but this year marks the beginning of our Annual Winter Spirit Training in Sidney.”
So here is the inevitable question: how was the water?
“I was cold,” he said, laughing. “But when the formal training is over it actually ends up feeling really refreshing and invigorating. There were a lot of high fives, smiles and hugs when it was all said and done.”
But it won’t be the last time. “This will be a yearly tradition and a great way to start off the year training together,” he said.
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