Friday 10 August 2007

Some kyogi kumite clips of me on YouTube

If you haven't seen these on YouTube, here are two clips of me competing. Although not the best, they are certainly better than nothing! Hopefully, as time goes by, my karate students, can help me to transfer all of my competition videos, over to DVD. In doing so, I'll most certainly upload more footage.

The first clip is seven seconds of footage titled, 'Shotokan Karate 101: Basic Ashi Barai'. This clip features one of my tokui-renzokuwaza, and may be useful (fun) for shobu-ippon newbies. In this case, you can clearly see, as I move in, I merely slip the opponents punches, as they have no potential. Prior to this, my mawashi geri feint draws the opponents COG high. The important point, in this particular ashi-barai, is slipping around the 'outside' of the opponents punch. This basic angle 'off the line', allows the sweep to take out both legs, via the 'scissors action', of the upper and lower body. This 'mock' tactic is one I reserved, for fighting kyu grades, or dan karateka with poor basics. I do not recommend 'openly' entering ma'ai, like in this footage (with no kamae), against any opponent, with average skill or better.

In the second video clip (titled 'Ippon-waza'), I am fighting my friend Phil Wilson, who recently got to the top 16, at the JKS World Cup in Okinawa. Here again, in this clip, I feint, then simultaneously slip my opponents attempted punch, and go for ashi-barai. In the process, Philip snatches my dogi with his punching hand. I capitalized on Phil's natural response, by turning, and immediately launching a jodan punch. This technique is clearly a finisher in a real fight, and therefore an 'Ippon'. If I had not 'tensed' to 'put the breaks on', serious damage would have been done. Although not the best example, it certainly demonstrates 'what a real ippon' is. There is no second chance.


Am I anti sports karate?
I decided to upload this post, to give a positive reflection in my blog, for those interested in competition kumite. What I am trying to make clear, to all visitors to this blog, is that "I'm not 'completely anti' sports karate". As I've publicly stated numerous occassions, tournaments can be beneficial, if used as motivational tool for increased training (frequency and intensity). It certainly worked well for me, throughout my teens and 20's.


Taking a dive, or staying down to win: A credit to Philip Willson
Sadly, when I was competing, the tactics of karateka 'taking a dive' and 'staying down', became commonplace, in the tournament arena. I cannot count the number of matches I "lost" by hansoku (disqualification), due to my 'shameful' opponents pretending to be unconscious. I'd like to give credit to Phil Willson, in the 'Ippon-waza' clip, as he didn't resort to a 'Hollywood' tactic to win by hansoku. Instead, he demonstrated the true karate spirit of 'never giving up'. He may have missed the Academy Award for Best Actor, but certainly gets the 'People's Choice' award!


Even though kyogi-karate is no longer on my training agenda, I appreciate the lessons it taught me (and the motivation it ignited). More than that, I enjoyed the cameradarie of such events, especially at national level, where it was a chance to catch up with friends. One thing I learned was that 'competitions and competition results, do not determine a better karateka', only the level of ones kihon does.

I hope everyone enjoys the clips! Regards, Andre
© André Bertel, Japan 2007

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