Saturday 16 August 2008

Memorial Training Report

Admittedly, this year, my karate-do practices in memory of Asai Sensei were far less physical than last years. I completed three trainings in total: morning practice (Asai-ryuha/'Bujutsu kata'); midday practice (Shotokan kata); and evening practice (kihon keiko).

Kihon (Evening practice): For kihon I covered several of the drills Sensei consistently worked on in morning practice. I also went through the alternative dan grading syllabus that he advocated (photos kindly taken by my wife when I was training). Overall my focus was on 'tenshin', 'snap', 'muchiken', 'keriwaza', 'ashi-uke' and Asai Sensei's infamous 'three styles' of karate.
Kata (Midday & morning practice): I covered only a few kata (not all 63 Asai-ryu kata like last year), namely Sensei's three favourite standard Shotokan kata, Tekki Nidan, Empi and Nijushiho; and several of his 'own kata', including Junro, Kibaken and Joko (for basic training); plus Kakuyoku-nidan and Hushu (for advanced training).

Whilst not being three endurance sessions, I still lost a lot of sweat with the humidity of the Japanese summer. The practice sessions were great because as planned, they allowed me time to really think about what Asai sensei taught me over the years, and also the many enjoyable social times we spent together.

RIP Asai Sensei

© André Bertel, Japan 2008

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