Tuesday 28 October 2008


Often, at the Saturday class, Tachibana Shihan tells us to each select a kata we individually wish to work on. Last Saturday, after jiyu-kumite, I decided to do a kata which I’ve been neglecting for a fair while. The three Shotokan-ryu kata which initially came to mind were Jiin, Chinte and Wankan, I randomly chose to do Chinte, and certainly do not regret this decision! The tips, and corrections I received, turned out to be priceless.

Techniques polished by Shihan included the tate shuto uke in fudo-dachi hanmi followed by tate zuki in zenkutsu-dachi shomen; teisho soto uke moving into fudo dachi hanmi followed by teisho hasami uchi into zenkutsu dachi shomen; ryo sho sokumen gedan barai; seiken hasami zuki; and the three infamous hops, which conclude the kata. Each of these techniques were analysed from an oyo-jutsu (technique application) viewpoint, and this was perfectly related to the standard JKA-Shotokan form. I have to say that this bunkai, and co-adherence to the classical form, was a "real treat" for me... Phenomenal! It was by far the very best tuition I’ve ever received on Chinte kata.
The tuition I received during this training session made me re-evaluate my view of Chinte, and more importantly, further open my mind to other kata, which I've been neglecting. Such experiences for me really establish why 'I'm living in Japan'. It is insufficient to simply come here to train for a couple of weeks (like so many do and brag about it). In reality you need to be in Japan, training daily, for at least a month, merely to get 'a feeling' of traditional Japanese karate-do, and ideally train here for many years, under an 8th or 9th Dan Shihan.

OSU, André.
© André Bertel, Japan 2008

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