Saturday 29 May 2010

Back in Japan & straight back to the dojo

The day after returning home to Japan from Europe my karate training schedule was updated, and has not altered since then. As always, heaps to work on, and no time to waste! Best regards from Oita.
With not so many repetitions I'm presently using the following 10 techniques for ido-kihon practice. Typically eight times each very slowly followed by eight times with snap. The main focus being full use of the legs and hips, maintenance of excellent posture and the avoidance of 'muscle force'. Please note I have not included here my daily repetitions of gyaku zuki and mae geri (from stationary hidari and migi zenkutsu-dachi).

(1) Chudan oi zuki; (2) Jodan age uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (3) Chudan soto uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (4) Chudan uchi uke kara chudan gyaku zuki; (5) Tenshin gyaku zuki (Kaiten shinagara gedan barai kara chudan gyaku zuki); (6) Chudan shuto uke (kokutsu dachi)kara tate shihon nukite; (7) Chudan mae ashi mae geri kara jodan mae geri; (8) Chudan mae ashi mawashi geri kara jodan mawashi geri; (9) Ushiro geri; and (10) Yoko keage kara yoko kekomi or yoko keage ashi o kaete yoko kekomi (kiba dachi).

This is my current kata training routine. For those who attended the recent technical seminars I taught in Germany and Italy, you will see that I am still practicing Seiryu extensively. Obviously exceptions to this schedule have occurred in dojo group trainings.

Kihon-gata: (a) Heian/Tekki; & (b) Junro/Kibaken (Shotokan & Asai-ryuha kihon kata: Alternate days).
Sentei-gata: Jion.
Jokyu-gata: Unsu, Hushu & Seiryu.

Since returning to Japan 'Kihon ippon kumite' (Basic one step sparring) has been the main focus. The key points include dropping (compressing) in defense, with a full rotation into hanmi, then sharply counter rotating into shomen. Throughout this process the spine, from the head to the tail bone does not tilt, but rather, remains vertical. And even more stressed is the attack, where the ma'ai (distance) is integral for making the training, for both partners, productive. Just to name one crucial point, often done incorrectly... "The attacker must be aiming to hit, and reserve the rotation, from a full hanmi into 'tight/locked shomen', until the end of their aiyumibashi (bridge step)". Simple yes, but this must be second nature, as a result of constant drilling, for one's entire karate life. This is the full-circle in karate-do, where kihon, kata and kumite are harmonious, and therefore meaningful.

© André Bertel, Japan 2010.

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