Friday 17 February 2012

Special classes at the Hamburg Karate Dojo.

I once again greatly enjoyed teaching classes at Sensei Stefan Scharnweber’s Hamburg Karate-dojo. I was introduced to Stefan by Oliver and Yan Schomburg two years ago when I taught IJKA Karate there.

Stefan is the kata coach for Northern Germany and besides having excellent Shotokan technique is a really neat guy. Like me, an Unsu man! For example when driving a red light is what he refers to as “cherry green”… He is a classic Sensei, so I can’t wait to host him at my home in Japan when we are back there.

Away from his humorous side he is a direct student of the late Taiji Kase Sensei and has graded to Godan (5th Degree Black Belt) under the legendary Hiroshi Shirai Sensei. And now, for the last two years, he has been studying Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu with me, so with combination of karate “Kase-Shirai-Asai” he has a lot of traditional karate knowledge.

Anyway, the classes I taught at his dojo in Hamburg were focused on the coordination of koshi no kaiten (hip rotation), tai no shinshuku (the contraction and stretch of the body), and junansei (which is basically ‘softness’). Added to this were Miyamoto Musashi’s strategies of Sen No Sen, Go No Sen and in particular, Tai No Sen.

Overall, the sessions were a fantastic set-up for higher level training, which Stefan and I discussed for the development of traditional karate-do in the Hamburg region. When I return there will be a Jokyu (high-level) course of IJKA Asai-ha Shotokan Karate, which will come straight from Asai Sensei’s socho-geiko. This time, I was proven sincerity and strong kokoro. Many thanks to Stefan Sensei, Marcel, Piotr, Thomas and all the other members at the Hamburg Dojo. OSU!

(c) André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2012).

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