This year’s classes in Palmerston North were focused on correct maai (distancing) and three cardinal points of Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu technical form, which I always emphasise: (1) Koshi no kaiten (the rotation of the hips/waist); (2) Tai no shinhuku (the compression and expansion of the body); and (3) Junansei (softness/relaxation) to move with optimum economy. This was applied to standard Shotokan karate kihon, then to the kihon-gata—Heian Shodan; and sentei-gata—Empi.
Standard Shotokan Kumite taught to develop self-protection skills: Kihon Gohon Kumite (Fundamental Five Step Sparring) and Kihon Ippon Kumite (Fundamental One Step Sparring) were also practiced, especially focusing on proper maai, to have the potential to finish an adversary with a single blow; however, the majority of the time was dedicated to Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Freestyle One Step Step Sparring) and Tai no shinshuku. Overall, this lead to uchikomi and Jiyu-Kumite (Free Sparring) training, which perfectly linked the `Three K’s’: Kihon, Kata and Kumite.
ADVANCED PRIVATE LESSONS:
In addition to the two days of group training, Morgan Sensei also had private lessons with me, where we covered three Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu koten-gata: namely, Kakuyoku-Shodan, Kakuyoku-Nidan and Kakuyoku-Sandan. We also went over several of the standard Shotokan-ryu kata, including Wankan and Chinte, followed by the Oyo (Practical Applications) that Shuseki-Shihan Tetsuhiko Asai’s taught. It is worth mentioning here that Morgan has developed a tremendous oi-zuki with immense power and snap. It was great to see, but certainly wouldn't be great to be hit by it! A fantastic budo karate-waza: pure bujutsu!