Monday 7 January 2019


Today I completed HATSUGEIKO: my first dojo training of 2019. In fact, my last time in the dojo was on December 24th, which has been my longest break, from karate training, in over 25 years!!

To reiterate past posts, this 13 day break occurred as I had 'non-karate related' surgery on December 25th, followed by several days in hospital. So, until today, I was only able to go very lightly through kihon and kata at home. 

So what did my first dojo training of this New Year consist of? Typically, I begin the year with lots of kihon and kata; however, this year I focused on five fundamental kata. Namely:

(1)  気法 (Kihouken);
(2)  序の型 (Jyonokata);
(3)  平安初段 (Heian Shodan);
(4)  逆突きの型 (Gyakuzukinokata); and
(5)  順路初段Junro Shodan

Simple focal points to kickstart 2019: My areas of focus were to optimally use my kinetic chain for each fundamental technique in all five of these kata; kokyu (breathing); kakato chushin, especially in regards to sokuto; generic alignment - pelvic, backbone and head/neck; and harmony of the hands and feet—te-ashi onaji. Another point of focus, related to these points was the ‘oi-zuki—gyaku-zuki’ connection; in sum, the best timing for impacting as fast and damaging as possible.

With these points in mind,  逆突きの型 (Gyakuzukinokata) was the `main meal`. Like other formal exercises, I have a unique version of this kata, which comes directly from Asai Sensei. Several movements are different from all other versions and correspond directly with 平安 (Heian), 順路 (Junro) and 常行 (Joko).

Conclusion of Hatsugeiko: To conclude this year’s Hatsugeiko, and the final year of 平成 (HEISEI), I executed 百八歩 (Hyakuhachiho) several times, which allowed me to concentrate on `sinking into my seika tanden` and, in doing so, maximize the utilization of `core power`. Overall, a great start for the New Year.

Lots and lots to come in 2019. Stay tuned!!! Also, be sure to regularly check into the sites offical YouTube Channel:
 あけましておめでとうございます. 押忍!
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2019).

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