Sunday 30 August 2020

39 years of karate: from my beginnings

 Today I trained on my 39th year of Karate, literally today. I'm still just a beginner, but more keen than ever in my own training and as a teacher. Osu!

基本 (KIHON)


Today I practiced the following five single kihon waza and our basic combination of elbow strikes.


1.    Jodan age uke (heiko dachi and zenkutsu dachi).

2.    Chudan soto uke (heiko dachi and zenkutsu dachi).


3.    Chudan choku-zuki (heiko dachi).

4.    Jodan choku zuki (heiko dachi).

5.    Chudan mae-geri keage (heisoku dachi).


6.    Renzokuwaza: Tate enpi uchi kara ushiro enpi uchi, mae enpi uchi soshite yoko enpi uchi (heiko dachi).


While it would be dishonest to provide the numbers of repetitions I did, I can say that ‘I did a lot’. For each waza and the final renzokuwaza. The focus was on high quantity of high-quality techniques. The focal points were: (a) technical form and trajectory—‘technique within technique; (b) softness/flexibility/fluidity; (c) fixing of the eyes; (d) ground power; (e) use of the hips/abdomen/core; (f) explosive speed; and (g) zanshin with ‘recovery’. All simple, yes… Well, not really…





For the last couple of days, I’ve been reviewing 浪手 (Roshu), which is one of the five so-called ‘natural element forms’. Like, many of the others, I was fortunate to have been taught this kata directly (one-on-one) from Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei. Consequently, the version I practice and teach, is significantly different.




Technically speaking, Roshu mimics the motion of waves in both defense and counteroffensive techniques. Asai Sensei stated that this kata incorporates “…ebbing, flowing, swirling, rising and crashing down of ocean waves”.


Unfortunately, this aspect of the kata has been lost. The version practiced and taught now probably shouldn’t be called ‘ROshu’ but, rather, ‘ROBOTshu’ as the ‘wave like motion’ has been removed.

Osu, André


© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2020).

No comments: