Monday, 15 March 2021


At present my 基本 (KIHON) training is very streamlined; that is, I’m back in a phase of really focusing on one or two points per session and/or one or two categories of waza. Periodically I’ve done this, especially since my early 20s. For example, uke followed by hangekiwaza (counterattacks) or such techniques and, in addition to them, (for example) various forms of ashi-barai.

Each day in my kihon practice I’m keeping my reps lower than usual and intensively focusing on high-quality execution at all times. While this is always a core aim in keiko, I’m really pushing hard at present in this regard. This conscientiousness is demanding and is literally what is known as ‘DELIBERATE PRACTICE’. Of course, I always do this, but my aim is to break through some barriers, so I’m really pushing hard in this regard at the moment.


My current (KATA) training presently includes: 1. A random SHITEI-GATA (平安/鉄騎 – Heian/Tekki); 2. 明鏡三段 (Meikyo Sandan); 3. 王冠 (Wankan); 4. 百八歩t (Hyakuhappo); and 5. 掌手小 (Shote Sho). These are all demanding kata for me, so I have to swallow my pride and do my best. I do each of these kata at least four times per day. Slowly and step-by-step, I’m working to build up my skill via them—especially in regards to fluidity within the transitions.


Uncoincidentally, my current 組手 (KUMITE) practice is also focused on fluidity and transitions for power; in particular, from an internal/soft perspective and ‘wave motions.’ While I am not practicing them ‘in full’, I’m often referencing techniques, combinations and principles from the five ‘NATURAL ENERGY KATA’: 1. 雲手 (Unsu); 2. 火手 (Kashu); 3. 水手 (Suishu); 4.  (Roshu); and 風手 (Hushu).



© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2021). 

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