Monday 8 January 2024


 On the afternoon of January 1st, I had my first training of 2024. Unlike the previous day, New Years Eve—which was all 基本 (Kihon), my New Years Day practice was focused on kata.  My first kata of the year was 五十四歩小 (Gojushiho Sho).


Many of you know that from the early 1990s, I was focused on 五十四歩大 (Gojushiho Dai) as it was, and still is, better for my physique; nevertheless, I still enjoy ‘Sho’ as a variation to my more ‘standard self-practice’. Needless to say, many of my Japanese trainees, and trainees around the world, specialize in this kata.


My focus in this practice was on smoothness of movements/transitions and sharp projection of waza; furthermore, stance moderation dictated by posture and alignment to optimize technical effectiveness.


In addition to this kata I also did 慈恩 (Jion), 鶴翼 (Kakuyoku), and

手 (Shote).

Overall, a solid start for 令和6年 (the sixth year of the Reiwa Emperor). Big things to come this year!!!


I want to wish everyone here in Japan and around the world happiness, good health and excellent training. In sum, "Happy New Year".


© Andre Bertel. Oita City, New Zealand (2024).

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