Monday 29 October 2007

New regime

Here is my current training regime
Finally here is my latest self-training schedule. To the many regulars visiting here, please excuse my delay in posting! As of late, I've literally been unable to spend sufficient time writing articles. In the coming month I hope to post several new ones... One of these has gone through many drafts, as it has direct relevance to my current 'technical approach' (and I really don't want to convey the wrong message). Kindest regards to you all from Kyushu, André
Stationary Kihon Training:

30-50 repetitions of each of my stationary techniques is the order of the month. I'm also giving special attention to the tightness, and formation, of my weapons (whilst maintaining softness/smoothness in my actions): (1) Chudan choku zuki from kiba dachi. (2) Jodan age uke from shizentai maintaining the shomen position of the hips. (3) Same as previous but with chudan soto ude uke. (4) Same as previous but chudan uchi ude uke. (5) Same as previous but gedan barai. Note: Techniques 2-5 are focused on isolating the upper body actions for further refinement, therefore I'm avoiding koshi no kaiten (hip rotation) when training these waza. Naturally, when in zenkutsu dachi, I'm still working them with large hip action. (6) Chudan oi zuki moving from shizentai into zenkutsu dachi (shomen). Stepping back after each punch then repeating on the opposite side. (7) From heisoku dachi execute mae geri advancing into zenkutsu dachi, step back and repeat alternating legs (much like exercise six). Special attention to hiki-ashi, correct josokutei, and 'ankle squeeze'. (8) From kosa dachi, yoko keage returning to kosa dachi, then execute yoko kekomi landing in kiba dachi. Once completed with my right leg, I perform the equal amount of repetitions with my left. (9) Chudan gyaku zuki in zenkutsu dachi (equally training both right and left punches). (10) Same as previous exercise, but jodan kizami zuki followed by chudan gyaku zuki.



This month my ido-kihon has returned to the utmost 'simple' of Shotokan karate techniques (literally the kihon that "really matters"). My repetitions are between 20 to 40, with 50% typically being warm up techniques (essentially refinement training): (1) Chudan oi zuki. (2) Jodan age uke kara chudan gyaku zuki. (3) Chudan soto ude uke kara chudan gyaku zuki. (4) Chudan uchi ude uke kara chudan gyaku zuki. (5) Chudan uchi ude uke kara chudan gyaku zuki. (6) Gedan barai kara chudan gyaku zuki. (7) Chudan shuto uke kara tate shihon nukite zuki (kokutsu dachi changing into zenkutsu dachi). (8) Mae geri. (9) Mawashi geri. (10) Yoko keage ashi o kaete yoko kekomi (kiba dachi). I'd like to add here, that I often execute my keriwaza (in ido-kihon) immediately after the punches, thus leaving the block/counters for the later part of my training. I find this allows me to reduce fatigue, and maintain better form, thus increasing the productivity of my practice.


Kata Keiko:

I've been so busy with kata as of late and have discovered many points to vastly improve myself. For me, this is a really exciting time in my personal karate development. My karate is now at its absolute technical peak, beyond any of my previous years in the art. I've also learned so many new teaching methods, as a karate 'coach', via these discoveries. My current kata work, for the most part, has been on Kankudai, Jion, Hangetsu, Nijushiho, and Gojushihodai. Presently, the average is between 15 and 20 kata in each of my training sessions, unless I'm only focusing on one. If this is the case, I rarely repeat it more than ten times in the workout. In line with my kihon, typically 50% of my training is in slow-motion, aiming to remedy any subtle errors I make. Of particular importance is my COG during each stage of every motion, not just at the beginning, middle and completion of techniques.


I wish everyone the very best in their training and thank you all for your support of this blog. I really appreciate the many kind emails I've recieved and sincerely look forward to sharing more of my karate journey with you.

© André Bertel, Japan 2007

Sunday 14 October 2007

Day trip to Fukiji Temple

Today I drove to visit Fukiji Temple in Bungo Takada (Oita prefecture), which is the oldest wooden structure in Kyushu. This, and two other historic temples, have been designated as Japan's greatest national treasures.

Constructed around the 12th century, it is not hard to see why it has been given the highest status. So it was certainly worth the long drive to visit this historical monument!

I admittedly skipped my dojo training today, so from now I'll do some home practice, as I'm getting withdrawal symptoms. All the best to everyone, and a big "Osu" from Japan.

© André Bertel, Japan 2007

Past posts (22-42)

Here are the links to posts 22-42. For links to my first 21 articles, please click here: I'm currently working on new articles, however this has been restricted by my intensive training schedule. I've currently made some rather extreme technical advancements, which have required my undivided attention. As I have said many times before, improvement is the greatest motivator in karate, and must be experienced consistently throughout ones training.

These current discoveries have allowed me to surpass my 'peak' and get to the next stage, so I'm very excited. I'll certainly share some of these points with you, in the coming months.
"Karate is neverending, if we stop advancing in our skill we are no longer worthy to be called karateka." - Asai Tetsuhiko
Osu, Andre Bertel


© André Bertel, Japan 2007

Thursday 4 October 2007

Past posts (1-21)

As a result of my busy schedule at present (karate-wise), I have been unable to finish several articles in the works. So I thought I'd post some links to all of the past 42 posts. If you haven't read through them, if interested, please do so.

For those waiting for my next article, I'm sorry for the delay, but training is my prority, and I promise that I will upload more ASAP. With over 100,000 visits (to this blog) in just a few months I'm over the moon, "Flying from the Tokyo tower", as Asai Sensei once said to my wife in Shinbashi.

I am particulary excited about all the invitations I have recieved to take seminars, and look forward to meeting many new friends.

Happy training, OSU! Andre Bertel


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© André Bertel, Japan 2007