Tuesday 16 December 2008

Teaching Seminars in Hawaii

This 'new' video footage I've just uploaded tonight on Youtube was actually taken in early 2003 (in Honolulu, Hawaii). Asai Sensei had invited me to go to Hawaii for his seminars there, and used me as his demonstration assistant for most of the time.
Slightly off-topic, I introduced my student Matthew Brew, to Asai Sensei and Mrs. Asai at this seminar. Matt later became a student of Mrs. Asai in Tokyo, learning her Kiho-cise. Matt, if you read this, I've misplaced your contact details. Please fire me an email! andre.mizuho@hotmail.co.jp
After the seminars with Asai Shuseki-Shihan, Charles Lee Sensei (Chief Instructor of JKS Hawaii & 'Technical Director' of Japan Karate Shotorenmei USA: http://www.jks-americas.com/) requested that I teach him and his students some new Asai-ryuha kata. Firstly I privately taught Charles Lee several times; then a small group of black belts at Edward Fujiwara Sensei's dojo; then finally taught a few sessions to Lee Sensei and his senior JKS Hawaii students (as seen in this footage) at both the JCC dojo, and the Waiau dojo.
The new kata I taught them were Shotei-dai and Rakuyo (Asai Sensei recommended that I teach them these two kata , prior to his departure. He also ordered me to call him, immediately upon my return to New Zealand, to report how things went). Additionally, I corrected their Senka, which Lee Sensei and his black belts had learned incorrectly, from Asai Sensei's video tapes.
A pat on the back or a set-up for a joke? Asai Sensei later congratulated me, when I telephoned him from New Zealand, telling me that I was the first instructor to introduce these kata ('Rakuyo and Shotei-dai') to the United States. But then said, "if wrong, Andre-kun, big trouble!" I now know he was joking, but in saying that at the time I didn't! Asai Sensei was very different to me in private training and in Japan (than when he taught open seminars, especially when he was outside of Japan). When he smiled and laughed (when teaching or examining students), it actually wasn't a good sign. Asai Sensei in private trainings, had no smiles, and was always very-very serious. I will discuss Japanese 'tate-mae' in a future article.

So what's in the footage? Well, really speaking, nothing spectacular, as I'm mostly 'walking' the JKS Hawaii black belt members, and Sensei Lee (pictured next to me on the Youtube 'video thumbnail'), 'through the motions' of Shotei-dai and Rakuyo. In saying that, the footage is special to me because I was teaching karate in Hawaii, and it was interesting to see the technical standards of the black belts there.
Click on the link if you wish to view the video: http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=5Oijw2xpzTU
© André Bertel, Japan 2008

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