Tuesday 30 November 2010

The Weapons of the Body

The vast array of karada no buki (weapons of the body) make karate-do extremely unique as an unarmed system of self-defence. Here is a list of the most common, as taught in Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu. I failed to include the head, hips and teeth as weapons, but these are also standard.
Please note: In some of the photos I have intentionally positioned the karada no buki to more clearly show how to correctly form them (as opposed to showing it in the typical manner for actual application).Osu, André.
© André Bertel. New Zealand, 2010.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Traditional Karate-Do Beach Training - Christchurch, New Zealand.

This morning a small group of karateka from the Christchurch Shotokan Karate Club did practice at North Beach from 6am. The training was initiated by a run and around 100 seiken choku-zuki and 50 mae-geri, followed by oi-zuki and mae-geri in standard ido-kihon form. We then went through the Heian and Junro kata, kihon ippon-kumite, jiyu-kumite, and some other calistenics including the traditional `beach sumo'. The session was rounded off by seiken-tate (fore fist knuckle push ups) and an extended time in mokuso. Well done to everyone who attended! Here are some photos from this mornings keiko courtesy of Mizuho. You can click on the photos to enlarge them. Well done everyone! Osu, André.

© André Bertel. New Zealand, 2010.




Tuesday 23 November 2010

Site Video Links Updated

Arriving home tonight from training, at the Christchurch Shotokan Karate Club, I found several emails requesting links to my previously uploaded videos. This occurred because early this afternoon I provided a link to a new video kindly uploaded by Silvio Cannizzo from Mira, Italy (please click here to check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CBEtiICjBw).

Below are the previously uploaded links to videos. Please feel free to comment and rate the videos. My objective is to talk with my karate and to keep Asai Sensei's karate alive in the purest technical form. The direct links below are all from 201o, and the following link including my karate with my late teacher Tetsuhiko Asai, some compeition clips and a sample of Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu kata.

These samples of karate give a general indication of the karate tuition available at the Christchurch Shotokan Karate Club & Tetsubukan. For people interested in attending practice, please feel free to email me at: andre.mizuho@hotmail.co.jp


Self-training in the mountains (Oita, Japan): http://www.youtube.com/user/andrebertel?feature=mhum#p/u/3/-sCwEte1Zsw

Teaching in Hamburg, Germany: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBHfwT0n8I8

Teaching in Lignano Sabbiadoro in Italy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjWjasrt2qw

Teaching in Ahrensburg, Germany: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LW-UgZECcY

Teaching in Shibuya, Tokyo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCz1f8ruhTM

For all video links prior to this (pre-2010) please click here and navigate/select clips accordingly from the following post: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2009/09/andre-bertels-karate-do-video-links.html

© André Bertel. New Zealand, 2010.

Monday 22 November 2010

More video footage from Italy

Here is some footage kindly uploaded by Silvio Cannizzo Sensei from the seminars I taught in Italy earlier this year. This was the final practice on the last day of training in Mira, and shows the great karate spirit of Mauro Mion Shihan (7th Dan) and Guiseppe Formenton Shihan (7th Dan), and that of their students.
Best wishes to all of our wonderful karate friends in Italy, OSU! André & Mizuho.
© André Bertel. New Zealand, 2010.
PS - Here is a link to a previous article relating to the seminars in Italia. Click here: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2010/05/video-footage-from-my-seminars-in-italy.html

Friday 19 November 2010

Sinking the tanden

My mind set in regards to stances, whether deep or shallow, is to sink my tanden into the ground. I also do this when ground fighting and when sitting in seiza for mokuso. Insignificant of what style or martial art one practices, this is a particularly useful approach as it works to maintain optimal balance, especially in a real confrontation (when facing a sudden and violent attack). This was a foundational aspect of Shotokan-ryu, but is often misunderstood.

Reality check: Many people find it difficult to deal with a violent blitz of punches being rained down on them. They get on the `back foot’ and their well-polished skills fall to pieces. It is of little wonder why these people really start questioning their style and training methods. Working in the security industry for years allowed me to see lots of martial artists find out that their skills were for the `dojo only'.
More advantages of sinking the tanden: Of course `sinking the tanden’ is also applicable when moving. Leading movement from the tanden is faster, “keeps your head back” and when perfected minimises `telegraphing’; not to mention it results in a smoother transfer of power into the target.
You may now be thinking "You forgot the physical benefits of low stances". Well, if you think this, you've missed the point. The depth of the stance is not the point of this article, as sinking the tanden is what really counts. And insofar as leg strengthening is concerned, there are far better ways to do this i.e. - squats, plyometrics etc. The benefits of a low stance are for application, but that is most certainly worth another article.
Regardless of the stance, position of movement `sink your tanden’ and do everything from your centre. This is one of the skills that the Japanese consistently master and Westerners consistently do not, and is a key reason why Japanese karateka are perceived to `technically look different’.
© André Bertel. New Zealand, 2010.