Tuesday 28 June 2011

The Karatedo of Andre Bertel

Recently I've posted several videos. Here is one with a brief profile, a handful of photos and some video footage.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Saturday 25 June 2011

Another video from Germany

Here is another video from my IJKA Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu Karate seminars in Ahrensburg, Germany 2010. For the other more recent videos please click on this link: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2011/06/christchurch-karate-club-homepage.html

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Monday 20 June 2011

Christchurch Karate Club Homepage

A quick link to the homepage of Sensei Lyall Stone's dojo, the CHRISTCHURCH SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB (IJKA New Zealand Honbu Dojo) based at the CPIT Gymnasium in central Christchurch City. Several video links from this site have been featured: http://christchurchshotokan.blogspot.com/2011/06/style-of-christchurch-shotokan-karate.html


© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Sunday 19 June 2011

Another Asai Karate video uploaded

Here is another newly uploaded video on youtube. There have been other clips made public over the last couple of days.

Osu, Andre.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

www.andrebertel.blogspot.com FOURTH ANNIVERSARY

Today is the fourth anniversary of this website (here’s a link to the post I made earlier today about this: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2011/06/4th-anniversary-of-andre-bertels-karate.html).

I also decided to upload a video for you. If you have enjoyed my blog over the last four years and hopefully learned plenty from it, please do make a comment! To check it out and post some feedback click on this link:

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Saturday 18 June 2011

The 4th Anniversary of Andre Bertel's Karate-Do

Today marks four years since I created this website and made my very first post: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2007/06/back-in-japan.html And if you've been following the site, you will know that the objectives stated in that initial post have remained unchanged.

YOUTUBE CHANNEL: Here is a link to my channel which supplements this site: http://www.youtube.com/user/andrebertel?feature=mhum Have browse through, and feel free to make some comments!

VISITORS HERE! Looking at my stats it is wonderful for me to see that many karateka from around the world have visited this website over the last four years. Going by most of the emails I've recieved they have come to the site to learn more about about traditional Japanese karate, the IJKA, Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu, and my late teacher, Shuseki-Shihan Tetsuhiko Asai (10th Dan). Based on the most recent stats there have been people logging on to this site in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Cape Verde, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jamaica, Kiribati, , Latvia, Lithuania, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Mexico, Micronesia, Mongolia, Namibia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States of America and Uruguay. This is a real honour for me, and keeping in mind the mission statement of the site, I hope it has enlightened you all in regards to Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu Karatedo. Once again I offer my deepest thanks to everyone who have visited 'Andre Bertel's Karate-Do' and especially to those who have sent me personal messages. ARIGATO!


© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Friday 17 June 2011

André Bertel’s Karate-Do Video Links

(41) SEMINARS IN PALMERSTON NORTH, NEW ZEALAND (1): http://www.youtube.com/user/andrebertel?feature=mhum#p/f/10/EsrnxLWvBpk

(40) SEMINARS IN PALMERSTON NORTH, NEW ZEALAND (2): http://www.youtube.com/user/andrebertel?feature=mhum#p/f/15/iUNVc_uRubY

(38) BUNKAI TRAINING FOR MICHAEL BARR SENSEI (IJKA ENGLAND 4th DAN): http://www.youtube.com/user/andrebertel?feature=mhum#p/f/13/gUia8Rf9gPg





© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Wednesday 15 June 2011

Heian & Junro

We use five Heian and Junro kata side-by-side to acquire and achieve superior foundational techniques, and physical understanding of bujutsu (martial arts) karate. The difference between these two series’ of kata is best illustrated by the most common basic karatedo manoeuvres such as gedan-barai (‘lower level sweep’) which not coincidentally is the first technique of both Heian-shodan and Junro-shodan.

Comparison of 'movement one' in Heian-Shodan & Junro-Shodan: Without excessive detail, in Heian-shodan, the gedan-barai is performed by compressing the legs and simultaneously the arms via the two arm chambering action (with compression of the right hip leftward). It is then completed by the shift into zenkutsu-dachi (front stance) with a precisely coordinated gyaku-kaiten (reverse rotation) into hanmi (the `half-facing position’). The hiki-te or pull-back hand plays an important part in not only self-defence application, but also to scaffold how to master optimal body action to maximise snap. Alternatively in Junro-shodan the movement is more natural as it is a single arm gedan-barai as if reactively defending in kumite. In this case the hiki-te functions as merely a method of application and physical awareness as opposed to being used to ‘help’ with the body action. Power is instead derived from natural energy by (a) dropping the weight naturally down into kiba-dachi; and (b) use of a whipping action, in particular, shoulder and elbow snap.

Using these ten kata (Heian 1-5 & Junro 1-5) together to develop high-class foundational techniques cannot be achieved if they are all executed in the same manner. Their strength is found in their differences, and these differences are found within their correct dynamics, and application. Now sadly, most people, even those in Tokyo, are simply practicing ten Heian kata and calling five of them `Junro’. I promised to Asai Sensei before he passed away that I would continue practicing and teaching karate his way, and that starts with the IJKA versions of the five Junro kata.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Monday 13 June 2011

Asai Sensei & student Andre Bertel: Introductory ducking (Drills 1 & 2)

Everyone knows that one of Tetsuhiko Asai Sensei's trademark skills was his uncanny ability to "go in" ducking under his opponents attacks and deliver an unpredictable retaliation. This video features the first two basic/introductory IJKA Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu ducking drills. These practice: (1) Ducking under jodan gyaku-zuki (upper level reverse punch); and (2) Ducking under jodan huri-uchi (upper level swinging strikes).

In this footage I am assisting Asai Sensei at the 2003 Technical Seminars in Christchurch, New Zealand. Rather than harp on and write a technical article describing the main points, I'll let Sensei explain them to you himself, via this video clip. OSU, André.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Sunday 12 June 2011

Rakuyo Kata Performed Slowly

In the video featured here Asai Sensei had me perform the IJKA kata RAKUYO (Falling Leaf) slowly.


Asai Sensei's commentary is worth listening to! Sensei liked my kata, as I did it the way he wanted me to - as pure BUJUTSU (MARTIAL ART). That is probably why he shared so many of his koten-gata with me and always had me demonstrate kata when assisting him at seminars. According to Mrs. Asai (now IJKA PRESIDENT), "watch my husbands body language when he had you demonstrate a kata for him"... This is really shown in this video!

Needless to say, I still perform kata as Sensei taught me focusing on practical application, smoothness, fluidity, natural action and snap. Asai Sensei defined "precise kata" as "karate for actual kumite/self-defence application".

Whilst this is not explosive video footage, I hope you appreciate it for what it is. Rakuyo kata performed slowly in front of my late karate teacher, the legendary Shotokan Master Shuseki-Shihan Tetsuhiko Asai.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Thursday 9 June 2011

Youtube `Andre Bertel Uchideshi' video

This video is for all of the other uchideshi of Tetsuhiko Asai Sensei who continue to follow his karate path (which was initiated and is still maintained by his personal group, the I.J.K.A). My best wishes to everyone, Osu! - Andre Bertel.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Wednesday 8 June 2011

The Zone of Proximal Development

The zone of proximal development was one of Russian scientist Lev Vygotsky’s most important contributions to the field of developmental psychology. It is defined by the void between what a person can independently do and what they can only do with assistance (Kail, 2010). A basic example might be when a karate instructor positions a beginner student into an exact zenkutsu-dachi (front stance), however when by themselves the individual cannot make the stance. For example their stance is say, too narrow, or has incorrect distribution of weight. Of course this not limited to single movements and positions but also renzokuwaza (combination techniques), kata, kumite (sparring) etc.

Wertsch & Tulviste (1992) stressed that the instructor supervising the student inside of the zone of proximal development must be more skilled, and preferably, a highly skilled individual. Therefore, seriously taking into account the teacher-student learning process, how we are taught, practice, refine skills, and so forth, it readily becomes obvious that whoever guides us from dependence, to independence, really matters!

This sums up why it is absolutely critical to seek the highest level of karate instruction available. Try to maximise your own zone of proximal development by seeking out the very best instructor or instructors, who can guide you with the utmost expertise and ensure that your karate will blossom.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).


Kail, R.V. (2010). Children and their development (5th ed.). Pearson Education, Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersy. USA.

Wertsch, J.V., & Tulviste, P. (1992). L.S. Vygotsky and contemporary developmental psychology. Developmental Psychology, 28, 548-557.

Karate without a warm up

In this video I was asked to give an impromptu karate demonstration for a class of Japanese elementary school children. It was a case of take off the slippers and socks, and just do it. No warm up, just "go". This is a far from a precise embu when one has ample time to practice, be in a loose fitting karatedo uniform, and get thoroughly warmed up with nicely stretched muscles. That is why I thought I'd share this here today... Sometimes there is no time for a warm up.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Tuesday 7 June 2011

Basic tenshin & muchiken video

Today my late teacher Shuseki-Shihan Tetsuhiko Asai Shihan (10th Dan) would have turned 76 years old. Here is a short video on two introductory techniques/principles that he emphasised (namely 'tenshin' & 'muchiken'). Clearly you can see the origin of his former right-hand man Mikio Yahara Sensei here. This is the origin of what is now known as KWF karate! The footage comes from an Asai-ha Shotokan karatedo seminar I taught last year in the North Island of New Zealand and is courtesy of Morgan Dilks Sensei (Chief instructor of USKU New Zealand). I've uploaded this in memory of Asai Sensei today. OSU!

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2011).

Saturday 4 June 2011

Youtube Video Links

Again by request, here are some of my Youtube video links including competition, seminars around the world, training etc. Kindest regards from Christchurch, New Zealand, Andre. http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2011/01/andre-bertel-karate-do-video-links.html



FEBRUARY SEMINARS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kckvNnOa8Sk

JANUARY SEMINAR IN CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND (Begins with a slow rendition of Kakuyoku-Nidan Kata): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m34qsesUDEQ

SOME MORE COMPETITION CLIPS: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-kumite-videos-posted-on-youtube.html and http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2011/01/three-more-kumite-videos-on-youtube.html

VIDEO FOOTAGE FROM EARLY LAST DECADE: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-video-andre-bertel-ijka-jks-new.html

ASSISTING ASAI SENSEI TEACHING IN HAWAII, U.S.A: http://andrebertel.blogspot.com/2011/02/new-video-assisting-asai-sensei-in.html

© André Bertel, Christchurch, New Zealand 2011.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Jodan, chudan, gedan...

My two hour self-training yesterday consisted of only two techniques in ido-kihon; oi-zuki (chasing punch) and mae-geri (front snap kick). These were practiced individually then in combination with a mix of chudan/middle-level and jodan/upper-level targets . Here are the eight VERY SIMPLE ido-kihonwaza which I practiced:

(1a) Chudan oi-zuki in two steps; (1b) Chudan oi-zuki (pictured); (2) Jodan oi-zuki; (3a) Chudan mae-geri in three steps; (3b) Chudan mae-geri in two steps; (3c) Chudan mae-geri; (4) Jodan mae-geri; (5a) Chudan mae-geri kara chudan oi-zuki in two steps; (5b) Chudan mae-geri kara chudan oi-zuki; (6) Chudan mae-geri kara jodan oi-zuki; (7) Jodan mae geri kara chudan oi-zuki; & (8) Jodan mae-geri kara jodan oi-zuki (pictured below).

My reason for writing this post: A important point in solo kihon & kata training is practicing to punch at chudan, and jodan, in relation to your own physique - these are 'your own' solar plexus and chin heights respectively. All too often I have to correct beginners for punching too high for jodan, or too high, or too low, for chudan. Centralising your techniques is also a key point . Keep in mind that decisive targeting in solo training facilitates pin-point accuracy in kumite (where the opponents height, distance and movement alter where you aim your techniques).

Conclusion: Whilst this is `common sense', to maximise training, we really must be strict on ourselves. When doing solo practice make sure that chudan IS CHUDAN, jodan IS JODAN, and (not mentioned today) gedan IS GEDAN. If nothing else, I hope this is a good reminder. I for one certainly need them! All the very best, OSU.

© André Bertel, Christchurch, New Zealand 2011.

Wednesday 1 June 2011

Christchurch Karate Club Website

People have emailed me wishing to access the official blog of the CHRISTCHURCH SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB (I.J.K.A NEW ZEALAND). People who are seriously seeking to learn authentic Shotokan karate in Christchurch eventually find their way there. Here's the link: http://christchurchshotokan.blogspot.com/

© André Bertel, Christchurch, New Zealand 2011.