Tuesday 27 March 2012

Christchurch Shotokan Karate Instructor Training

In addition to training in the general class at the Christchurch Shotokan Karate Club (CPIT dojo) here is the current instructors class training. Please note: the exception of the tokui-gata, which of course dependent on the individual.

I. Junbi-undo: Light jiyu-kumite progressively building in intensity and range of motion/lowering of the hips followed by dynamic stretches.

II. Stationary kihon: (1) Sanbon-zuki (hachinoji-dachi); (2) Hidari jodan kizami-zuki kara migi chudan gyaku-zuki; (3) Migi jodan kizami-zuki kara hidari chudan gyaku-zuki; (4) Hidari chudan maeashi mae-geri kara migi jodan mae-geri; & (5) Migi chudan maeashi mae-geri kara hidari jodan mae-geri. – 50 maximum speed repetitions of “1-3” for a total of 250 tsukiwaza and 30 repetitions of “4 & 5” for a total of 120 keriwaza.

III. Ido-kihon: (1) Sanbon-zuki; (2) Jodan age-uke kara mae-geri soshite chudan gyaku-zuki; (3) Chudan soto-uke kara yori-ashi (kiba-dachi) yoko empi-uchi, uraken yokomawashi uchi soshite chudan gyaku-zuki; (4) Chudan shuto-uke (kokutsu-dachi) kara mae-ashi mae-geri soshite nukite; (5) Chudan uchi-uke kara kizami-zuki soshite gyaku-zuki; (6) Tenshin gyaku-zuki (Kaiten-shinagara gedan-barai kara chudan gyaku-zuki); (7) Ren-geri: Chudan mae-ashi mae-geri kara mae-geri; (8) Chudan mae-ashi mawashi-geri kara mawashi-geri; (9) Ushiro-geri; & (10) Yoko-keage ashi o kaete yoko-kekomi (kiba-dachi). – A minimum of 10 reps of every technique with maximum speed.

IV. Kumite: (a) Jiyu ippon kumite (jodan, chudan, mae-geri, yoko-kekomi, mawashi-geri & ushiro-geri); & (b) Kaeshi ippon kumite (as per jiyu-ippon kumite attacks). – Changing partners at least three times for both forms of kumite.

V. Kata: Presently tokui-gata ‘Unsu’ and general training of the 15 shitei-gata (Heian, Tekki, Junro, Bassai-Dai, Kanku-Dai, Empi & Jion). – Generally speaking three kata are practiced each day (three times with regular speed and twice slowly).

VI. Calisthenics: Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu kihon taiso and the typical impact work. The sessions are concluded with isometric stretches and a variety of comprehensive warm downs.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2012).

Wednesday 21 March 2012

Matt Brew Sensei back in New Zealand

Matthew Brew Sensei (3rd Dan) has returned the dojo after more than a decade in Tokyo.

We welcome him back to the club with open arms, and also his lovely wife Eiko, and son Luke (pictured next to him) and baby daughter Reona. Matt is now teaching Luke karate-do and has him in the beginners class at the Christchurch Shotokan Karate Club.

Matt was a member of our group (Asai JKA New Zealand in the 1990s) before joining the honbu-dojo in Japan, and has done private training under Shuseki-Shihan Tetsuhiko Asai (10th Dan) and Qi Gung under Mrs. Keiko Asai.

Needless to say, he has extensive knowledge of Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu. Overall, I'm personally thrilled to have him back, as is Christchurch Karate Club shibucho, Lyall Stone Sensei, and all of the members. Osu!

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2012).

Monday 19 March 2012

The 'art' of karate: Neglecting the `martial' part

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to establish that many of the techniques, movements and positions in karate are clearly not directly transferable for self-defence; however, everything has a purpose and can be readily traced back to a critical aspect of combat. Clearly, such an obscure comment has little weight as "anything" could potentially be related. Nevertheless, this is where intention/focus of one's training comes in.

Whether practicing kihon, kata or kumite we must always think "What is this for?" then train it in accordance with the bigger picture of our target(s). Just "perfecting the moves" is certainly not enough to turn our karate into an effective self-defence system. Likewise, just practicing applications of the moves will not give us the physical prowess needed to apply 'martial arts'.

From this perspective, the classical stances and techniques (such as those depicted) can serve to either improve the body and range of motion, and specific principles/applications for self-defence, or set us up with more things we can't use in reality.

Hence, how we approach our training every time we enter the dojo or self-train ultimately determines the potential effectiveness of our karate. Unfortunately, most dojo do not adaquately address this issue, or only do so from a theoretical perspective, or in an inconsistently novel way. This drops the 'martial' and leaves karate as a merely a form of 'art'.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2012).

Monday 5 March 2012

Transforming the impossible into merely difficult

Shulman (2005) states that “Habit makes novelty tolerable and surprise sufferable. The well-masked habit shifts new learning into our zones of proximal development, transforming the impossible into merely difficult” (p. 56).

Greetings and salutations… A lot has happened since I returned from teaching the karate seminars in Europe so this is my first post in a while. Anyway, I thought the aforementioned quote from Lee Shulman would be some great food for thought.

Long overdue in text, here is my present daily training schedule:

Kihon: (1) Chudan oi-zuki; (2) Sambon-zuki; (3) Yoko-kekomi kara yoko-keage; (4) Yoko-keage ashi o kaete yoko-kekomi; (5) Mae-geri kara mawashi-geri; (6) Mae-geri kara yoko-kekomi, mawashi-geri soshite ushiro-geri; (7) Jodan age-uke kara chudan gyaku-zuki; (8) Chudan soto-uke kara chudan gyaku-zuki; (9) Chudan uchi-uke kara chudan gyaku-zuki; & (10) Chudan shuto-uke kara nukite.

Kata: Focus on one kata exclusively each day of the week: Joko issei, Joko-nisei, Joko-sansei, Joko-yonsei; Joko-gosei; Jion; & Unsu.

Kumite: Jiyu-ippon kumite, Oyo-kumite & Jiyu-kumite.

I wish you all the very best in your training and good health. Osu, André.
PS – My next karate seminar will be hosted by the KUA (Karate Association of Australia) in June. For those attending, see you there!

Shulman, L. S. (2005). Signature pedagogies in the professions. Daedalus, 134(3), 52-59.

© André Bertel. Christchurch, New Zealand (2012).