Monday 7 May 2012

Keigo Abe Sensei - Christchurch Seminars 2012

Both videos from the seminars are now on youtube (updated today: 28 June, 2012). Please follow the links below. For those who participated I will briefly outline the two seminars here. By the way, if you are wondering why I'm doing kentsui/tetsui on the table, Abe Sensei was telling me 'why uchiwaza was his specialty'. If you get a chance to ask Abe Sensei about this, there is an interesting story (regarding kumite against Mikami Sensei in 1960s), which he was very keen to talk about. OK, on to the seminars!


On the first day Abe Sensei has us work on just a handful of fundamental techniques many times over. These were chudan oi-zuki, jodan oi-zuki, gyaku-zuki, kizami-zuki, age-uke and soto-uke. The focus was on repetitions and speed. Correct koshi no kaiten (full and smaller actions) and aiyumi-bashi were also extensively worked on.

A personal highlight for me was that Abe Sensei used a partner drill, to improve footwork, that I experienced him teaching at the JKA honbu-dojo (back in the 90s). Natsukashi desu ne! Using an obi your partner rigorously `assists you’ to get ‘the correct feel’ for lunging forward in zenkutsu-dachi. Whilst, there are many such drills, Abe Sensei’s version is a little different as he is looking for specific (very subtle) actions, which make his all the more challenging.

Needless to say, by the end of the session everyone was drenched, but also we learned some extremely ‘fine-tuned’ aspects of karate-do.


Day two Abe Sensei briefly reviewed the first day’s practice, and then we transferred the skills to jiyu-kumite. This began with uchikomi training—kogeiki, then hangeki—all focused on achieving the traditional sense of an `ippon’.

After this practice we engaged in a few rounds of jiyu-kumite. Finally, Abe Sensei took us through Bassai-Sho Kata, which needless to say, he performed in Volume Nine of ‘Best Karate’. This was concluded with some bunkai to make sure our fundamental movements were correct.

Overall, the seminars were absolutely fantastic! DOMO ARIGATO GOZAIMASHITA ABE SENSEI!!!


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