Thursday, 13 December 2012

Seminar Report: Palmerston North 2012

Here is a video and some photos from my karate seminar in Palmerston North (the 9th – 11th of December). It was hosted by Morgan Dilks Sensei (5th Dan USKU). This was my final seminar for 2012, which has included courses here in Christchurch, New Zealand; Ahrensburg and Hamburg, Germany; Mira (Venetia), Italy; Fremantle and Margaret River, Western Australia; Poulton (Blackpool and Wyre), England; and this seminar in the North Island of New Zealand.

This year’s classes in Palmerston North were focused on correct maai (distancing) and three cardinal points of Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu technical form, which I always emphasise: (1) Koshi no kaiten (the rotation of the hips/waist); (2) Tai no shinhuku (the compression and expansion of the body); and (3) Junansei (softness/relaxation) to move with optimum economy. This was applied to standard Shotokan karate kihon, then to the kihon-gata—Heian Shodan; and sentei-gata—Empi.

Standard Shotokan Kumite taught to develop self-protection skills: Kihon Gohon Kumite (Fundamental Five Step Sparring) and Kihon Ippon Kumite (Fundamental One Step Sparring) were also practiced, especially focusing on proper maai, to have the potential to finish an adversary with a single blow; however, the majority of the time was dedicated to Jiyu Ippon Kumite (Freestyle One Step Step Sparring) and Tai no shinshuku. Overall, this lead to uchikomi and Jiyu-Kumite (Free Sparring) training, which perfectly linked the `Three K’s’: Kihon, Kata and Kumite.

In addition to the two days of group training, Morgan Sensei also had private lessons with me, where we covered three Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu koten-gata: namely, Kakuyoku-Shodan, Kakuyoku-Nidan and Kakuyoku-Sandan. We also went over several of the standard Shotokan-ryu kata, including Wankan and Chinte, followed by the Oyo (Practical Applications) that Shuseki-Shihan Tetsuhiko Asai’s taught. It is worth mentioning here that Morgan has developed a tremendous oi-zuki with immense power and snap. It was great to see, but certainly wouldn't be great to be hit by it! A fantastic budo karate-waza: pure bujutsu!

Again, Mizuho and I would like to thank Morgan, Yuko, Yuri and Mia for taking good care of us, and all the members (and families) of the Palmerston North USKU Shotokan Karate Club. By the way, please feel free to comment on the video, especially if you attended the course. Osu, André

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