Saturday 24 May 2014

Special Class in San Francisco California: JKA NORCAL

On Wednesday, May 21st, I taught a class exclusively for the members of JKA Northern California ( in San Francisco. The class eventuated through the correspondence of Khim Torres Sensei (JKA 5th Dan), who is the current JKA-AF (Japan Karate Association American Federation/日本空手協会アメリカ連盟) silver medallist in both kata and kumite. Firstly I will begin by giving a profile of Khim Sensei; secondly, I’ll provide details about JKA Norcal for perspective members; and thirdly, outline my class, and wrap up with some conclusive remarks. Before I begin, I’d like to offer special thanks to JKA Norcal club administrator, Christina Foo Sensei (JKA 5th Dan), for her assistance.
Khim Torres Sensei (JKA 5th Dan)

Instructor Profile: “Khim Torres Sensei (Godan) is leading the effort to promote and inspire Shotokan karate in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is chief instructor of JKA Northern California (JKA NorCal) – a non-profit dojo, part of JKA American Federation (JKA/AF) under the guidance of Takayuki Mikami Sensei. Khim is a JKA qualified instructor (B), judge (B) and examiner (C). He comes from a 3-generation karate family – trained at the tender age of four with his father Ruperto Torres Sensei (JKA Philippines, Luzon Director) and now instructs his sons Rosh and Yuki. Khim has a degree in Psychology and worked as a Health, Music and Physical Education teacher before migrating to the US in 2002 as a full-time karate instructor. In 2009, Khim with a few fellow karate-kas started the non-profit dojo operating out of Prime Time Athletic Club in Burlingame, California. JKA NorCal began by providing instruction for the health club’s kids/beginner adult karate program. JKA NorCal augments the program with additional advanced classes that provide a curriculum to train 6 days a week for JKA members. JKA NorCal is active competing and training in local and international karate events. An accomplished and experienced competitor himself, Khim has been on the Philippines team and now is a core member of the US National team since 2006. He will be competing at the upcoming 2014 Funakoshi Gichin World Championships in Tokyo…”
 My class at JKA Northern California…
While I won’t go into specific details, essentially I taught the core principles needed to maximise human power via kihon, partner drills, and exercises; in particular the four foundational `technical themes’ of budo karate: (1) chushin and shisei (the centreline and posture); (2) koshi no kaiten (the rotation of the hips—“horizontal power”); (3) tai no shinshuku (the contraction and expansion of the body—“vertical power”); (4) Junansei (softness—for “snap”); and (5) the coordination of all of these for maximum effect. While it was a session based on strengthening`the foundations of Shotokan-ryu karatedo’, I really hope that all of the attendees still gained something from it. Overall, my aim—rather than doing ‘something elaborate`—was to impart introductory points (and taiso/exercises), which result in the long-term technical development (and of course, `base strength’/`explosiveness’).

I only wish I had more time to work on some more interesting things and that I wasn’t so unwell, coughing and trying to get my breath… The inherent dangers of air travel! Nonetheless, who knows what the future holds? Whether in Japan, the United States or elsewhere, I look forward to meeting Khim Sensei, Christina Sensei and my new friends at the JKA Northern California again.

Looking for a karate club in the San Francisco Bay Area? For anyone wishing to begin or practice karate in the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly recommend that they go to JKA Northern California. Besides accessing Khim Sensei’s training, and having a great bunch of people to train with, the club is fully affiliated to the Japan Karate Association. For all contact details and information, please go to their website:
Card from the JKA Northern California Dojo.
I’d like to wrap up by reiterating that the chief instructor of JKA Northern California, Khim Torres Sensei, is not only a world class karate technician, but an excellent karate teacher, and wonderful person. On the whole, I was very happy to see that authentic traditional Japanese karate-do—through Khim Sensei’s dojo—will have a bright future in San Francisco Bay area. Osu, André.
© André Bertel. Aso-shi, Kumamoto. Japan (2014).

No comments: