Sunday, 17 August 2014


Every so often I make a complete return to the start of my karate-do training. These days I like to describe it as `a self-reboot’.

Technically, at least for me—because I’m not a naturally talented karateka, not physically big, nor strong—I really need to do this; that is, to go back to the critical details of kihon and work on them in the most detailed way. Needless to say, I am also doing this via yakusoku-kumite/kihon-kumite (especially gohon and kihon ippon, but also jiyu ippon kumite); and—of course, within the `so-called basic kata’ (Heian shodan, nidan, sandan, yondan, godan, and Tekki shodan). Basic... YEAH RIGHT! Humble pie... Yes, certainly!!!

Beyond technique, I use these periods of `starting karate-do all over again’ to assess what karate-do is to me `personally’, and what karate-do truly is: in the traditional Japanese context. This aspect is something I began to do when I first came to Japan for training, at the JKA (Japan Karate Association), 20+ years ago...

At present, while I am doing this `self-reboot’, I'm continuing to practice my current tokui-gata; the four sentei-gata; oyo-kumite; and jiyu-kumite. However, these aspects are currently overshadowed by the aforementioned focal points.
For those, whom have followed my blog for the last seven years, you will know that this strays from my previous `reboots’; nevertheless, I am also attempting `to keep the momentum up’ from my previous months of practice. In this way, `this reboot is doing something a little different’; and therefore, adding a little spice to my training.

This process began on August 15th with a vigorous three day training stint, to commemorate eight years since the passing of my late teacher. I have much kansha for the 13 years I personally learned from him.
アンドレ バーテル

© André Bertel. Aso-shi, Kumamoto, Japan (2014).

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