Saturday, 24 October 2015

Trainees from Western Australia

Helen and Ken Bainbridge first came for training, with me in Japan, in March of 2010.

Ken and Helen Bainbridge and a small group of their students (from Western Australia) came for a one-hour karate lesson in Oita today. The session consisted of the `essential points of kihon', which are expressed by the top karateka here in Japan: behind closed doors.
The main techniques covered were choku-zuki, mae-geri keage, gyaku-zuki, oi-zuki and basic movement in zenkutsu-dachi. In all cases, I stressed relaxation the correct use of kakato (the heel); furthermore, to make and utilise a proper shomen and to `erradicate any wasted movement'.
The correct twist of the forearm when making any form of straight punch was stressed; likewise, the use of a proper hiki-te (the 'pull back hand'). In particular, specified `shime' (choking/squeezing) of the elbow in this action was closely monitored. Within this, 'forward projection of energy' was explained and studied; for example, if 'throwing a towel' with ukewaza (reception/blocking techniques) the towel must go forward. I could see that this point `clicked' straight away with Ken; moreover, it pertains to not 'overblocking'. This study should be advanced to the next stage.

Training and practicing kakato-chushin. This multi-dimensional point results in extreme improvement.
Mae-geri was used to show the criticality  for both shime and `tai no shinshuku' (the contraction and expansion/stretch of the body).  At the same time, not using `koshi no kaiten' (the rotation of the hips) but keeping the hips `sono mama'; thereby, staying as square as possible throughout the kick. Critical point: toes, ankle, knee, relax and hiki-ashi. The ratio in the speed  of `snap kicks' is 3:7.
I hope Ken, Helen and the members of their dojo work hard to master what I taught them today. The points covered are the base gems for long-term and very high-level development in Karate-Do. These points were totally new for them and I could see, `blew their minds'. Of course, I make no apologies whatsoever. Please practice harder but keep the body relaxed! 

As always, these notes are a reminder of the key points covered for those who train with me; hence, I have not given extensive details (as they are theirs, for 'putting themselves on the line' by coming to train).

We wish Ken, Helen and their students a safe journey home to Australia; also, to push forward in technical development from the points practiced today. Kindest regards! Osu, André.
Toes, ankle, knee, relax and hiki-ashi...You now understand, don't forget, and make good keriwaza.
© André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2015).

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