Wednesday 23 December 2015

Overview of 2015

2015 is now quickly coming to an end. Like all years, my karate schedule has been very busy: especially here in Japan. Outside of Nippon, I also travelled twice and gave two international seminars, the first in my home-country New Zealand; and the second, in Germany (which amazingly sold out with only three weeks notice!!!). Competition-wise, I won the Men's Individual Kata at the 34th JKA Kumamoto Prefecture Karate-Do Championships. On the training front I enjoyed attending several excellent seminars and had several renshusei (trainees) from overseas visit my dojo: in this regard please my visit my 'Renshusei' page (which is, and will continue to be, regularly updated when new trainees are accepted and complete their training): For those wishing to come to Japan for training in 2016, please email me at: I recommend weekends and applying  to be a renshusei at least two months in advance. I could go on about 2015, but rather than do that, I have provided direct links for this years articles with titles/descriptions to aid your navigation. Seasons greetings from Oita City, Japan. Osu, André

 1. New Zealand Seminar Video: January 2015:

4. The criticality of jiyu kumite in relation to kihon, kata, and the truth of one's skill:

6. March training regime: 'Marching' towards the JKA Kumamoto Prefecture Championships:

Jodan mawashi-geri
10. Christchurch Seido Karate Club: 50 Year Anniversary:

11. Key terminology for the traditional kumite match:
After an excellent training with Nakamura Masamitsu Shihan.

In 34 years, since its beginnings, a non Japanese has never won at the Kumamoto Prefecture Championships. That changed this year.
12. The 34th JKA Kumamoto Prefecture Championships:
Team photo - post prefectural championship. Credit to Nakamura Sensei, a junior at Taku Dai of my late teacher Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei.
 13. Not representing Kumamoto-Prefecture at the JKA All Championships:
14. Trainees from Germany: Peter Lampe, Frank Kölher and Rainer Schöne:
17. Ryu Goto - World famous violinist and superb Budo Karateka:

19. Trainees from Australia's Sunshine Coast: Noel and Heidi Moralde:
21. 8th Anniversary of `André Bertel’s Karate-Do’:

Sudden course in Germany - sold out in three weeks!!! Looking forward to Ahrensburg, Blackpool and Venice in 2016!!!

23. Andre Bertel Traditional Karate Seminar - Germany 2015 (Part 2):
24. 2015 Seminar in Germany (Part 3) - Notes from Andrea Haeusler Sensei:
25. Final training the JKA Kumamoto Chuo Dojo - Shototakuhirokan:
26. Seido Karate Christchurch (New Zealand) - 50th Anniversary:
27. Back to the Fundamentals - A restart with relocation:
Every day I am a beginner restarting Karate-Do. Yesterday, I was weaker than today, and tomorrow I'll be stronger with perseverance. The never-completed journey of Karate-Do.
 32. Trainees from Paris, France:
33. Formal Announcement of 2016 Technical Seminars in Germany, England and Italy:

34. Kumamoto Training (Visiting Nakamura Shihan and conducting a special training):

35. List of Foreign-renshusei at my dojo (updated to conclude 2016):

© André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2015).

Sunday 13 December 2015

My current self-training regime

Here is my current training regime which I've been challenging since the beginning of this month.

Kihon training has been tightly related to practice at the JKA Oita Central Branch. Namely, (1) Choku-zuki in hachiji-dachi; (2) Mae-geri keage in heisoku-dachi; (3) Migi then hidari gyaku-zuki in zenkutsu-dachi; (4) Migi then hidari mae-geri keage in zenkutsu-dachi; and (5) Choku-zuki in kiba-dachi. This is then followed by roughly ten ido-kihonwaza i.e. - (1) Sanbon ren-zuki; (2) Jodan age-uke kara gyaku-zuki; (3) Chudan soto-uke kara yoko enpi soshite yoko uraken; (4) Chudan uchi-uke kara kizami-zuki soshite gyaku-zuki; (5) Shuto chudan-uke kara nukite; (6) Chudan mae-geri keage; (7) Ren-geri: chudan mae-geri keage kara jodan mae-geri keage; (8) Mawashi-geri; (9) Yoko-geri keage; and (10) Yoko-geri kekomi. Overall, (at both JKA Oita and in my own dojo) my focus has been “…to keep my body and mind united”, and simultaneously, to maximize physical output/effectiveness.

Reps-wise my sonoba kihon starts out with everything first done slowly 10 times, then with speed 20-40 times. In the case of ido kihon I do everything 10 times slowly then 10-20 times with speed. However, when I break things down (for example, oi-zuki into four parts) I do this as an extra set: separate and in addition to my warm-up/10 slow reps.

Presently my kata training is based on the challenge of all four sentei-gata and two jiyu-gata (Unsu and Nijushiho). Generally speaking, the sentei-gata practice—especially Kanku-Dai—are a means to re-work my kihon at a higher level ('peeling back the layers' so to speak). With this in mind, Unsu and Nijushiho are to put my technique into overdrive. Repetitions are based on my daily condition.

Kumite, as of late, has been a return to yakusoku-kumite (especially gohon-kumite and kihon ippon-kumite in their most basic forms) and oyo-kumite linking my kihon and kata to self-defense. In particular, I've been focusing on follow-ups after employing tsukami-uke, ryo-sho tsukami-uke and kake-uke. While this explanation may seem somewhat bland, what I am working on is very effective: especially for changing the odds against strong opponents. Much of this goes back to my time in the private security industry; therefore, it has a base of reality via my personal experiences.. 

Taken as a whole, my present training is a reflection of a fantastic year of Karate-Do; moreover, it has created an effective springboard for unprecedented advancement in 2016. Accordingly, I am very thankful to all who have supported my efforts and made this possible. Osu, André 

© André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2015).

Monday 7 December 2015

Andre Bertel - European Tour: Summer 2016

I will be back touring in Europe next summer (Germany and Italy) to give technical seminars on traditional Shotokan in a Budo Karate/authentic Japanese context. As always, these seminars will be completely booked out fast. For those who can get in, see you there!!!
© André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2015).