Sunday 22 May 2016

Private kata training for Ohtsuka Shohei

Today I had a trainee from Usa-Shi, Ohtsuka Shohei Kun. He wanted to study a budo version of Unsu, which he could also exhibit in competition. He wants to compete in both budo karate (JKA) and JKF: and demonstrate true Karate-Do. This, to me, is very good, as kata is not an aesthetic game but the foundation and time capsule of traditional Japanese budo/martial arts.    

He has had many wins in competition but is seeking more pure karate. Again, for a young man of 23, I really admire this; moreover, with hard work he has the capacity to do extremely well. He has speed, power and talent in abundance; nevertheless, here in Japan the level is so high, so the climb is very-very steep. One of my top goals is to support JKA Oita Prefecture as much as possible. I really want to give as much as I can to Oita.

In addition to Unsu I also corrected his Enpi and Jion. He was very receptive and excited when he felt the difference in his execution of kata and then experienced the oyo (applications). Overall, it was great to see him lift his execution of the kata covered and, indeed, his understanding. Ganbatte Shohei!!!

                                                       © André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2016).

Wednesday 18 May 2016

Renshusei from England: Michael Barr

Michael Barr recently came to Japan to be a renshusei (trainee) at my dojo. During his time here in Oita he completed ten hours of one-on-one practice. I’d like to congratulate him on completing this training and clearly improving his technical ability. OMEDETTO GOZAIMASU!

This year I will once again be teaching Karate-Do Seminars in Europe:

Ahrensburg (GERMANY)—July 23/24;
Poulton-le-Fylde (ENGLAND)—July 30/31; and
Venice (ITALY)—August 6/7

I'm reiterating this here as Michael has organized, and is hosting, the England portion of my Europe Tour. For those wishing to book a place on the Technical Seminars (July 30/31) in Poulton-le-Fylde, please contact him directly at:

Lastly, for those interested in Michael’s karate training experience here in Japan (beyond the photos featured in this post)—please click on the following link, which features a written report:

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2016).

Monday 16 May 2016

Nishi Fuyuhiko: Movie Director and creator of ‘Kuro Obi World’

This weekend I met movie maker Nishi Fuyuhiko at the JKA Oita Seminar, in Hiji, (which was conducted Hashiguchi Yuji Sensei).
Photo courtesy of Nishi Fuyuhiko.
He made a video of my karate in addition to the seminar. So he got to experience Asai Sensei's karate first hand. I appreciate this. Thank you very much Mr. Nishi.

Osu, André

© André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2016).

Oita Prefecture Seminar with Hashiguchi Yuji Sensei

On the weekend I attended Hachiuchi Yuji Sensei’s Seminar—hosted by the JKA Hiji branch—here in Oita Prefecture. The seminar, like Hashiguchi’s classes, was packed with technical details.
Photo courtesy of Nishi Fuyuhiko.
Kihon included that required for the first few kyu exams, where Sonoba-Kihon is tested. From there, we moved on to correct koshi-no-kaiten practice with partners, followed by the Ido-Kihon for the current Shodan and Nidan examinations. Special focus was placed on ukewaza; in particular, shuto chudan uke, jodan age-uke, and the wind ups for chudan soto-uke and chudan uchi-uke: ukewaza was a theme that continued across the five hours of  practice.

Kata covered in depth included Heian Shodan, Heian Nidan, Heian Sandan, Heian Yondan, Heian Godan, Tekki Shodan and Kanku Dai.

Photo courtesy of Nishi Fuyuhiko.
© André Bertel. Oita, Japan (2016).