Saturday, 13 August 2016

Seminar Report & Video: ENGLAND 2016

On July 30th and 31st I taught a private seminar in Poulton-le-Fylde, in Lancashire, Northern England. The event organised by Michael Barr was exclusive with a limited number of tickets being available. Underpinning this was aim of giving participants more personal attention; furthermore, to be a significantly different style of course from the other two on this tour of  Europe.
Both standard Shotokan and self-defence techniques were covered and linked. The key point being that kihon, kata and yakusoku kumite must collectively result in enhanced jiyu kumite. When this is not the prime aim and outcome of training, technique becomes meaningless. In other words, kata application and prearranged kumite must be practiced alongside ‘non-compliant practice’. Nowadays, many clubs practice ‘bunkai’ without freestyle sparring. Needless to say, training in this way means that imperative martial arts skills such as—proper timing, distancing and chance taking—can never be developed. Conversely, jiyu kumite also requires that one practices the prearranged forms of sparring to develop strong fundamentals. Likewise, the applications of kata must be practiced. The result being Budo (Martial Arts) Karate.
All in all, I would like to thank Michael and Nathalie Barr for hosting me and my family for the week, and all of those who attended the seminar and corresponding social events. It was a real pleasure to catch up with old friends, and form some new friendships as well. I hope that the course content will help you all in your ongoing development. There were many jewels from Japan that, if assimilated through practice, will greatly bolster technical prowess. Osu, André.

Here, below, is a brief video from the England course. More videos from my 2016 European Tour will be coming soon.
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan 2016.

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