Saturday 30 December 2017

Andre Bertel International Seminar, GERMANY 2018

 Below are the official posters for my International Technical Seminar in Deutschland (Germany) 2018: one in English and one in Deutsch.

For those who manage to get in, see you there!! Happy Winter holidays from Oita City, Japan. Osu, - André Bertel.

Monday 25 December 2017


My second interview on NHK television. This time at the illumination of Funai Jo. Unfortunately, the video is from a family members TV, and the video cuts off!! Regardless, here it is. Osu.

Sunday 17 December 2017

Special training

Today I did a special training of very special kata from my late teacher. I was very privileged as I was the only one taught these highly advanced kata and their applications. Normally, I practice these kata in isolation. However, today, I did an unprecedented training of them all.

 Needless to say, this was a fun training, rather than a serious one. I think it is important to occasionally `just enjoy training’

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2017).

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Current self-training regime

Here is my current daily self-training regime, which I have used over the last month and a half. As followers of this blog around the world know, this training, which I undertake each day, is reflective of the daily socho-geiko (morning training) of my late teacher, Asai Tetsuhiko Shuseki-Shihan.

Finishing training at Gokoku Jinja, Oita.
基本 (Kihon): Currently I am working three techniques: firstly, oi-zuki; secondly, gyaku-zuki; and thirdly, mae-geri keage. However, Im  training all three with the following variations of karada no buki (weapons of the body): seiken, nakadaka ippon-ken, hiraken and shihon-nukite for both punches; and koshi/josokutei and tsumasaki for mae-geri. Taken as a whole, the aim is optimal form and trajectories, explosiveness, maai, maximum impact power and appropriate targeting; in particular, 急所 (kyusho). I would like to add here that these points are nothing secret; rather, they are merely the weak points of the body (derived from the meridian points of traditional Chinese medicine). Enough on that topic today: as nothing beats a poke in the eyes and kick to the testicles. 

Asai Sensei applying what he called 'koken' and what is more commonly referred to, in Shotokan, as kakuto. His unpredictable timing and impact power was nothing less than incredible. Nothing like the karate of the present time.
  (Kata): My kata training is currently quite broad to wrap up 2017. Im practising the following: (1) Taikyoku Shodan as a kihongata specifically for shomen and hanmi in zenkutsu-dachi, kakato-chushin, and the forward channelling of power; (2) Tekki Shodan for jiyu-kumite/self-defense, in particular, utilizing and optimizing ground power with lateral movement; (3) Enpi for the aforementioned points in Taikyoku and Tekki: but with a great focus on chikara no kyojaku; (4) Nijushiho for fine tuning―especially in regards to transitions; and (5) a Koten-gata, which varies every few days, based on my condition and any aspects I decide to further address; for example, yesterday I practised Kakuyoku Sandan to further work on my use of 重力 (juryoku/gravity) in techniques. 
Kotengata: Kibaken, which I originally learned from notes (kindly provided by Jon Keeling Sensei of Northern California).

組手 (Kumite): My kumite training at present is focused on the bujutsu karate applications for self-defence. The techniques and principles Im working on are directly related to my current kata practise. In sum, this includes aspects which I have never taught other karateka before. I will begin disseminating this deeper well of knowledge in Europe next year.

Soon I will change this routine as it has recently passed its peak. This process and analysis is how I have continued to grow especially in the last two decades. One of my motto's is "never seek mediocrity". This includes technique, application and dry humour. I will end on this note. Train hard and smart. Osu!!
Mae-geri kekomi utilizing tsumasaki as the karada no buki.
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2017).

Monday 11 December 2017

Joshua Block from Germany visits

Over the weekend Joshua Block, from Germany, came for training here in Oita City. Of course, in addition to karate practice, it was lovely to catch up with him.

A.    Kihon: The main thing we worked on was using ones ‘kinetic chain’ correctly for optimal ‘snap’—in combination with applying the maximum amount of bodyweight: when executing various karate techniques.
B.     Kumite: The aforementioned aspects were then practiced in various forms of kumite with the most emphasis being on Kihon Ippon Kumite and Jiyu Ippon Kumite. 

C.     Kata: Again, to further in-still the correct use of ones kinetic chain and weight transfer into the target, the kata Seiryu was practiced; and its oyo (applications).  This essentially summarized all the previous technical points covered over the weekend, but from a more advantaged angle; thus, providing a window for deeper physical understanding. The training of Seiryu was the technical high point of the weekend.


In sum, it really was a great weekend of training and nice times. It was especially heartening to see him lift his technical skills, in several key domains. All the very best Joshua for your remaining time here in Japan. It was great to have you here! Osu, André

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2017).