Sunday 20 May 2018


As many know here in Japan and around the world, I teach a special group of kata in their original form.
My concept of karate - from Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei - is that Kihon is KUMITE and Kata is KUMITE. And, from what I was taught and sought after, was/is KUMITE means EFFECTIVE SELF-DEFENCE as opposed to competition or sparring. This is by no means disrespecting competition kumite (nor taking away the importance of jiyu kumite) but, rather, focusing on karate as a martial art of self-defence: a martial art of survival outside of the dojo.

These bujutsu kata return us to the origin of karate as an unparallelled martial art of self-protection. From that point, we can return to classical Shotokan with a realistic view as opposed to a competition shaped view/understanding.
Todays practice was KATA. The two kata I trained were JITTE (Ten Hands) and KAKUYOKU SANDAN (Cranes Wings Third Level).

All three Kakuyoku are very challenging when taught and practised with full understanding. They offer superior skill to Shotokan karateka. What I can only refer to as 'an unfair advantage'. Unfair, because so many are caught inside a syllabus and system: as opposed to focusing on karate as effective bujutsu (martial arts).

The karate I am seeking is not for the majority, rather, a very small minority. I'm not interested in mainstream popularity in the karate world but, rather, the serious minority. 

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2018).

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