Monday 20 January 2020


Training here today in central Oita City, January 20th, 2020.
Well into my 40s now I stopped training hardcore when I turned 30. This was to take care of my body so I could keep going and keep improving my skill. Just before I turned 31, I started this blogsite.  I'm not claiming to be old at all, but looking after the body is essential, and makes it possible to be even better (at karate) as one ages. Nevertheless, I still engage in days of hardcore training. And, today, was one such day. 


Today’s Kihon training comprised of a number of fundamental techniques; namely, tsukiwaza (thrusts) and  ukewaza (reception techniques). Focus was on delivery from zenkutsu dachi and kokutsu dachi as IKS (International Karate Shotokan) ‘syllabus style’ Ido Kihon.

This included: (1) Oizuki; (2) Gyakuzuki; (3) Maetezuki; (4) Nukite; (5) Jodanageuke; (6) Chudansotouke; and (7) Chudanshutouke. Standard renzokuwaza were also worked on including Sanbonzuki, the aforementioned closed fist ukewaza followed by gyakuzuki, and shutouke kara nukite. Special attention was paid to transfer of weight by using the stances optimally and timing of koshi no kaiten in relation to technical delivery. Nothing flash but, of course, utterly imperative stuff. I didn't do so many reps but enough to get things right and break a good sweat.

While there was no kiba dachi work in the Kihon, much time today was spent practicing 鉄騎三段 (Tekki Sandan). This was followed by 明鏡二段 (Meikyo Nidan) and 雷光 (Raiko). My aim in today's training was to push myself to my physical limits as opposed to 'technicality'. In this way, 'technique must survive exhaustion'. While I do not make others do this when I teach, unless requested by individuals, there is a maxim here in Japanese Shotokan circles. It goes something like this in English... "The karate you do when physically broken from exhaustion is your real karate". Needless to say, this is not for everyone, and not something I believe that anyone should be pressured to do. In seminars, I never have this approach as I believe it is dangerous and unprofessional.


All of the Kumite practice today was dedicated to Kihon Ippon Kumite. It was comparatively easygoing after the 'crazy intense' kata training. Attacks included (a) migi jodan oizuki; (b) hidari jodan oi zuki; (c) migi chudan oizuki; (d) hidari chudan oi zuki; (e) migi chudan maegeri; (f) hidari chudan maegeri;  (g) migi chudan yokokekomi; and (h) hidari chudan yokokekomi. Defense and counterattack — free choice. The aim in attack was no telegraphing whatsoever and, in defense/counterattack, selecting the simple and effective counter—perfect maai—without hesitation (that is, immediately with no position change).

To conclude today’s session, I went through some basic plyometric exercises and my typical cardio, impact and strength/power training. Also a special challenge that I'm doing at the moment.

To summarize, today was really-really hard work. Like I said in the opening, not every day is like this! And if it was, I would gain a serious injury. Tomorrow will balance out this with a light training, brief 5km run to loosen up; but still, the strength work will be included.

My advice to everyone... LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!!! Please take care and use karate to increase your health, not decrease it. Only you can do that by doing things at YOUR OWN PACE.

Key words: OWN PACE!

 Osu, André
© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2020).

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