Wednesday 1 July 2020


At the dojo today. July 1st. Part Two of 2020 begins...

The karate that I practice and teach is primarily based on being relaxed. There are, of course, other aspects; however, this aspect underpins everything else. Accordingly, this is where I will start today: the very beginning of 'Asai Tetsuhiko Sensei's Way'. From these five base points starting with relaxation, one can begin to learn the more advanced aspects and applications of his bujutsu focused karate. So, far, I have not shared all of these points with any of my students; however, in the next few years I hope to complete this process, then move on to teaching them the more advanced/sophisticated aspects of Asai Sensei's karate. I believe this must be handed down for the future, Osu, André

(1) Relaxation: Relaxing is indeed not only physical, it is mental. To have a soft body one must relax their mind. You must ‘go back to zero’ in order to reach one hundred percent of your capacity. A great physical start point—and reference as one progresses—is to focus on using the joints as opposed to unnecessarily using the muscles; that is, let the muscles do their job without conscious tension. MAXIMIZE SPEED/VELOCITY…

Support leg drive in Ushiro-geri,
A key point is that relaxation is not necessarily visible. The standard Shotokan-Ryu form is still normal when it comes to the classical techniques and kata. What matters is the internal movement and the impact/effects of movements, not what is seen externally.

(2) Newton’s Second Law of Motion: The powerful force that launches an effective attack is the use of Newton’s second law of motion. Acceleration (Quality = Force). The body’s center of gravity must move from zero to 100% to utilize this law. FULLY USE YOUR WEIGHT/MASS…

Besides these first two points there are other physical mechanics such as (3) The natural use of circular ‘wave’ action; (4) The principle of parabola; (5) The use of leverage; (5) Force mechanics, and so forth… Nevertheless, everything really begins and ends with the first point: RELAXATION.

Movement 18 of Unsu Kata: Moving the center in harmony with technique and the transition into kiba-dachi.
In addition to relaxation, these other four points, form the base of Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu. Mastery of these base aspects means that the next door can be opened. I hope to train someone, hopefully several karateka, to this level within the next five years. Today is July 1st, so the second half of the year begins... I hope this brief article and, photos attached (from my training today here at the dojo), encourage you in your training; moreover, for those who are serious, provides some motivation and perhaps a clearer target!!!
To conclude,,, Asai Sensei always said: “Karate is easy”. He did not mean karate is easy to do, but one must be relaxed. Also to maximize 'natural energy'. This is the karate I was taught, which I follow and teach. – André 
古典型 (Koten-gata): 舞鶴大 (Maizuru Dai) is the second to last 'crane form' in the IKS.
 © André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2020).

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