Sunday, 26 December 2021


Here’s my updated self-training program for the last week of 2021 and will continue through until the end of January 2022. I hope this finds everyone in great spirits, training both hard and smart, and also enjoying the final moments of this year. If you’d like to supplement this, boost some motivation and motivate me to upload more videso, please subscribe to my YouTube channel. Here's a direct link: ANDRE BERTEL - YouTube. OK, so on to the regime.



基本 (KIHON)




1. Sanbon-zuki—all three tsukiwaza jodan (Shizentai). 


2. Hidari kizami-zuki kara migi jodan gyaku-zuki (Hidari zenkutsu-dachi). Do not use muscular power, focus on relaxation and the actions/kinetic chain of the joints to achieve snap.


3. Migi kizami-zuki kara hidari jodan gyaku-zuki (Migi zenkutsu-dachi).


4. Sonkyo no jodan mae-geri keage. Control the center with ground power and interconnective flexbility.


5. Migi chudan mae-geri keage kara migi jodan mae-geri keage soshite migi jodan mae-geri kekomi. For this waza execute the second keage without flooring the first waza. After jodan mae-keage return to zenkutsu-dachi, then drive kekomi out and back to your original stance (Hidari zenkutsu-dachi). Asai Sensei loved this drill and it is hard work. Seek to be in a natural state even after many reps to maximize the benefits.


6. Hidari chudan mae-geri keage kara hidari jodan mae-geri keage soshite hidari jodan mae-geri kekomi (Migi zenkutsu-dachi).





7. Sanbon-zuki—all three tsukiwaza jodan: jodan oi-zuki kara jodan gyaku-zuki soshite jodan maete-zuki (Zenkutsu-dachi). Target the jinchu each time and make the hip position as exact as possible each time.


8. Sanbon-geri—advance stepping with two Chudan mae-geri keage; then execute a third mae-geri keage on the spot, and step back into your stance (Zenkutsu-dachi).


9. Yoko-keage ashi o kaete yoko-kekomi (Kiba-dachi). Emphasis on pelvic alignment and tilt; furthermore, ankle flexion, compression and expansion of the sasae-ashi, and natural energy.


10. Ren-geri: Chudan mae-geri keage kara yoko-kekomi, mawashi-geri soshite  ushiro-geri kekomi (Zenkutsu-dachi). Special note for ushiro-geri in application. Utilization of a precisely set jiku-ashi is essential in lining up a the opponent based on their movement, maai and your shikake-waza (set up techniques); hence, in kihon, while sticking to the most direct technique "...always remember this merely the reference point for optimal technical deviations in any given moment". Needless to say, all techniques need this instantaneous adaptability in any freestyle context. Without this, one's karate is nothing more than mere movement. 


11. Jodan age-uke kara chudan soto-uke, gedan-barai soshite chudan gyaku-zuki (Zenkutsu-dachi). All three uke with the same time. Ensure full hip action is maximized each time.


12. Chudan shuto-uke (Kokutsu-dachi) kara chudan kizami mae-geri soshite nukite (Zenkutsu-dachi). Be careful with weight distribution, also ensure that the keriwaza has the body weight going forward. Simple stuff yet hard work with high intensity and repetitions.


13. Gedan-barai (Zenkutsu-dachi) kara chudanuchi-uke (Nekoashi-dachi), jodan ura-zuki soshite chudan gyaku-zuki (Zenkutsu-dachi). Often this renzokuwaza is practiced with yori-ashi/yose-ashi on the gyaku-zuki; however, I follow Asai Sensei's teaching in which he emphasized that you slide forward with ura-zuki flowing into gyaku-zuki.





14. Bag-work: tewaza only (tsuki/uchi)—three three minute rounds.


15. Bag-work: tewaza and keriwaza—one five minute round.





A. Jiyu Ippon Kumite: standard attacks, direct defenses and basic counters.


B. Jiyu Ippon Kumite: standard attacks and the use of taisabaki followed by free choice counterattacks. After countering utilize taisabaki again to change position with zanshin. If you’d like to see an example of this, check out this video taken by my student Matt Brew in Hawaii (2003):


C. Jiyu Ippon Kumite: as previous but with any random single attack (not announced).


In all three of these ‘variations’ of jiyu ippon kumite there are some important rules. Firstly, if the defender runs away the attacker can attack again. Secondly, kenseiwaza (feinting techniques are permitted). Thirdly, if the attacker puts themselves into danger, by cramming the defender too much—this is actually mubobi, the defender can simply preemptively attack. Fourthly, and very importantly, if the attacker does not attack from a distance—which makes each respective waza optimally effective—the training is pointless; in fact, ‘bad for both the attacker and defenders karate’. And fifthly, and lastly, the defender must immediately counter from where they are ‘with the best waza for that moment (distance, angle, trajectory in relation to their opponent). This is the point of this training!





I. Random 平安 (Heian).

II. Random 順路 (Junro).

III. Random 鉄騎 (Tekki) or 騎馬拳 (Kibaken).

IV. Random  常行 (Joko).

V. One from the official IKS kata: 松濤館流 (Shotokan Ryu) or 古典型 /浅井派松濤館流  (Kogen-gata / Asai-Ha Shotokan Ryu).


My point in this training is relating the foundational techniques to the various kata I practice each day: basically to recapitulate my entire years practice. Furthermore, this wide variety of kata is to wrap up on a high note in preparation in preparation for 2022.



アンドレ  バーテル

© André Bertel. Oita City, Japan (2021).

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