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Selby Shotokan Karate Club

Saturday, July 21, 2007

IJKA Championships Hungary

Above: Shuitsu Okazaki Shihan IJKA Japan (7th Dan)

Sensei is chief instructor and president of the IJKA in Japan he instructed a number of sessions in the two training days on the Thursday and the Friday.

Above: The Championships had the support of the Hungarian Sports Minister and IJKA Hungary, the 2007 Championships were designated as the 1st Asai Shihan memorial championships.

On the Sunday a minutes silence was observed for Asai Shihan.

Above: kato Shihan with the young ladies from Russia

As you would expect the Russians put forward a really strong team, with an equally strong determination to win. The Young lady to the left of the photo had a particularly strong kata and kumite. I believe her name to be Anastasia Nazarkin, she came first in Kata and second in kumite.

Above: Kato Shihan teaches in the training sessions

I will do my best to bring back some of the training that was undertaken on the course to the club. The emphasis was on Kihon and Kumite, a pleasant change. Okazaki Shihan ran us through some kumite training in the Japanese way. One Karateka at the front of the line with all others practising techniques. Kato Shihan concentrating on basics first and their interpretation. How a single block can be developed into blocking a wealth of attacks.

Shihan was encouraging us to think for ourselves and not like a karate robot, to develop our karate. To brings things back to our Shihan for the development of all.

I watched closely as Shihan demonstrated techniques, I am always amazed at the way Kato Shihan moves etc but what I had not perceived before was in the same dojo I saw some very senior Japanese grades with the same look of amazement. Look forward to some very interesting training sessions over the next few weeks.

Above: Rebecca is taking part in team training

Above: Rebecca at the championship venue pre competition

Above: Female 14-15 yrs Kata presentation

1st Lasma Avotinja, Latvia, 2nd Natalia Avdeeva, Russia, 3rd Rebecca Brant, England, 4th Lorincz Viktoria, Hungary. Rebecca and Victoria managed to communicate quite well considering neither could speak each others language, they even exchanged e mail addresses to keep up their friendship.

Rebecca put up a good fight in kumite but was unsuccessful in getting past the first round.

Helen had quite a height and reach disadvantage in kumite but came a very close second in her kata. Andre Shihan for Russia awarded her the decision against the four corner judges who saw it differently. It looked very close to me. The competition was especially tough in the ladies division

In my first round of Kata I had to perform Heian Godan, this is my least favourite kata, but somehow I managed to get the decision. In the second round I had to perform Heian Yondan and was knocked out. I enjoy Kata in the dojo at the club but have this fear that it will all go horribly wrong when I am in front of all those people on the day. It was a relieve to get it behind me. I could focus on the kumite.

Sensei Alec from Scotland had given me some sound advice about being positive a couple of days before the competition, he was not impressed that I considered I was just making the number up. I would have liked to have Gullen Shihan there as a coach but a pep talk from Sensei Alec may have been just what I needed. When the draw came out I was due to compete against our host Tamas Molnar, Sensei Tamas has a long reach and was a difficult opponent to close, I lost but was reasonably happy with my effort. Tamas went on to win the Veterans competition and I was called back with all the others that had lost against him in the repachage, I won all my fights but still I was not sure where it placed me.

My jaw was still aching from a wicked left hook from Tamas, PJ from Ireland had also received a devastating punch from Tamas that had put him to the mat for a second, so perhaps I had done better than I thought.

The results sent through from Tamas showed the positions as 1st Tamas Molnar, Hungary, 2nd P.J. Ireland.3rd Paul Brant England and 3rd Gabor Windt also from Hungary. I had remembered Sensei Gabor from Cyprus, a fine kumite exponent.

It is proposed to run the next Championship in Cyprus followed by Poland and Italy. If we are going to compete effectively we need to train as a team and be established with a coach. If you have any thoughts on this please e mail me.

See you in Cyprus next year!

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    Wednesday, July 11, 2007

    Sunday 15th July - Sensei Mike Gude

    Sensei Mike Gude will be the guest instructor at Selby on Sunday while Ash and myself are away.

    Please can you all turn up in a timely manner and train hard.

    Most of you will have either trained with Mike or met him on Kato Shihan's courses, when we have a visiting instructor it is an opportunity for the club to "raise our game" and show him we are the best club in Yorkshire.

    See you all Sunday week.

    P.S. Many thanks to Sensei Andy Denby for your support to the club since you joined us, it is much appreciated by us all. Osu!

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    Friday, July 06, 2007

    IJKA European Chamoinships 2007

    On Wednesday, Helen Rebecca and myself will be leaving for Hungary.

    I have more than a few mixed feelings about the trip. I have my name down for the veterans events, am I too old now to be competing? With a relatively new job and working long hours, my karate has taken a poor second place. I was definitely better 6 months ago, my karate is going backwards, so should I compete at all? Well I think I will just go and enjoy myself, meet and train with some old friends and we will probably meet some new. I have no doubt that I will only be making the numbers up in competitors, but if it makes for a better competition for everybody else, I have achieved something by turning up and entering.

    Helen is competing for the first time in the Europeans and her karate is looking the sharpest it has ever looked. She is still fighting against niggling injuries but as long as she does her best I am sure that she will be happy. She will surely meet some tough competition.

    My daughter Rebecca is also taking part, we have permission from her school for her to attend in school term. Rebecca is taking a GCSE in physical training and she wants her karate to take an integral part in her course. I see Rebecca improving week by week and I am sure that although she is still a 2nd kyu that she will reach Nidan before me.

    I would like to wish all competitors the very best of luck and we look forward to seeing you all next week. Many thanks to our hosts that have put in many hours of hard work organising the event. Osu!

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    Sunday, July 01, 2007

    Joe Varga - Yellow belt or Sensei?

    Joe asked if he could see both myself and Ash tonight, to explain that tonight was his last night of training.
    He trained in Switzerland for two years and has trained with us for a year now, since June 2006.
    His Karate is of a high standard, it is obvious that he had good instructors in Switzerland.
    He is a model student, attentive and with impeccable etiquette. He definitely had potential to develop to shodan and beyond.
    Joe wants to explore other activities at this time and both Sensei Ash and myself wish you well. We have both enjoyed teaching you, you are a credit to your parents and yourself.
    What has impressed us the most is that this young man once he made his choice, came to us and said he was leaving our club.
    My own daughter had nearly two years without training at a similar age. Although we are always disappointed to loose a student we would never try and change their mind. However if you change your own mind you will receive a warm welcome back.
    We have quite a few students that have returned to the way after 2, 3 or even more years off, if anything a returning student is often more committed.
    I would ask all students of whatever association who find themselves in a similar position to follow Joe's example.
    We have respect for all our students and we hope they have the same for us. It was an excellent example of etiquette for Joe to ask to speak to us in the way he did. Joe we salute you. Osu!
    Joe may not be a Black Belt, but perhaps he is a Sensei (teacher) at just a yellow belt.
    Joe will be 13 tomorrow, happy birthday Joe!

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