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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hiroshi Shirai Shihan course - Birmingham

Above : Hiroshi Shirai Shihan - 9th DanWSI

Shirai Shihan was born on 31st July 1937 in Nagasaki, Japan and started Karate in 1956 in Komazawa University.
His instructors there were Nishiyama & Tsujima Sensei. He received his Shodan in 1957 with Yamamoto and Kano Sensei.
He then attended the JKA Instructor's course from 1960 to 1962 with Watanabe, Kano and Nakajama where Nakayama, Nishiyama, Kase & Sugiura Sensei were his instructors. This was the course after Asai Sensei. He won the Japan Championships in 1962.
Sensei Shirai became a 9th Dan in 1999. He is the head of the World Shotokan Institute (WSI) and has been based in Italy since 1965.

Above : Shirai Shihan with members of IJKA Yorkshire


Gullen Shihan, Gude Sensei, Simon, Rebecca, Michael and myself travelled the 500km round trip to Birmingham today to train on the Goshin Shotokan Karate Do course. Both Shirai and Kase Shihan were a big influence in Sensei Andy's karate. I could recognise the way Andy builds his Kihon and develops his kumite drills from what we were taught today. Shirai's karate has a strong feel of Budo, the single 100% attack with nothing held back.

To me the training had a feel of Hangetsu, we would start with application and then train Goshin kata. A feel of strong controlled techniques starting "uchi" so that a rapid second technique could be blocked and countered. Techniques were practiced with attacks first in four and then eight directions. Defences were also executed with the attacker stepping in, walking towards or from behind, each time being subjected to a double attack.

Everyone will take away something different from the course, but for me I felt that I could react and turn 180 degrees in defense quicker than normal in the Goshin style stance.

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