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Selby Shotokan Karate Club

Sunday, September 26, 2010

"Build it and they will come"


I was not in Iowa and it was not a scene from one of my favourite films “Field of Dreams” with Kevin Costner. I had travelled with Mrs B. 4500 miles South West to a very beautiful Island in the Caribbean where the Dominican Republic is located. Claire had given me strict instructions that my dogi was NOT coming with us on our 25th Anniversary holiday.

However she did not say that all training was banned. So I opened the IJKA Republica Dominicana dojo at Bavaro, Punta Cana on Thursday morning 16th September the dojo was 14 miles long, not very wide and was covered in sand, I also had to avoid the odd palm tree during training as well. The dojo was open for 90 minutes daily, starting 20 minutes before sunrise and finishing in time for an early breakfast.

Above: The IJKA logo at the entrance of the dojo

The dojo stayed open for ten days and only had one other member. A Japanese gentleman joined me early Saturday morning, a short while after I had started training. I was performing kata in a very soft Tia Chi sort of way starting with Heian Shodan. He joined me when I had got to Heian Sandan, forty minutes later when I got to the end of Joko Sansei he was still performing what appeared to be an endless soft kata which was beautiful to watch out the corner of my eye, it reminded me a little of Empi in places, turning and diving like a swallow. I was to learn later that he spoke perfect English, but for the time we trained together as the sun started to rise not a word was spoken, somehow communication outside kata seemed unnecessary. The Gentleman left to join his wife in further practice; while I rested and took in the beautiful sunrise.

Above: Sunrise at the Republica Dominicana dojo

It was a great opportunity to have a little “me” training for a change. In total a most enjoyable 15 hours focusing on kata; trying to apply the advice of my Sensei, there was so much to work on and so little time. I trained a balance of Asai Ryu and mainstream Shotokan kata, probably about 70/30% split. This is a dramatic contrast to my normal 5/95% split in normal dojo training, as the number of higher grades increase at our dojo hopefully we will have more opportunity to practice Asai Ryu kata to complement our more traditional syllabus.

Although my training was limited to early morning sessions I found during the day that my mind sometimes wandered back into kata. Sat having a coffee with Claire my right arm would subconsciously perform, Hiawan Uke, Tsukami Uke... this was closely followed by Claire’s Yoko Empi, Uchi Mawashi Uraken with the words “Stop it!” I would have to wait for the next early morning session for my next karate fix, Osu!

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

More Kata Video updated

I have uploaded a few more kata videos, the videos are of Nakayama Shihan instructing the first 6 Shotokan Kata.

There are 10 videos in all of about 6 to 8 minutes each. They are ideal for those preparing for grading and a great reminder for instructors of what Nakayama Shihan considered the main teaching points to be. These instructional videos are typically the 2nd and 3rd videos on each of the posts for all the Heian Kata and Tekki Shodan.

I have also added a version of Dai Itsu Ken from India, it varies slightly from the version I teach but still worth a look and an additional video to the Nijushiho post.

Update on the database:
Shotokan kata: 123 videos in total from 26 kata of the 26 listed
Asai Ryu Kata : 103 Videos in total from 40 kata of the 83 listed
Kato Ryu Kata: 7 Videos in total from 5 kata of the 7 listed
Koller Ryu Kata: 2 video in total from 1 kata of the 1 listed
Wheelchair Kata: 8 Videos in total from 7 kata of the 18 listed
Total number of videos in the database = 243

If you follow the link to my kata page and double click on the kata name, it will take you to the video of the kata selected.

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Training Inspiration

Most of us as we progress in years will find some limitation in what we can physically achieve, but in karate what we can ultimately achieve is not limited.

As you progress along "the way" be inspired by others to push your own efforts that little bit further.

Below are just two examples of how physical restrictions have not limited performance.

Above : Sigrid Karl Sensei performs Bassai Dai

Above : Schutte Sensei 6th Dan Isshinryu performs Sanchin

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