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Selby Shotokan Karate Club

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Kagawa Sensei Course and Grading - updated

Above: Kagawa Sensei

It was the third year in a row that we had travelled to train with Kagawa Sensei. Sensei is usually in England or Scotland in the middle of March and Bex and myself can't think of better birthday treat for ourselves.

Above: Gyaku Zuki Chudan

In the foreground Sensei Mike is front of the line for kihon. Making sure the stance is correct shomen and applying force to the first two knuckles.

Above : Mae Geri Chudan

Making sure you kick, hips shomen with the ball of the foot.

Above : Elanor, Jim, Holly and Matt

Above: Sensei Mike

Above: The grading Line Up

Competitors ready? I have never really liked standing on this line but when you think about it all the hard work should be behind you by now.

Above : Jim, Mike and Josh

During the Kihon phase of the grading, gyaku zuki.
Another of my tips to grading students is to perhaps rethink what it is that you are actually doing. Are you doing Basics, Kata and Kumite phases, or are you "alive" and doing what I would term "Kihon Kumite", "Kata Kumite " and "Kumite Kumite" , spirit, attitude, etc.

Above : Eleanor and Tom

I have trained with both Eleanor and Tom for quite a few years, Eleanor trains at YSKC with Gullen Sensei and Tom at HSKC with Gude Sensei. They are both a similar age and standard but unfortunately only Tom was successful in his grading this time.
The reason, Tom "owned" his grading, he approached it with the attitude, I have worked hard for this, I am ready, I deserve my Black Belt, I'm going to pass. If you are unsure of your own abilities how are you going to demonstrate to the examiner that you have reached the standard. Black Belts are not given away they are awarded for achieving the expected level of technical ability and performing your martial art with "Zanshin". Mental preparation is important, top tip, don't ignore it.

Above : Bex and Simon

Bex and Simon both performed under their best on the day, but with many, many karate hours in the bank were both successful and passed Nidan. If they both continue in the same vain for a few years I don't see a problem with either of them reaching Sandan and what is considered as the "Instructor grade".

Above : Mike, Kelvin, Matt, Eleanor and Tom

It was great to see so many karateka from our three clubs at Nottingham. Haxby, Selby and York are all independent clubs, but we have very strong links, one big happy family until some shouts "Hajime!"

Above: Bex - Yoko Geri Kegae

I may be a little biased, but what I like about this picture is that it is natural. Bex was half way through her grading in the Kihon phase. The photo above was taken by Robert Graham, to see more of Robert's photography please click on "links" in the sidebar, then "JKS England", then click on the link on the front page.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"The most important point is timing"

Above: Asai Shihan

Many thanks to Sergej Sensei from Norway for recently posting this video of Asai Shihan from 1996. In the later part of the clip Kato Shihan attacks and Asai Shihan shows the application of perfect timing. There is also a glimpse of Dermenko Shihan, but he does not get the opportunity to attack in the clip.
Sergej, Many thanks for posting, Osu!
Hopefully many Asai Ryu karateka will watch and enjoy this clip of our Shihan.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Kagawa Sensei Course and Grading

A great weekend training with Kagawa Sensei this weekend at Nottingham.

I will do a further write up when I have more time with some photos, but for now my thoughts on the Dan gradings.

We had students from Haxby, Selby and York grading this weekend with mixed fortunes. Simon from Haxby and Rebecca were sucessful and gained Nidan and Tom from Haxby gained his Shodan.

Josh, Mike and Eleanor from York and Jim from Haxby were asked to grade again in a couple of months. I am sure that they were all dissapointed that they had not gained their shodan on their first attempt, but they all have something to be proud off. They all presented themselves for grading in what were perhaps not ideal circumstances.

Our clubs have recently joined the JKS and the grading syllabus is still a little unfamiliar to both students and instructors alike. The surroundings and examiners were also a change from the previous eight plus gradings they had previously undertaken. I have trained with all the gradining students for the past five years plus and know that they are all capable of attaining Shodan. However with the exception of Tom from Haxby, I did not think any of our Karateka performed to their full potential, including Simon and Rebecca.

When we present ourselves for grading Shodan, Nidan, Sandan etc we should ask ourselves: Could we have done any more?
Could we have attended more sessions?
Could we have trained harder during the sessions?
Could we have undertaken more individual practice?
Could we have lost a couple of extra pounds?

If the answer is "No" to all of the above you are in the strongest possible position to pass any grading.
Not too long ago one of my Sensei was preparing for his Godan, he had been Yondan for many years. He did not just turn up on the day as a time served instructor and expect to be handed a new grade. He worked hard, he ticked all the boxes above, and was sucessful.

In life we will always suffer dissapointments, what makes us stand out is how we react to dissapointment. Use the feeling of dissapointment as a "motivator" to review the few questions above and make any changes to your preparation so you are ready next time.
Once sucessful in your gradings don't relax, continue with that motivation to progress your karate and inspire others within your club to reach the same goals.
If you are willing to make that extra commitment then you will be sucessful, just as Kagawa Sensei predicted "not quite yet, one more time", the Kuro Obi is your reward for 100% effort.

We all need to work in the development of our 3rd Kyu + to ensure that they prepare properly.

Must sign off now I have to deposit a few more karate hours in my karate bank with Sensei Keith at York, I have some very good Karateka catching me up and I need to get some extra hours in, Osu!

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