Shiranamikai started 2019 on a high by celebrating the club’s 10-Year Anniversary. Ohta Sensei, our association’s Chief Instructor, visited to deliver a two hour training session with lots of basics and kumite followed by Heian Sandan, Tekki Shodan and Bassai Sho!
Afterwards we enjoyed dinner together where there was an unexpected presentation with an eloquent speech, a beautiful hand-drawn card filled with paper cranes (and touching messages!), and an incredibly thoughtful gift… club instructor Austin Biesty was so overwhelmed that he forgot to take any photos!
We enjoyed a fantastic training session in Harrow this December with the Chief Instructor of The Japan Karate Association in England.
After basics, kumite and helping everybody with their Heian and Tekki katas, Ohta Sensei led the more senior grades through Gojushiho Sho. This kata’s characteristics are smooth movements mainly in front, back and side stances. It has strong transitions and fast, dynamic strikes necessitating good body control and fluid hip movement.
Kyu grades had time to refresh before their assessment. Congratulations to everyone for passing!
We enjoyed a brilliant lesson with Ohta Sensei this September. Some of the kumite combinations, which in practise seemed straightforward, proved to be much more challenging when facing an opponent! Later on in the session, he led everybody through the katas of those grading and Kanku Dai for the brown and black belts of the club. As we have come to expect from the Chief Instructor of The Japan Karate Association in England, his technical feedback and his own performance was second to none.
Well done everybody for training hard and to those who graded. Our next session with Ohta Sensei is coming up in December!
Arriving in Rye on Thursday afternoon was well-rewarded with lunch at Fletcher’s Cafe. Visiting Rye Castle was insightful, with a fascinating, brief history on what used to be one of the most notorious prisons in England. We received a thorough drenching afterwards while exploring the wider grounds and took refuge in a haunted inn(!) before our dinner in Webbe’s Fish Cafe where we met up with the wider group.
Overall there were a few red faces (and feet) at Shell-a-nami-kai this year, the result of the fantastic weather we had. Training was light, relaxed and great fun. The kata of choice this trip was Jion with appropriate basics and applications to make it easier to learn.
After training Friday morning we headed to Dungeoness, stopping for lunch at the superb roadside Snack Shack which served fresh fish of the day, and The Old Lighthouse which offered fantastic views for everyone unaffected by vertigo. The pre-radar Denge Sound Mirrors were next, with us getting as close as we possibly could, lightheartedly brainstorming how we might get even closer. In the evening it was back to the cottage and negotiate elbow space in the kitchen as we all mucked in to prepare dinner.
Our last session on Saturday morning was followed by a quick and tasty bacon bap and cup of tea at Salts Farm Cafe before heading back to London for our afternoon training session.
Training on the beach, fun outings, superb meals and great friends! That’s what Shell-a-nami-kai/Sand-A-Nami-Kai and karate is all about :-) and with theses great British summers looking set to continue, why not put aside a few days in August and join us?
Shiranamikai’s summer camps are a week of learning and development sessions that aim to help students of all levels improve techniques while exploring advanced katas and applications, in a relaxed dojo environment.
This summer we studied Heian Shodan, Empi, Heian Yondan, Gojushiho Sho and Sochin. Those who attended the whole week received a certificate and on the last day we enjoyed our traditional club lunch together!
Put the dates in your diary for next year: 29th July – 2nd August
By the way, that was maneki neko, lucky cat soft drink. Have you tried it? 👊🏻😺🥋
We enjoyed a smashing session with Ohta Sensei this June. He was on great form and with technical feedback and kumite sequences which, although simple in that they followed the basic syllabus, were demanding in the mere fact that a very senior instructor was watching, greatly increasing the demands one places upon themselves!
Well done everybody for training hard in the warm dojo and to everybody who graded. You get a nice new belt and certificate for your efforts.
Ohta Sensei delivered a great session for us this quarter. Everything starts from basics so it was reassuring to spend so much time on the fundamentals. Twisting, turning, preparing… twisting and squeezing as a part of preparation, and how to turn on which part of the foot at a particular point. These aren’t necessarily the things you focus on as a beginner because at that stage it is more the overall impression that you cultivate but from brown belt level and especially for black belts, it becomes increasingly important to refine your technique.
Sensei’s explanation of kiba dachi and his exercise was interesting. Sometimes putting across the information in a slightly different way can make more sense to an individual. Kokutsu dachi, too – are you turning on the correct part of the foot, controlling your weight distribution and using your muscles effectively?
Well done to everybody on passing their grading! We’re open as usual over Easter so looking forward to seeing you training!
6th January saw our first karate session of 2018 but it was also the 9th anniversary of Shiranamikai! Needless to say we had a gentle (not gentle) re-entry to training followed by some light snacks and cake to celebrate our club’s birthday. Of course, there was lots of fruit, too! Oh, and fresh sushi!
Here’s looking forward to another great year of training… training and eating…
Lots of feedback from Ohta Sensei this December. The class dynamic meant a focus on fewer katas but much more time to study each one. Everybody had plenty of time to practise on their own and black belts were also taken through kata Wankan.
Congratulations to those who passed their grading!
We had a brilliant, energetic class with Ueda Daisuke Sensei who was visiting from the Japan Karate Association Headquarters in Tokyo.
Ueda Sensei is a dynamic karateka with abundant enthusiasm for the art. He has been a consistent medallist at the All Japan National Championships and took silver in kata at the Funakoshi Gichin Cup World Championship 2014.
He displays an encouraging teaching persona, especially towards the junior members. After training had finished at the JKA England course, he spent extra time helping some of the youngsters with their kata because he felt he hadn’t given them enough attention during their session.
Sensei drew comparisons with his own club in Japan and the children he teaches there. One difference he noted was the sense of urgency with which students typically react to instruction here in the UK. And their energy levels! “You are not like children…!” he said jokingly.
He explained that one should seize an opportunity as soon as it presents itself otherwise any advantage one might have had, is lost. This is also a great message in life, that we should embrace opportunities when they arise. Sometimes we think too much when instead we should just react.
Ueda Sensei left us with five key points which define JKA Shotokan karate: technique (ie. big movements); speed; power; kime; kiai.
”BIGGER! FASTER! STRONGER! KIME! KIAI!” He shouted quickly, over and again, with all of us all repeating. He also left us with a motto: ‘Seize the moment’ and some seasonal Kit Kats – so thoughtful and tasty!
Many thanks to Ueda Sensei for taking the time to visit Shiranamikai.