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!
Watching our new club promo together on the small screen at the big screen before it goes live. But how did the popcorn go from being ‘on the club’, to being all over the floor? Never mind, it was a fun thing to do!
Many thanks to all the staff at Odeon Cinema Swiss Cottage for being so welcoming and taking such good care of us. The newly refurbished IMAX screen will open in two weeks time – can’t wait!
And here it for those who couldn’t make it to training on Saturday:
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.
The Four Nations Championship included additional competitors from Norway, Germany and Malta this year so Shiranamikai competitors had some challenging rounds. Everybody competing performed very well though!
Shiranamikai results as follows:
Shohei Gold in Kata, Bronze in Kumite
Ryoma Gold in Kata, Bronze in Kumite
Tejas 4th Place in Kata, Silver in Kumite
Katsuhisa Bronze in Kata, Bronze in Kumite
Yoko Bronze in Kumite
Shion Gold in Kata, Gold in Kumite
Itsuko Silver in Kata!
Every year, at the beginning of August, Shiranamikai holds its 5-day karate camp with the aim of learning advanced katas and the practical application of techniques which we don’t always have time to break down during regular classes.
This year was our 6th summer camp. We worked through basics and kumite relating to our focus-katas Heian Sandan, Jion, Gojushiho Sho and Empi. There was lots of group work to encourage inclusive, creative thinking.
We finished up our last day with Ramune, sushi and mochi ice cream which went down particularly well after a whole week of training!
Well done if you attended the whole week! Put next year’s dates in your diary: Monday 30th July – Friday 3rd August.
Ohta Sensei visited Shiranamikai to teach a special class at the end of June. Three days after the competition and just the other side of the June heatwave, the dojo was still hot and stuffy – perfect for a tough session to loosen up the muscles!
During kihon, Sensei focussed on back stance and gave everybody technical pointers. With kumite, he worked us hard in kaishi ippon, with the familiar “…until I say stop!” which was great if you weren’t pacing yourself! Kata was those needed for grading.
And the grading went well! But as always there is lots to improve upon. so it’s important, whilst moving forward, to also retrospectively work on the feedback in order to be able to progress.
Learn authentic Shotokan karate as taught by the Japan Karate Association. Come and join our karate classes in Harrow-on-the-Hill, Swiss Cottage, West Hampstead and Stanmore.