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Japan Karate association in England Autumn 2019 Gasshuku

‪We enjoyed world-class training at the weekend with Senseis, Imamura Tomio 8th Dan and Kurihara Kazuaki 5th Dan from The Japan Karate Association’s Tokyo HQ and Ohta Yoshinobu 7th Dan, Chief Instructor in England. This was a brilliant, intense, and immensely technical, 3-day course!‬

Kurihara’s distance-making during his kumite class was a sight to behold – him covering ground with astounding speed and power. The partner changes seemed relentless to some as his drills became ever more challenging.

Ohta’s session couldn’t have been more of a contrast, advocating the feeling and connection of technique through muscle engagement during controlled kihon and kumite. As he explained, many advanced katas contain slow movements so when practising it is vital to consider the point at which you start, transition and finish the techniques.

Imamura‘s lesson featured many close-quarter techniques and reverse hip twists that one encounters throughout kata. Many applications felt awkward at first and somewhat opposed to the expansive style of Shotokan but after practise it felt more positive. Great to explore these movements.


Congratulations to Subhash! After training finished on Sunday there was a black belt examination where he passed Shodan. Very well deserved!


Ohta Sensei’s Birthday
There was another cause for celebration on Sunday with it being Ohta Sensei’s 60th birthday! There were two huge cakes organised by the association, along with a gift. It’s difficult to sum up in how high a regard he is held by everybody he teaches but Tony Cronk captured it well when he said, without you there would be no association. 

Many happy returns, Ohta Sensei, from everyone at Shiranamikai!

Japan Matsuri London 2019

Shiranamikai members performed a karate display at the 2019 Japan Matsuri in London’s Trafalgar Square, the largest outdoor Japan-UK cultural event bringing together the best of music, food, dance and of course, martial arts!

We did our best to illustrate core elements of JKA Shotokan karate, demonstrating Kihon (fundamentals), Kata (set pattern sequences) and Kumite (partner work). We also saw a lighthearted interaction between one of our most experienced members and one of our most junior, with a little help from her friends!

This year was an occasion where the best of Japanese culture met the test of UK weather so we’d like to thank everybody who braved the elements to stay and watch our performance – we really appreciated your warm welcome – and hope you enjoyed the whole festival as much as we did 🌂🥋🇯🇵🇬🇧

Japan Matsuri 2019 also marked the official launch of the Japan-UK Season of Culture, celebrating the unique bond between our two island nations as Japan plays host to the Rugby Work Cup and the 2020 Olympics.

See you next time!

Special Training & Grading with Ohta Sensei, 27th September 2019

There was a great atmosphere during Ohta Sensei’s karate class at Shiranamikai this September with everybody trying their best and pushing themselves throughout his demanding kumite drills. Not a single brow was dry! 

Congratulations to everybody who graded on achieving their next level!


Karate at Hyper Japan 2019

We participated in Hyper Japan at Olympia London in Kensington.

Shiranamikai students demonstrated the three pillars of JKA Shotokan karate: kihon (basics/fundamentals), kumite (partner work) and kata (forms). Katas shown were Heians: Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan and Godan, followed by Bassai Dai and Sochin. We also incorporated light-hearted bunkai (application of technique) of Heian Godan.

From the J-Culture stage we could hear something big going down on the other side of Olympia but it wasn’t until reviewing the video footage that we realised that during our Ippon kumite, tsugaru shamisen rock artists Kuni-Ken, were performing their own ‘Ippon’ on the main stage! Of course, we had to get in touch :-D

Thanks to everyone at Hyper Japan! See you next time!

Music by KUNI-KEN
Available on Spotify, iTunes store etc. Check them out!

JKA England 2019 National Championship

Shiranamikai had a very good day at the 2019 National Championship of The Japan Karate Association in England. There were some impressive displays by club members who can all feel very proud of their performance.

Many thanks to Sheila and Eri for being club coaches and helping us all get where we needed to go, and to Ana for all her support.

This was our first opportunity to display our new club flag which was a 10th anniversary present from all members/friends/karate family in the UK and Japan.

We also picked up a few medals on the day…
🥇🥉Lennon: Gold in Kata, Bronze in Kumite
🥈Rahul: Silver in Kumite
🥇Thomas: Gold in Kumite
🥈Alex Meltsov: Silver in Kumite
🥈Itsuko: Silver in Kata
🥈Austin: Silver in Kata
Well done, guys!

It’s nice to win a medal but attitude and conduct is far more important. There was such great team spirit among everybody at Shiranamikai which all helped to make the long day pass quickly!

Warm-up and run-through shots courtesy of Ana…

Shots from Alex

…and photos throughout the contest, again from Ana

Out next big competition will be 7th December.

Japan Karate Association in England 2019 Spring Gasshuku

Ohta Sensei’s guests at The Japan Karate Association in England’s international course this spring were Ogura Yasunori 8th Dan and Ogane Yutaro 3rd Dan from the Tokyo Honbu, and Sawada Kazuhiro 7th Dan and Sergio Gneo 7th Dan from JKA Belgium.

Support was also provided by instructors from JKA England’s Technical Committee: Roy Tomlin 6th Dan, Gary Stewart 6th Dan, Adel Ismail 6th Dan and Giuseppe D’onofrio 5th Dan.

There was great feedback from everybody who attended. As well as the usual fantastic kihon and kumite sessions, advanced kata sessions covered technique and applications for:

Friday: Enpi, Jitte, Tekki Nidan & Sandan
Saturday: Kanku Dai, Bassai Sho, Sochin, Gojushiho Sho
Sunday: Bassai Dai, Jion, Nijushiho
Monday: Bassai Dai, Gankaku, Gojushiho Dai

The next big course dates are 1st-3rd December.

Special Training & Grading with Ohta Sensei, 29th March 2019

It was a top session this spring with Ohta Yoshinobu 7th Dan, Chief Instructor of The Japan Karate Association in England.

After some solid fundamentals practise and kumite drills, Ohta Sensei took students through each kata for those training offering feedback and pointers to work on.

Well done to everybody for trying their best. This was a highly motivated group in what was a very hot dojo absent of aircon. If your brow was dry, you weren’t there!

Congratulations to those who graded!

Shiranamikai 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

‪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!

Club Training & Grading, December 2018

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!‬