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!
Shiranamikai members participated in a 3-day winter gasshuku (training camp) hosted by The Japan Karate Association in England.
Tutorage was by special guest instructors Imamura Tomio 7th Dan and Hanzaki Yasuo 7th Dan from the Tokyo Sohonbu, alongside Ohta Yoshinobu 7th Dan, England’s Chief Instructor. In turn, they were supported by Senseis Adel, Roy, Gary and Giuseppe of England’s technical division.
Kata choices for brown and black belts were Friday: Chinte / Meikyo / Empi, Saturday: Jitte / Bassai Sho / Kanku Dai and Sunday: Jion / Bassai Dai. Ohta Sensei also had a section for those who were grading with alternative kata choices. Other Kyu grades were able to focus on the Heian katas while exploring applications.
These karate courses also offer a chance to catch up with friends from other clubs in the association and when not practising, the time to do other things, like on our Saturday side trip to Hever Castle!
After the last training session on Sunday, there was a Dan grading. Congratulations go to Ollie and Alex on passing their Shodan grading. Well done guys, you’ve worked long and hard. Your black belts are well deserved!
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? 👊🏻😺🥋
Shiranamikai members had a very rewarding day at the JKA England, 15th Anniversary, 2018 National Championship.
With somewhere in the region of 350 competitors across individual and team kata and kumite events, there was a lot to get through in a single day. Fortunately our association has a very experienced events team and officials who managed the day very professionally enabling us to wrap-up completely by 7pm.
This year was titled the 15th Anniversary Championship because JKA England was formed as an association in 2003 with ties to the JKA World Federation dating back further to 1965. The Japan Karate Association itself celebrates its 70th anniversary having been established in November 1948. 2018 is also the 150th anniversary of the birth of Funakoshi Gichin, born 10th November 1868! Master Funakoshi founded Shotokan and was the first Chief Instructor of the JKA.
Counsellor Hiroshi Itakura, First Minister of Education and Sport at the Embassy of Japan in the UK, was guest of honour and presented medals alongside Ohta Yoshinobu, Chief Instructor of JKA England.
As always, the conduct of our students was exemplary and I’m very proud of everyone who entered. More than just competing for oneself, these events offer an opportunity to build relationships with students from clubs across the country and to see, experience and be inspired by karate.
Shiranamikai Results as follows…
Thomas: 4th Kata & Bronze kumite
Ryoma: Gold Kata & Gold Kumite
Shohei: Gold Kata & Gold Kumite
Lennon: Bronze Kata & Bronze Kumite
Toshimitsu: Gold Kata & Silver kumite
Chantelle: 4th Kata & Bronze Kumite
Sevim: Bronze Kata & Bronze Kumite
Uma: 4th Kata
Stephanie: Gold Kata & Bronze Kumite
Shion: Gold Kata & Gold Kumite
Kentaro: Bronze Kata & Silver Kumite
Austin: Silver Kata
Itsuko: Silver Kata
Shiranami XL (Alex, Ollie, Austin): Bronze Team Kata
Shiranami M (Shohei, Lennon, Ryoma): Gold Team Kata
This is a great achievement. Well done everyone for working so hard during training!
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.
Special guest instructors Imura Takenori 8th Dan, Kobayashi Kunio 7th Dan and Shiina Mai 4th Dan from the Tokyo Sohonbu, Sawada Kazuhiro 7th Dan from Belgium and Ohta Yoshinobu 7th Dan from JKA England lead the brilliant, spring May Bank Holiday Weekend, training camp.
Four days training can initially seem a little daunting but by taking one day at a time, you get to experience the various methods and personality of each instructor. We are all individual so sometimes a different take on basics or applications can click with one person more than another.
Shiranamikai members were present over the weekend as always which was great to see. Participating is a prerequisite for taking shodan but sessions are for everybody, not just brown belts and above. They present a fantastic opportunity to learn from highly experienced, world-class instructors, who you might not otherwise have the chance to see.
Imura Sensei has an imposing presence and he amazed students with his take on press-ups. Kobayashi Sensei linked a superb basics and kumite lesson with Gojushho Sho kata. Sawada Sensei has a wealth of knowledge and his classes have always been informative so it was great to see him back. Shiina Sensei is incredibly fast and strong and people always leave her sessions with a smile on their faces. And with Ohta Sensei, you’re looking at a technical masterclass every time.
So, plan your diary ahead and attend as possible in order to experience all that these world class instructors have to offer.
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.