We had a good turnout for Ohta Sensei’s class this March. As usual it was the perfect blend of a physical and mental challenge, backed by his invaluable technical instruction. Well done everyone for passing their grading!
At the beginning of January 2017 Shiranamikai celebrated its 8th anniversary. The first karate session took place in Harrow on 6th January 2009.
Shiranamikai has developed well over the years but changed very little. Our core values still remain the same. Training always comes first… then cake.
We are privileged to be members of the Japan Karate Association with its strong heritage, technical direction and first class instructors. Club members have many opportunities to take advantage of this throughout the year in the dojo, during special club sessions, national courses and competitions.
Welcome back to the dojo!
Aside from one session at the end of December, we had two weeks rest from training. It’s good to take this time over Christmas to relax and recuperate with maybe just a little light exercise to stay mobile.
Now is the time to get back into the swing of things! New Year is perfect for starting afresh and this is equally true in karate. So throw your kit into your bag (karate gi or jogging bottoms and a tee) and come along to the next session.
The most difficult step can be the first one through the door. From there, the next step is up to you.
December 2016 was a busy month at Shiranamikai. For the last month of the year, we had a lot to cram in…
Christmas Dinner, 17th December
Enjoyed our traditionally, non-traditional club Christmas dinner, which doubled-up as a leaving party for Kentaro. As well as a chance to say goodbye it was also a good opportunity to get to know the new members of Shiranamikai. Needless to say, we all had a cracking time!
Last Training Before Christmas, 21st December
I was intending to run some games in order to win some sweet prizes during the latter part of the session but actually, exercising beneath those toasty, synthetic Santa hats was deserving enough of a treat. Plus, the three kata requests of Jion, Kanku Dai and Unsu didn’t leave much time for anything else. Thanks to those who brought along mince pies and chocolates for snacking on afterwards!
Keiko Osame, 27th December
The last lesson of the year was a free session, a small gift back to all of you. Coming the day after Boxing Day, the timing was perfect to get moving after several days of sedentaryness. The suggestion was to bring along any leftovers from Christmas so that we could help each other polish them off after training but I nearly ended up leaving with more than I had brought along myself! Never mind :-)
The 27th was also Kentaro’s last club karate session for a while. Kentaro, Hina, Miyuki & Hisaharu, we wish you all the very best for the future and look forward to seeing you again soon!
Wishing you a very Happy Christmas and New Year from all of us @Shiranamikai
Come and join us for Keiko Osame, the last training of the year on Tuesday 27th December. Open dojo; everybody welcome!
Our first training of 2017 will be on Tuesday 3rd January when all our classes recommence.
6.30pm, upstairs in the O2 Community Venue at O2 Centre, 255 Finchley Road, London NW3 6LU
Had a great training session this December with Ohta Sensei. The kumite combinations that we built up to through our basics were energetic and demanding, being an interesting twist on kaishi ippon!
Well done to everyone who passed their grading – your hard work and perseverance paid off.
Another top training session this month with JKA England’s top instructor, Ohta Sensei.
Basics incorporated reaction exercises that, combined with partner work, connected attacks and defences very quickly. It’s these rapid exercises that help to build essential reaction/fast-twitch muscle.
Everybody grading received a runthrough of their kata and brown belts in particular had a longer class to help polish Bassai Dai. Bassai Dai is a showcase for the 18 months to 3 years training. It contains top to bottom reverse twist, rotational blocks with linear legwork, stationary blocking with downwards compression and rooting energy with flexible upper. One of the reasons we spend so much time on this form is that gradually, it helps the practitioner better understand how opposing parts of their body can work together to develop maximum power, speed and smoothness.
Congratulations to everyone who passed their grading!
Shiranamikai was delighted to welcome Imamura Tomio Sensei 7th Dan, from the JKA Tokyo Sohonbu, to our dojo on 19th September for a special training session.
Imamura Sensei is a regular guest instructor at JKA England’s international courses and brings with him a wealth of experience. Having him visit to teach at class-level was an opportunity too good to miss and with Ohta Sensei on hand too, it was priceless.
For course attendees who had a hankering for more training after the end of the gasshuku or those who found the prospect of 3 hours training of the JKA England course a little demanding, this session was spot-on. It was class instruction in body dynamics for karate. Imamura Sensei took care to break down everything he could, in the time allowed, to aid development. It was nothing short of a masterclass.
Imamura Sensei explained directional energy – how to create it, hold onto it, and redirect it. To demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of projecting and holding energy in front stance, he used Ohta Sensei as model: pushing, pulling, stepping on, and climbing up his body frame!
His kumite exercise was defending against mae geri, oi tsuki by using gedan barai, age uke. First with a step, second with a slide. Counter was slide back in gyaku tsuki. Defending against the front kick is very close so you have to block on the way. The punch then comes in very quickly so you need a fast reaction to escape and block before closing the distance back down for the counter.
We finished up the training with Heian Sandan, Godan and Bassai Dai and, like with the rest of the lesson, he had a close eye on everything we were doing, correcting us as we were counted through each move.
In Sensei’s closing words, he asked that we practise what we covered in class. And of the details that one can habitually forget, Sensei stressed it is important to remember them all.
This was a superb lesson and we are all grateful for Imamura Sensei for taking the time to visit.
We had some exciting weather during this, our second, beach gasshuku: warm and sunny on Thursday, mild with light showers Friday (great for keeping cool) and on Saturday, strong winds that whisked up a light sandstorm (apply sun cream in these conditions for a great skin exfoliant).
Beach training sessions are more relaxed than regular classes but provide superb physical benefits: the unsteady sand base causes lost spring and momentum, forcing a greater reliance on the important core muscles to maintain stability and direct ones’ power.
During our four sessions we covered Heian Shodan, Sandan and Yondan, and Kanku Dai. Partner exercises used the katas’ elements of tai sabaki, foot sweeps, joint locks and take-downs.
Between training sessions there was plenty to do away from the water: walking through picturesque Rye town, visiting its shops and tea rooms, appreciating the views from St Mary’s church, Epryes Tower and the old fortifications. Further along the coast, is Dungeness with its nature reserve, narrow gauge railway and old lighthouse. All set against a backdrop of a flat, barren, post-apocolyptic-looking landscape. Striking.
With fifteen of us down there, plus Cocoa and Sensei Sho, eating out together was always going to prove tricky but we all came together on Saturday evening for a delicious home-prepared dinner.
Training by the sea is enormous fun and something we’ll continue to do as a club. We can all enjoy the beaches safely by being well-informed and with the added reassurance of RNLI lifeguards who will, hopefully, become a permanent fixture:
At this year’s summer camp, we looked at body alignment, posture and the mechanics of making smooth transition between positions. Body control is fundamental to making efficient movement in karate.
Monday through to Thursday was a mixture of control exercises, kumite and kata with applications. Each day we also recapped on the previous days’ technical information. Friday, was a kata-only session to revisit our four primary course katas to check everyone could remember the applications in their groups and explain what they were doing. It is important to be able to show an understanding of the meaning behind each movement of a kata. This in turn, contributes to a better impression of the kata when performing. Explaining what you are doing while you are doing it is very difficult!
Our primary katas were Heian Nidan, Heian Godan, Bassai Dai and Gankaku. We also squeezed in Sochin on Friday, before wrapping up the training and taking a leisurely stroll to enjoy a delicious lunch for a proper finish to the week’s training.
To those who attended each day, well done, you receive a certificate for your efforts! Five students got special mention for training in the evening at the Tuesday and Wednesday sessions – every possible Shiranamikai lesson over the five day period.
Put the first week of August in your diary for 2017, beginning Monday 31st July – Friday 4th August. In the meantime, we have beach training to look forward to in just under two weeks time!