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Karate at Hyper Japan 2019

Shiranamikai participated in Hyper Japan at Olympia London in Kensington.

We demonstrated the three core elements of JKA Shotokan karate: kihon (fundamentals), kata (forms) and kumite (partner work).

There was a positive display of gohon kumite (five-step attack and defence to the face and body) during partner work, and again, Ippon kumite (one-step controlled sparring for the face, body and with kicks from three directions) was very strong, and jiyu Ippon kumite, a semi-free form of attack and defence.

Katas included Heian Shodan, Nidan, Sandan, Yondan and Godan (heian meaning peaceful mind); Bassai Dai, which is one of four key Shotokan Shitei katas (the image of Bassai Dai is of storming a castle); and Sochin, with its strong rooted stances and quick contractions and expansions demanding superb body control.

There was also a bunkai demonstration of Heian Godan to illustrate some practical applications of this dynamic kata.

What a great weekend!

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!‬

Japan Karate Association in England 2018 Winter Gasshuku

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!

The Japan Karate Association in England, 2018 Shotokan Open Championship

A rewarding day for the club at this year’s Shotokan Open Karate Championship, hosted by The Japan Karate Association in England.

Shiranamikai results as follows:

Lyra: 4th Kata, Silver Kumite
Courtney: Silver Kumite
Lennon: Bronze Kumite
Ryoma: Gold Kata, Silver Kumite
Toshimitsu: Gold Kata
Katsuhisa: 4th Kata
Chantelle: Gold Kata, Gold Kumite
Shion: 4th Kata, Bronze Kumite
Austin: Silver Kata
Itsuko: Gold Kata

Well done everyone, that’s
🥇🥇🥇🥇🥇🥈🥈🥈🥈🥉🥉
a great result!

Club Training & Grading, September 2018

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!

Shell-A-Nami-Kai Beach Training, Summer 2018

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?