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JKA England Spring 2018 Gasshuku

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.

Club Training & Grading, March 2018

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!

9th Anniversary of Shiranamikai

Welcome back to the dojo!

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…

Ueda Daisuke Sensei 4th Dan Visits Shiranamikai

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.

JKA Four Nations Championship 2017

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!

Well done everybody!

6th Shiranamikai Karate Summer Camp, August 2017

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.

Club Training & Grading, June 2017

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.

JKA England 2017 National Championship

It was a great atmosphere in the K2 sports hall with over 300 competitors assembled for JKA England’s National Championship. 

The event got underway at 10am with the youngest competitors on-mat first. We had kata in the morning and kumite after a short break for lunch. Things were running very smoothly but we had the competitor and judges line-up, introductions and presentations before the finals kicked-off. Then another break while we had the presentation of kata awards before the kumite finals. The last awards of the evening were for best competitor and the last few of us were away at 8pm. 

Thanks to all the judges, referees, timekeepers and all of the supporters and parents.

Shiranamikai results as follows:
Shohei Bronze in Kumite
Ryoma Silver in Kata, Gold in Kumite
Uma Gold in kata, Gold in Kumite
Shion Gold in Kata, Bronze in Kumite
Anju Gold in Kata, Silver in Kumite
Alex Bronze in Kata

Not only is this the same medal tally as last year, but also the exact same amount each of gold, silver and bronze! Spooky…

Well done guys!