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.
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!
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!
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
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:
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!