Shiina Katsutoshi Visits Shiranamikai

We had a fantastic lesson with Shiina Sensei at the O2 dojo. Students who attended the gasshuku will have had an idea about what to expect – boundless energy from this huge personality… and powerful techniques delivered with great control.

What was particularly engaging about Shiina’s style of teaching was the way in which he involved everyone present. Right from the beginning, he asked if there were any special requests for him to cover during training. He also said that we should discuss techniques with each other and work collaboratively to make them effective.

This was a tough training session! Punching, kicking and leg switching to loosen us up; put into practise with groups of three in ten-set rotations, over and over again, spurred on by Sensei’s shouts of “DON’T STOP! DON’T STOP! DON’T STOP!” And we didn’t. For the best part of forty-five minutes, the training was intense.

A brief respite came while Shiina Sensei instructed Heian Nidan. Gathering grades up to 4th Kyu close, he demonstrated each sequence of applications clearly for practise in groups of three. Brown and black belts were tasked with Bassai Dai and after performing the kata, it was bunkai for us too. Sensei asked us to suggest four elements of the kata to practise surrounded by the same number of attackers. After finishing with the fourth attack, it was straight back to the first opponent for a round of ten free-kumite attacks!

Toward the end of the session, coloured belts joined the groups of brown and black. To finish, all black and brown belts lined up and other grades faced them for free kumite. Three partner changes later, the lesson was over.

Somebody commented how they’d never seen my face so red before. This is quite possibly true. I myself noted that some people seemed to have sweated for the first time ever in a session – well done! But out of everyone who attended, there wasn’t a single face without a smile.

Many thanks to Shiina Sensei for visiting our club!

Austin