Ahead of our return to group training, Shiranamikai Karate members took photos of themselves with the theme ‘cherry blossom’.
The aim was to create a montage to show how we could foster the spirit of togetherness despite being unable to meet up in person.
The last year has shown us unprecedented challenges but we kept going, stayed in touch and continued training.
Spring is a time for renewal, and the cherry blossom is indicative of this time of year. Now is our chance to move forward as we first resume our outdoor karate sessions, but also look ahead to what we can achieve together.
One of the many benefits of studying karate is that it can be practised anywhere, regardless of space, and without the need for equipment, making it an ideal activity in which to participate online.
Back at the beginning of October 2020, The Japan Karate Association invited member countries to submit a modified version of the kata Tekki Shodan, performed in a space of just one metre wide instead of the usual two metres.
This was a good challenge for students across the world while ensuring practise of one of Shotokan’s fundamental stances: kiba dachi.
Shiranamikai members’ entries were submitted alongside other JKA England clubs, and the final results announced today by Tokyo Headquarters. Well done to all those featured!
Fancy trying it yourself? Here’s what you need to know…
Despite all that happened in 2020, we continued to practise as a club whether inside the dojo wearing masks or training outside at a distance, and during tighter restrictions, online in our own homes.
2021 looks set to be a tough year too, but together we can face whatever comes our way!Physical activity is more important now than ever before. If you are looking for something for yourself or a member of your family then our karate classes could be just what’s needed.
Our association’s Chief Instructor, Ohta Sensei, delivered a special class for Shiranamikai students at the end of 2020.
Adults just missed out on being able to attend in person due to increased tier restrictions that came into force in England on the day. But with Sensei’s keen eye, there was nowhere to hide, even when at an online height of just 10cm!
Each year since 2009, we have enjoyed Japan Matsuri London, a cultural showcase for all the family, including: martial arts, food demonstrations, flower arranging, documentaries, theatre, music and dance.
This year it took place online in the form of Japan Matsuri Presents, and was a great example of how we can all overcome challenges and continue to enjoy our hobbies, interests and passions, by coming together, however possible, in difficult times.
Shiranamikai recorded a karate demo session adjacent to Trafalgar Square and The National Gallery, the home of the festival for the last few years, which was broadcast as part of the 2-day event.
Well done to the Executive Committee and team at Japan Matsuri and to all participants. Shiranamikai is proud to have been a part of it!More in News
We had a fantastic, 2-hour karate training session at the weekend with The Japan Karate Association in England’s Chief Instructor, Ohta Yoshinobu Sensei.
Masks were donned, windows opened, hands washed, distance observed, trained hard, gradings passed – congratulations to all!
When’s his next visit? Not soon enough!
All of our classes have been running live online since 24th March. We have a stable, interactive feed, with instructor-student interaction just as we would in our regular sessions.
Let’s not forget the importance of looking after one’s mental health in these challenging times. Enjoy the fresh air and sunshine of the beautiful spring weather to exercise, whilst maintaining a safe distance from others. And indoors, follow the sessions, watch the details, check the technique and practise safely.Join our online classes…
- Use common sense
- Be mindful of your surroundings
- Consider your neighbours
- Try not to stamp
- Practise is in basics and kata (patterns)
- No kumite (partner work/sparring)
- Restrained/quiet kiais (shouting)
- Wash hands before and after training and/or use sanitiser
- Try not to touch your face or anything else
- Have tissues at hand, then dispose and sanitise
- Keep a face towel to hand instead of using sleeve
- Wash gi after every session
- If practising outdoors, use suncream
- Stay hydrated but avoid public water fountains
- Maintain a distance of at least 2m away from others
- Parents should monitor their children during practise
Keep up to date
Feel free to reach out via the contact form. Email is still the best method of contact for club members and I will send session weblinks and updates using this method so make sure the club email address is added to your email whitelist, and Follow our Twitter and Facebook accounts @Shiranamikai
Stay safe, stay in touch, and keep practising!
[Fully in line with official guidance at the time]
Shiranamikai instructor, Austin Biesty, talks with London-based TV correspondent Alexander Khabarov about the measures adopted by the karate club in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
With gyms, schools and halls closing because of concerns about virus transmission by touch and being in close proximity, we moved to hold a contactless class outside, thereby also ensuring good ventilation and distancing by remaining at least two meters apart.
One of the unique benefits of many Japanese martial arts is the ability to practise effectively without contact. Karate training comprises three core elements: Kihon (fundamentals), Kata (set patterns), and Kumite (partner work). Having already dropped the kumite aspect we were able to continue practise whilst adhering to official guidance.
In budo, the overwhelming aim is the development of oneself, and as such, by being able to continue practising alone but with direction, one places a much higher demand upon their own state of mind and physical form than they would do when facing an opponent directly.
Alexander, it was lovely to chat!See part of our TV broadcast feature…
And how quickly things change! We had the pleasure of the next morning’s sun together which was to be our last lesson in person before moving all sessions online.
Shiranamikai Karate has been featured in The Sunday Telegraph’s ‘keeping active’ pictorial. Students were pictured practising two meters apart and completely in line with guidance at the time. The caption reads…
With cafés and attractions shut, in Primrose Hill, London…a martial arts class takes place – making sure they keep their distance from each other.
Karateka from The Japan Karate Association in England had a good opening to the 2020 New Year with a 3-hour kata course at Hertfordshire University. The training was split into three sessions with choices of Bassai Dai, Bassai Sho or Kanku Sho in the first; Jion, Hangetsu or Meikyo in the second; Empi, Gojushiho Sho or Chinte in the third. Although the kata schedule may have implied it was for brown belts and above, kyu grades were accommodated in a smaller group with the Heian katas and Tekki Shodan.
Our Chief Instructor, Ohta Sensei, led core katas Bassai Dai, Jion and Empi. Also on hand to teach were Adel Ismail and Gary Stewart from the Technical Committee with whom you may have enjoyed Bassai Sho and Meikyo, and Spiros Venturos and Martin King of Oxford University and Oxford City respectively.
It’s tough to get going at the start of the year but hopefully this course helped some along the way or at least made the return to one’s own dojo a little easier!
The AGM that followed was an opportunity for the committee to make submissions on the recent developments in the association and for area representatives to bring everybody up to date with regional news.