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!
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.
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
[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.
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.
Top session with our Association’s Chief Instructor, Ohta Sensei, this week. Kyu grades received special guidance on their katas while brown & black belts were kept busy working through an exhaustive set of kicking and kumite drills!
Congratulations to everyone on passing their grading!
Shiranamikai participated in the Shotokan Open Championship this weekend. This annual event, hosted by The Japan Karate Association in England, regularly comprises iro 350 entrants from across the UK and Europe. Well done to everybody who made the effort! Our club’s results as follows…
🥈🥉Kyo: Silver in Kata, Bronze in Kumite 🥉Alex Meltsov: Bronze in Kata 🥇🥈Lydik: Gold in Kata, Silver in Kumite 🥉🥈Steph: Bronze in Kata, Silver in Kumite 🥈Tovael: Silver in Kumite 🥈🥉Chantelle: Silver in Kata, Bronze in Kumite 🥇🥇Shion: Gold in Kata, Gold in Kumite 🥉Alex Maclean: Bronze in Kata 🥈Itsuko: Silver in Kata 🥇Eri: Gold in Kumite
Congratulations on the impressive performances, everyone, it’s a 15-medal haul for the club! But what really counts is trying your best, and being back in the dojo for the next training session 🤗
We enjoyed world-class training at the weekend with Senseis, Imamura Tomio 8th Dan and Kurihara Kazuaki 5th Dan from The Japan Karate Association’s Tokyo HQ and Ohta Yoshinobu 7th Dan, Chief Instructor in England. This was a brilliant, intense, and immensely technical, 3-day course!
Kurihara’s distance-making during his kumite class was a sight to behold – him covering ground with astounding speed and power. The partner changes seemed relentless to some as his drills became ever more challenging.
Ohta’s session couldn’t have been more of a contrast, advocating the feeling and connection of technique through muscle engagement during controlled kihon and kumite. As he explained, many advanced katas contain slow movements so when practising it is vital to consider the point at which you start, transition and finish the techniques.
Imamura‘s lesson featured many close-quarter techniques and reverse hip twists that one encounters throughout kata. Many applications felt awkward at first and somewhat opposed to the expansive style of Shotokan but after practise it felt more positive. Great to explore these movements.
Congratulations to Subhash! After training finished on Sunday there was a black belt examination where he passed Shodan. Very well deserved!
Ohta Sensei’s Birthday There was another cause for celebration on Sunday with it being Ohta Sensei’s 60th birthday! There were two huge cakes organised by the association, along with a gift. It’s difficult to sum up in how high a regard he is held by everybody he teaches but Tony Cronk captured it well when he said, “…without you there would be no association.”
Many happy returns, Ohta Sensei, from everyone at Shiranamikai!