The long school summer holiday period offers the perfect opportunity for extra karate practise. Cue our five day training camp!
The two hour morning sessions have different themes with various exercise drills in basics and kumite. Having more time also gives us plenty of scope to break down kata and practise applications. Over the five days we studied; Heians 2-5 and their related brown belt level katas Jion and Kanku Dai, finishing with Kihon kata and Empi.
Midweek, to help beat the two-day aches (and introduce more in muscles you never knew existed), we were joined by Kei Asanuma. Kei is a qualified PE instructor but her unique skill set lies in her being a contemporary dancer and Japan Rhythmic Gymnastics Champion. Top-level dancers and gymnasts have excellent posture with long, strong and supple muscles. They are able to demonstrate smooth body control contrasted with dynamic, explosive movements. All of these things are necessary for karate kata, with its emphasis on form, timing changes and flow of energy. So with this in mind, Kei Sensei led us through a brilliant 45 minutes stretch and conditioning class. Everybody was so quiet… then came the groaning!
Toward the end of the last day, we split everyone into teams of four to choose a kata from those practised during the camp. Everyone then had time to rehearse before performing their kata and demonstrating a bunkai sequence in front of the class. There were some good performances and each group clearly showed their understanding of their chosen kata. Well done!
At the end of the session, we presented certificates to those who had attended the whole week. After a quick change, it was off for some well-deserved sushi!
Next year’s summer camp will be 4th-8th August.