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…
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!
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 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!