Every year the Japan Karate Association England holds International Courses with world renowned Karate instructors from Japan. The next course will take place at K2 Crawley and it is open to all Shotokan associations and ages. It is will be held between Friday, 4th May to Monday 7th May, with in attendance: Imura Sensei 7th Dan, Kobayashi Sensei, 6th Dan, and Shiina Mai Sensei, 3rd Dan from Japan, and JKA England Chief Instructor Ohta Sensei, 7th Dan.
The course will be held at K2 Crawley, Pease Pottage Hill, Crawley RH11 9BQ.
Link to the registration page :
Here is an old article written by one of our Shodan who attended such a course in the past:
Folks – We are lucky to be part of an association that embraces the fact that there are other Karate Ka within the UK and abroad that allow visitors and hold open courses so that we can have a diverse education in the art of Karate, this supports what we experience and learn at CKA and also allows us all additional opportunities if we wish to take up the offers of training elsewhere.
In April 2011 the Japan Karate Association (JKA) held a Karate Open Course from the 29th April 2011 until the 2nd May 2011 and a good number of our CKA colleagues attended – Mr & Mrs Murray, Miss Guerri, Mr Entecott, Mr Thornton, Miss Noble and Myself (Mr Raspberry Ripple J)
I had originally planned to attend the Aug 2009 session but due to my long standing knee issues I had to cancel twice but Mrs C Buck of JKA had very graciously agreed to carry over my payment until April 2011 and along with Mr Entecott I attended the last two days of the course (I’m not sure I would have physically survived the 4 days J)
The course was being coordinated by JKA UK headed up by Sensei Ohta 7th Dan based in Holburn London, the Senior Instructors from Japan included all the following Sensei Tanaka 8th Dan, Sensei Osaka 8th Dan, Sensei Sawada 7th Dan and last but very “not” least Sensei Inokoshi 3rd Dan.
Countries participating included people from as far away as Norway, Germany, Sweden, Spain, France, Poland & Scotland (proper foreign) and they were obviously of all shapes, sizes, ages and experience levels. I cant cover what was done within the first two days but on the 1st & 2nd May we did all the following:
Obligatory warm up taken by a picked Dan Grade followed very quickly but structured sessions that followed on from or complimented the proceeding days.
On this occasion we were informed that they had already covered “Arms or Striking” on Day two therefore on this day 3 we would cover “Legs & Kicking” and you can imagine my deep joy at this news (Im sat here writing this with my leg raised and with ice pack in place).
What then followed with Sensei Sawada was an extended session looking at Mai Geri, and Mawashi Geri kicking exercises with great attention being paid to Hara/Tanden or core body positioning and strength, we did many many many many repetitions………let me say that again for effect – many repetitions.
Following this we were split into 4 groups of experience levels 1) Two sets of Dan Grades 2) All Brown Grades and also 3) Everyone under 3rd Kyu (this was actually the smallest group). Each of the 4 groups was then allocated a Sensei and additional training began.
The first 15 minutes involved a kicking routine for front and roundhouse kick, starting with your knee raised (as if at the end of the kick with your foot returned but knee still raised) we briefly dropped our foot back into front stance before immediately kicking forward and waiting with the knee raised again.
This was repeated the other side and again for roundhouse kick. You can always trust the JKA to come up with a simple variation to basic technique that increases the difficulty and effort required without changing the core basic move. The rest of the first hour was fast paced, hard work with sufficient short rests between sets.
Meanwhile the dan grade group covered maai (the distance between you and the opponent) and variations to kihon set 1 jodan at increasingly close distance using three variations of the basic punch that would become a short rising punch (ura zuki), vertical fist punch (tate zuki) and the full twist punch (choka zuki) depending on your distance from the opponent.
Sensei Ohta said that at first you decide the counter you wish to use and when blocking you manoeuvre yourself into the correct position to deliver the technique.
However later on you do not plan ahead but adjust your counter according to the situation you are in and do so without consciously planning the block or counter.
After that, the dan grades covered the katas Nijushiho and Empi including some applications.
In the Brown belt group we then started to look further at core strength with Sensei Sawada.
He started by taking us through some core strength and breathing exercises which were designed to re-enforce the fact that Kime is required, not just within strikes or in the arms but also, through the core of our bodies, into the legs to build strength in our footings, or the foundation of our stances.
He had us practise this through some very rigorous Jodan attack and defences.
He then went on to follow this up with detailed tuition in Basai Dai and Tekki Shodan with some detailing on specific techniques, and bunkai.
I do think this was for the benefit of approx 15 people in our group that intended doing a Dan Grading that very afternoon.
But I must say that during each session in day one I did pickup at least one significant piece of information that I need to use or adapt for myself – isn’t that what it’s all about and therefore worth at least day one cost.
Again the obligatory warm up taken by a picked Dan Grade followed very quickly but structured sessions that followed on from or complimented the proceeding days.
Having done legs the day before I thought I’d escaped punishment. MmMMm not true !!! We were going to put together what was already covered.
What then followed with Sensei Inokoshi (I might add the youngest and fittest) was a session that looked at freestyle footwork, adding in Kizami Zuki, Gaku Zuki, Mai Geri and Mawashi Geri and you guessed it – yes we did many many many many repetitions and I lost count after approx 200 sets containing all the above to count………. ouch !!!
We then partnered up and practised 4 types of counter and footwork positioning to a Kizami Zuki attack, and my Polish partner was very enthusiastic with his counter punching as my ribs will tell you.
We then took a short break and Sensei Tanaka supported with language translation services from Sensei Ohta went on the explain that he had seen some issues with distancing, and positioning within the previous exercises.
He then started top ask Dan Grades to demonstrate and explain stances and distancing – some of the responses were interesting – and he reminded them all that as instructors then needed to be able to explain and understand things correctly if they were to further or better educate others.
Following this we were split into the previous days 4 groups of experience levels.
The Dan Grade Group focused on basic techniques, specifically gyaku zuki and kizami zuki delivered whilst moving forward, back, left and right, followed by more kicks and avoiding those with sideways movements.
We then covered Jitte in detail picking up a number of points and covering some applications for the various moves.
In the Brown belt group we then started to look further at the basics with Sensei Osaka, he started by taking us (as per the previous day) through some core strength and hip or core body positioning exercises designed to give strength in our footings, or the foundation of our stances.
He then went on to re-enforce this with Single or Sanbon Oi Zuki and Gaku Zuki punches. We also relooked at the knee, foot and toes positioning in Mai Geri and he had us practise this through some very rigorous repeat exercises. He then went on to follow this up with detailed tuition in Jion with some detailing on specific techniques, and bunkai. I also must add that Sensei Osaka’s English is very limited but through almost a “mime” like session he imparted a great amount of information and educated us all very well in Jion
It seems there is a competition and course in Norway in Nov 2011 if you are interested. I will be attending the next course in 2012, that’s if I recover in time – Be lucky, train hard and be safe.