On the 10th of November 2019, we had the pleasure to welcome back Sensei Scott Langley, Chief Technical Director of the HDKI. Scott lived in Japan for 5 years and is now resident in Dublin, Ireland. A graduate of the famous JKS instructors’ course, Scott has been a successful competitor with National, European and World championship titles to his name.
The morning session focused on the many aspects of kihon (and more particularly gyaku-zuki), incrementally highlighting the importance of using your core, controlling the shape of your stance (i.e. whilst transitioning from shomen to hanmi), controlling your upper body and finally controlling your attack – whilst hiding your intent. Time was spent looking at power generation techniques such as expansion / compression and the influence of appropriate distancing – highlighting differences with sport karate where power is irrelevant.
In a class full of ‘tensed’ students, Scott further highlighted the importance of relaxation (“Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.” as Mitsuo Mayeda used to say) and the importance of switching off all muscles that are not required – a form of laziness which aimed at maximising body efficiency.
The afternoon session was spent going through the details of Bassai Dai and most importantly, the need to transcend styles (and associations) to focus on the underlying principles of karate ; and understanding that looking at the old can often help in interpreting kata and applications.
Key lesson of the day : apply and share the principles of karate but remember to be yourself, understanding your body (and its limitations) – this is your own karate journey.
Thank you to Scott Sensei, David Sensei and Bernard Sensei for a great session.