Tokyo Autumn Karate Course 2017! Guest Post by Martin Dobson (0 comments)

This October four members of JKA England: Sensei Ohta, Ken Hori, Ronnie Noades and Martin Dobson; attended the Autumn Karate Spring Course at JKA Honbu (HQ) in Tokyo.

Following the opening ceremony on Thursday morning we went straight into serious training with the Katas Kanku Dai and Enpi. This session stressed the need for correct hip movements and sharpness when changing direction. The training programme centred on these two Katas with a further seminar again on day three going into even greater detail with repeated practice of key moves.

On Thursday afternoon the training switched to basics and how to adapt techniques into effective Kumite. The drills were very demanding with variations of speed using sanbon-zuki in different stepping sequences.

The next day we reconvened at the Bunkyo Sogo Gymnasium which is a large sports centre not far from the Tokyo Dome. We spent the morning on how to improve judging and refereeing.  We were shown videos of competition contests where wrong decisions were made and were given tips on how we could try to avoid such problems. We also practiced judging Kata and Kumite performed by some young local students, with breaks to discuss whether decisions were correct. It was quite apparent that a great deal of practice is required to be a good referee and that team work is essential.

In the afternoon we could choose from various advanced Kata and given opportunity to check details with regard to our own favorite Kata.

On day three there was more Kata with Kanka Dai and Enpi again followed by the Dan Grading and Qualification tests.  In the evening there was a great party with tons of food and drink, and a chance to mix and talk with all the Honbu Instructors and the other participants from all parts of the world. The atmosphere was very special and many new friendships were struck.

Day four was the highlight for me with a session with Sensei Naka who demonstrated many brilliant training drills which helped to develop quick turns using central and left and right axis points in the body.

The closing ceremony came along far too soon but the group from England returned home with a wealth of new perspectives and information, together with the unforgettable experience of training with some of the best Instructors in the world.

This was my 9th visit to Tokyo, but for me it was easily the best and I felt truly inspired to try to carry on improving little by little. I know I can never be as good as the Honbu Instructors but I do know that I can still improve through regular training.

If you wish to go to Japan and train with so many ex world champions you must first inform JKAE Technical Administration, and, if it’s your first time, contact people who have been there for advice. Good preparation before you go will make your visit more relaxed and enjoyable. Be warned, once you go to Tokyo you will want to go again, and again, and again, and …………….

Martin Dobson

South London SKC


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