The latest JKS England Black and Brown belt training session was held on Sunday 12th July in Nottingham and saw Head of JKS England Alan Campbell Sensei 6th Dan put everyone through their paces.
The session started with punching, paying specific attention to the elbow position when striking in a straight line. Students were then partnered to offer feedback on each other’s technique, giving everyone the chance to concentrate on speed by eliminating unnecessary movement. This partner work then progressed to utilise different paths of punching, practicing mawashi-tsuki (roundhouse) and ura-tsuki (punching palm up). Students were instructed to focus on reducing kime time between the punches to deliver fast combinations without pauses. Alan Sensei gave an excellent demonstration on the use of different punching strategies depending on the distance from the opponent and the available targets. The need to control the elbow position and maintain one’s centre was also stressed to allow fluid, destructive punches. This gave a very enjoyable take and got everyone thinking about their own karate.
The same approach was also encouraged for kicking with the same leg, mae geri then yoko-geri (front then side kick). Students practiced slowly first before repeating at speed. This utilised the hips in a straight line before thrusting them side on into the
target with students concentrating hard to ensure each technique followed on without delay and that the preparation for the second kick was made instantly.
Students were then partnered again for bunkai exercises, working from a foundation of gedan-barai (low sweeping block) and using both hands to prevent wasted movement. This became more advanced, introducing turning techniques found within the Junro katas
and a variety of long and short range technique to support the earlier training exercises. Students were reminded of the need for relaxed technique to respond to close range attacks or pay the price for being too slow!
After a short break, the class was split. The brown belts were given a Heian kata master class by senior instructors of JKS England with points of detail given on important aspects of technique and delivery.
The senior instructors of JKS England and some of the lucky black belts were then given the opportunity to have professional photographs taken by Robert Graham Event Photography, who had set up a portable studio next door to the training hall. Photographs were
taken of the members for future promotion of the growing organisation.
Whilst the photography was taking place, the black belts were treated to a thorough examination of the kata Sochin which proved extremely demanding as special consideration was paid to the slow opening moves. Repeating these resulted in some very tired legs
but students gained a wealth of knowledge on the kata’s performance and its immovable stance (fudo-dachi).
The session was then followed by open squad training with Matt Price Sensei 6th Dan-JKS England National Squad Coach. Matt Sensei took many of the themes from the lesson and adapted them into exercises for kumite development. This began with reaction drills
to develop gyaku-tsuki (reverse punch), an essential technique in kumite.
The fluid body movement worked on in the course before was then used in speed exercises, pitting the students in friendly competition to generate fast movement and employ strategies to outwit each other. Further exercises then had everyone ducking and weaving
to improve core stability and footwork.
The squad training ended with practice on scoring in competition, where students took it in turns to referee each other, being punished with press-ups for hesitation or incorrect decisions. Students responded well to the pressure but many found out just how
hard the referee’s job is on the other side of the competition area!
Many thanks again to Alan and Matt Sensei for another excellent course as well as to all the students for their support. The next JKS England Black and Brown belt training is on September 27th.