JKS England Spring Course a great success

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By SC / NB
Published Sunday, March 6, 2022

The JKS England Spring Course had a change to the original billing this year, owing to the rescheduling of Kagawa Shihan for later on in 2022. The March 5th course was formatted in advance so students could eagerly await the variety of karate-do which would be showcased. Instructors would cover specific elements of practice in a detailed and practical manner to leave no stone unturned in the delivery of an action-packed day at the Nottingham Wildcats Arena.

Alan Campbell Sensei 7th Dan, Head of JKS England welcomed a very busy hall of students and began with a reminder about the good which martial arts brings, not just on an individual or domestic level but also an international one. Alan Sensei respectfully addressed the impact of the situation in Ukraine and how people are both directly and indirectly influenced by this. The human component on both sides was thoughtfully considered, along with how people in the association locally were unable to attend, instead caring for loved ones affected by the invasion. Appreciating the past relationships fostered through international competition and instruction, support was shown with time spent clapping and thinking about the lives lost and hardships endured in the conflict. Alan Sensei reminded how solidarity benefits people across the world and how shared interests represent a force for good. In a mark of respect, the Ukrainian flag was also displayed having been gifted to JKS England back in 2008 when hosting the JKS European Championships.

The course would begin at a fast pace, following an extensive and crucial warm up from Mark Slattery Sensei 5th Dan from JKS Luton. Alan Sensei would use squat kicks to get the blood pumping, whilst also offering a taste of what was to come in very much a leg and kicking dominated first half of the course. Cycling through squat mae-geris, yoko-geri and mawashi-geri would follow, with Alan Sensei identifying the need to operate with an expansive hip movement but not sacrificing posture which would prevent the ability for the kick to be returned swiftly.

Hip thrusts were then utilised as an isolation exercise to help convey the necessary contraction which launches mae-geri and helps reach it’s optimum power. Students would repeat this by stabilising their core and thrusting the hips forwards. This was trained with their back to the floor whilst only letting hand and feet contact the ground. The exercise enabled the class to uncover if this is what is repeated when the technique is performed when standing. To further establish the internal sensation which the kick demands, a partner was used to respond to and then activate this hip thrust by pulling their partner’s belt, as they remained in the same face up position. This echoed the speed which the kick greatly profits from so that it can hit the target without giving enough time for the opponent to block or evade.

This sharp and fluid motion would then be tested from a standing start with students reacting to the signal provided by their partner, given through contact to the rear of the student kicking. The hip complex would again be maintained as the central theme as Alan Sensei guided students to challenge their hip abductor strength through pulses to the side, aiming to squeeze the knee as close to their ear as possible, after having adopted a hands and knees position on the dojo floor. This level of understanding, illustrated clearly by Alan Sensei, helped everyone appreciate how easy it is for posture to deteriorate if this is not controlled, even when only a small element of the kick is practiced as they wrestled against

leaning to one side to reduce the load on the active leg and at times hoped no one could see the faces being pulled as maximum effort was applied!

The floor would again become the student’s friend as they took a well-earned rest and lay supine for but a brief moment. Their partner this time, acted as a barrier for the active karateka to avoid during the delivery of a mawashi-geri. To complete effectively, the knee had to be controlled carefully and the hip placed under constant attention to maximise the mobility, rolling the hip to end with the ball of the foot (koshi) on the floor to reflect the contact position of the kick.

Having loosened the hip joint and worked the muscles thoroughly, mawashi-geri was practiced from front stance, with Alan Sensei creating a check point in the preparation of the kick by placing the hand underneath the knee, generating a focus on the ideal alignment for execution when the kick was done fully. Speed and power naturally followed as the isolation drills allowed the students to gain maximum height whilst observing the technical points which had been succinctly tackled by Alan Sensei.

Hans Rana Sensei 6th Dan of JKS Loughborough was then able to promote the training from Alan Sensei by exploring an Asai ryu kata called Rantai. Affectionately and very aptly known as “the kicking kata”, a more appropriate warm up could not have been devised, almost as if it had been planned! Hans Sensei cleverly dissected the form into it’s component parts and conducted the class in his unique style. Operating at a high energy level and with a great tempo, short sections of the kata were repeated until they were recalled by the students before gradually adding them onto the starting sequence. After Hans Sensei had covered the whole of the kata, students had quickly learned which combination was needed and in which direction, allowing the intensity level to be raised. The ever-enthusiastic tone which Hans Sensei teaches with meant concentration was high and the less common movements which the kata benefits from were practiced numerous times.

A short break was followed by the reintroduction of Hans Sensei to journey the class through another non-syllabus kata called Kakuyoku Sandan. Employing a similar framework, Hans Sensei imparted a wealth of knowledge to the class in only a short space of time. True to type as well, Hans Sensei ended his training session with some of his short and sweet meet and greet kumite and tough leg exercises, reminding the hips why they should never be forgotten. Hans Sensei’s intimate understanding of many syllabus kata is something which complements the association deeply and which is why there is such a demand for all the course’s instructors to lead sessions around the country.

The final part of the course would complete the trinity of kihon, kata and kumite. It was over to Ben Richardson Sensei 5th Dan and JKS England Coach to cater for the kumite section. Ben Sensei started by extolling the virtues of footwork in successful sparring. Taking time to explain carefully, Ben Sensei showed how the stance and guard must always work in conjunction for both protective and attacking purposes. The first exercises saw the students pair up and work on distance control. Transitioning between sides and adjusting their guard around their partner formed the foundation which Ben Sensei would build upon. Students were encouraged to be light on their feet and move smoothly, maintaining a stable posture and relaxed body in preparation for techniques to be introduced.

Ben Sensei would then look at how the hip is engaged in a fast change of stance so that the leg position is not made vulnerable to sweeping or a counterattack whilst airborne (if a jumping approach is used). Managing the hip control and centreline would then be quite literally pivotal to the next feature of footwork which Ben Sensei covered. A thorough explanation of pivoting allowed students to understand how and why this is an integral part of minimising the opponent’s ability to respond, whilst also exposing an alignment which allowed the student to deliver an attacking technique. If an appropriate stance is implemented, the tai-sabaki (body evasion) can result in an attack which is difficult to defend against with a block or body movement, owing to the angle generated by the pivot.

Continuing in their pairs, students would recognise when to pivot to each side, particularly after a kicking technique and then Ben Sensei would expand the arsenal of footwork movements to slide sideways, avoiding a punching attack and engaging the guard to cover the punch with their hands for additional safety.

Ben Sensei’s comprehensive lesson would culminate with a sequence which applied all the footwork mechanisms practiced earlier. Aiming to increase the speed and fluidity to recreate an unknown kumite exchange, students reacted to their partner with the appropriate skills they had not long practiced. Beginning with a kick and pivot to alter the angle of attack, a kizami then gyaku-tsuki combination was designed to exploit the new position, before revisiting the stance change which Ben Sensei demonstrated earlier. This ended the drill in a scoring position by reversing the punches. This changed the height to draw the block at multiple levels and orchestrated an opening to succeed in hitting the target. Having practiced the constituent parts and repeated them, students were able to connect them together without delay to end the session with a dynamic interaction and the glorious sound of constant kiais throughout the arena! Having digested and used the concepts which Ben Sensei made easy to understand, students had gained valuable expertise in footwork and how to practice exposing a target on their partner on return to their home dojos.

It was an exceptional course, made by both the quality of instruction and effort of the students which continued to exhibit the depth within JKS England but also reflecting the diversity of karate practice which can only advance the ability and interest of all those able to attend. The course was followed by a dan grading which needed all the students to dig deep to counteract their tired legs especially. A big congratulations to those who were successful either in part or in full.  All those that passed are listed below

Please keep an eye out for the return to a very busy schedule for 2022, including squad training, referee development sessions, competitions, training courses and the long-awaited return to the UK of Kagawa Shihan in September.


Anya Holmes Ellerker - York Karate Dojo

Sam Watson - York Karate Dojo


Oliver Holyoak - Can Do Martial Arts

Richard Knipe - Can Do Martial Arts

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January Black and Brown Belt Training
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A great day in York
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2020 JKS England squad selected
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Inspiring Black and Brown Belt Training
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Superb Summer Course
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Excellent Black and Brown Belt Training
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BKF success for the JKS England squad
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Yet another great Black and Brown belt course
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Thursday, January 17, 2019
The first Black and Brown Belt course of 2019
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The JKS England Nationals 2018
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Inspirational Seminar with Kanayama Sensei
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Success at the International Banzai Cup
Thursday, September 27, 2018
Amazing Results at the BKF International Open
Monday, September 17, 2018
September Black and Brown Belt Training
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Torbay Karate Club joins JKS England
Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Superb Summer Camp
Tuesday, July 3, 2018
Five Golds, Two Silver and Ten Bronze at the Central England Open Championships
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Superb day for the squad in Cumbria
Monday, June 4, 2018
June Black and Brown Belt Training
Thursday, May 31, 2018
BKF success for the JKS England squad
Monday, April 30, 2018
Masayoshi Karate Club London joins JKS England
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Great medal haul for JKS England at the EKF Nationals
Friday, April 13, 2018
Black and Brown Belt Training a big success
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Friday, February 23, 2018
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Friday, January 19, 2018
Black and Brown belt training kicks off the 2018 schedule
Thursday, December 14, 2017
2017 Ends on a high with the annual Christmas Course
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
The JKS England Nationals 2017
Thursday, October 19, 2017
Matsue Sensei delivers an extraordinary seminar
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Success at the BKF International Open
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Great training at September's Black and Brown belt course
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
JKS England top the medals in Europe
Friday, August 25, 2017
Another great Black and Brown Belt course with Open squad training
Monday, August 14, 2017
The Karate-a-Thon is Back!
Friday, July 28, 2017
Inspiring JKS Summer Course
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
A hot week in June with Toyama Sensei
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Fantastic Day at the Kyu Grade Championships
Friday, June 23, 2017
7 Gold, 7 Silver and 12 Bronze medals at the Cumbrian Open
Friday, June 16, 2017
A tough day of karate at the June Black and Brown belt course
Monday, June 12, 2017
JKS the top English team at the BKF 4 Nations
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Great day at the JKS Novice Champs
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Chikara Karate Club back in JKS
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Excellent results for JKS England at the EKF Nationals
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
April's Black and Brown belt Training
Monday, March 20, 2017
Spectacular Spring Seminar with Kagawa Shihan
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Coming Soon: Online Membership Services
Monday, March 6, 2017
A great two days in York
Monday, February 13, 2017
22 Medals for JKS England at the Yorkshire Open Karate Championships
Friday, February 10, 2017
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017
The first Black and Brown belt training of 2017 is a success
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
2017 JKS England Squad Selected
Monday, December 19, 2016
A reflection on the year that was 2016
Sunday, December 11, 2016
2016 Ends on a high for JKS England with the annual Christmas course
Monday, November 28, 2016
The JKS England Nationals 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
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Monday, October 31, 2016
An unforgettable weekend with Koji Arimoto
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Excellent turnout for a Tekki masterclass
Thursday, September 29, 2016
The JKS World Championships 2016 - A Bird’s Eye View
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
One Gold, One Silver and Two Bronze for Wales at the JKS World Championships!
Monday, September 12, 2016
England Second on the medal table at the JKS World Championships!
Monday, September 5, 2016
Good Luck to England!
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Great Black and Brown belt Course
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
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Monday, July 4, 2016
Wales join England in the medals at the Central England Open
Sunday, July 3, 2016
Massive Medal Haul at the Central England Open
Monday, June 13, 2016
A great day at the latest Black and Brown belt training
Sunday, June 12, 2016
JKS England bring home the medals in Cumbria
Sunday, May 29, 2016
Best ever results at the BKF 4 Nations
Monday, May 23, 2016
Cotgrave Shotokan Karate Club joins JKS England
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Novice Tournament is the best ever
Monday, April 18, 2016
Big Medal Haul at the EKF Nationals
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
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Monday, April 4, 2016
Record turnout for the latest Black and Brown belt training
Friday, March 11, 2016
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Friday, January 22, 2016
The first Black and Brown belt course of 2016
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015
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Superb evening course in Leeds with Matsue Sensei
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
The JKS England Nationals 2015
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Monday, October 26, 2015
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Productive weekend for JKS England squad members
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Great Black and Brown belt session
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
The JKS England team at the WKF Budapest Open
Monday, September 7, 2015
Fifteen medals at the BKF International Open!
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Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Yet another successful Black and Brown Belt training
Friday, July 10, 2015
Success at the Central England Open Championships
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Tuesday, June 30, 2015
The second York course of 2015 is successful one
Friday, June 19, 2015
Yet another huge medal haul for JKS England at the Cumbrian Open
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Happy Birthday to Kagawa Shihan!
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
The latest Black and Brown belt course was a huge success
Friday, May 29, 2015
Another Big thank you to Paul Brant
Friday, May 29, 2015
Superb results for the JKS England team at the BKF 4 NATIONS Championships
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Yet another superb JKS Novice tournament
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Thursday, April 23, 2015
JKS record best ever results at the EKF Nationals
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Another huge turnout for the latest Black and Brown belt training
Thursday, April 9, 2015
A Big thank you to Paul Brant
Thursday, April 9, 2015
Massive turnout in Bolton for Yamaguchi Sensei
Monday, March 30, 2015
Success for JKS England referees
Wednesday, March 25, 2015
Help raise £1,000 for the JKS England Squad through the purchase of a fantastic new CD
Monday, March 9, 2015
Inspiring Spring Seminar with Kagawa Shihan
Thursday, March 5, 2015
Huge turnout in York for course with Alan Campbell and Shinji Nagaki
Friday, February 27, 2015
New JKS club in North Yorkshire
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Over sixty JKS England members complete the Karate-A-Thon
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The 2015 Annual Japan trip is an unforgettable experience
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Some superb performances at the JKS England Squad Competition
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Tickets now available for the Stars in their eyes Fundraiser
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
The first Black and Brown belt training of 2015 is a success
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
The 2nd JKS Stars in their eyes Fundraiser
Monday, January 12, 2015
2015 JKS England Squad Selected
Monday, December 15, 2014
Ninety Students gather in Nottingham for the annual JKS Christmas course
Friday, December 12, 2014
Senior Instructor joins JKS
Friday, December 12, 2014
A big thank you to Kaizen No-Michi karate club in Grimsby
Friday, December 12, 2014
JKS England Sensei travel to Japan
Friday, November 21, 2014
A sell-out special evening course in Abingdon with Matsue Sensei
Friday, November 21, 2014
English Team Selected for the 2015 JKS World Championships
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The last Black and Brown belt training of the year proves popular
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
The 2014 JKS English Open Championships are a great success
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Two more Norfolk based instructors join JKS England
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Traditional Karate and Fitness of Norfolk join JKS England
Thursday, October 23, 2014
A great day of interesting and intriguing Karate from Alan Campbell Sensei and Jan Spatzek Sensei
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
England Squad have their best ever day at the JKS Scotland National Championships
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Autumn Technical Seminar highlights JKS England talent
Monday, October 6, 2014
Another Positive step in the Referee Development Programme
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
Yet another fabulous black and brown belt training session in Nottingham
Monday, September 29, 2014
Superb performance by JKS England at the BKF International Open
Friday, September 19, 2014
Great turnout in Lincoln for a fantastic course with Nagaki sensei
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
England records its best ever results at the JKS European Championships
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
The 2014 JKS England Summer Camp is the biggest yet
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Red Tiger Karate Club joins JKS England
Thursday, August 14, 2014
The latest black and brown belt training proves popular
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Kanayama Sensei teaches his first course in York for 20 years
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
A great day for JKS at the Central England Open Karate Championships
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Great turnout for the Open course and Grading at York
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Huge medal haul for JKS England at the Cumbrian Open
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Inspiring Course with Paolo Bolaffio in Nottingham
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
JKS England Squad Fund Raising Event - The Knaresborough Bed Race 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Strong turnout for Black and Brown Belt Training
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Two Golds for JKS England at the BKF 4 Nations
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
A great day for JKS England at the Northern Open Classic in Warrington
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Novice Tournament again proves to be a fantastic event
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Success at the Second Free Referee, Judge and Table Recorder Course of the year
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
English Team Selected for the JKS European Championships
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
JKS England squad record best results to date at the EKF Nationals
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Inspiring course with Yamaguchi Sensei in Leeds
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Black and Brown Belt Training a big success
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
JKS England Squad Success at the Swedish Open
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Kagawa Sensei takes memorable course in Walsall
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Huge Turnout for Two-Day York Course
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
JKS Youngsters Shine in Nottingham
Monday, February 10, 2014
JKS Squad Competition results
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
The first Free JKS England Referee, Judge and Table Recorder Course is a great success
Thursday, January 30, 2014
LKA Raise funds for the JKS England Squad
Monday, January 13, 2014
2014 JKS England Squad Selected
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
A big thank you to Crystal Peaks Shotokan Karate Club
Wednesday, December 18, 2013
JKS England end 2013 with a successful Christmas Course in Nottingham
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Congratulations to Emelye O'Brien on making the EKF National Team
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Matt Price Sensei recognised at the UK Coaching Awards
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
JKS England Team selected to compete in the Swedish WKF International Open
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Geoff Dixon and the Grantham Shotokan Karate Club join JKS England
Sunday, November 24, 2013
The 2013 JKS English Championships are a HUGE success
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Special Evening Course with Takuya Makita
Monday, November 11, 2013
Sold-Out Black & Brown Belt Course on Remembrance Sunday
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Enlightening & Rewarding Technical Seminar with Steve Ubl Sensei, 7th Dan
Monday, September 30, 2013
Open Course Enjoyed at JKS Harrow
Thursday, August 1, 2013
JKS England Members from Leeds Karate Academy Enjoy Dan Grade Success in Tokyo
Sunday, July 28, 2013
JKS England Team Success at 2013 World Championships in Tokyo, Japan
Monday, July 1, 2013
Ben Richardson and the Can Do Martial Arts Academy join JKS England
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Walsall Karate Dojo Official Opening Course with Takashi Yamaguchi 7th Dan JKS
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Welcome to Alistair Mitchell 7th Dan
Monday, April 15, 2013
JKS Brecon joins the JKS
Friday, December 21, 2012
Paul Allison 4th Dan and his Shidokan Karate Club joins JKS England