JKS England were very fortunate to secure Kosho Kanayama Sensei 7th Dan, head of internal affairs for the JKS Headquarters in Tokyo. The evening course comprised of two sessions and was held just outside York on Tuesday 22nd July at Selby Shotokan Karate Club. It had been over 20 years since Kanayama Sensei was last in York and he brought with him some Japanese summer weather with the temperature in the high twenties.
The first session was open to all grades and was strongly supported by 60 karateka and it was pleasing to see a wide age range from about 10 year olds upwards. All the windows and doors were opened and the initial session started with Kihon drills. Sensei is renown for his Kihon and did not fail to disappoint introducing drills that would help develop correct Kihon. For most Kyu grades this was probably the most demanding 90 minutes that they had ever trained, but they all rose to the occasion and found that "little bit more".
Sensei went on to teach gohon kumite with jodan, chudan and mae geri attacks, focussing on correct foot position as you step, distancing, stance coming together to form a strong attack. To conclude the initial session Sensei taught Heian Nidan to the lower grades and Jion to the Brown and Black belts in attendance.
The second session was a senior class of Black and Brown belts, this enabled Sensei to "step up a gear", The three disciplines of Kihon, Kumite and Kata were re-visited. The session started with geri waza with plenty of repetitions and concentration on quality and accuracy of technique. The temperature in the dojo remained high and the floor resembled the Hombu dojo getting damp under the feet. Sensei taught ippon kihon kumite again focusing on foot position and distancing. The drills started slow but were quickly ramped up to full speed and power. The senior grades also managed to step up to the mark and find that "little bit more" that was being demanded from us. Kanayama Sensei concluded the session with kata - Meikyo Nidan.
However the session was not quite finished and the courses finished with just a few of Sensei favorite physical exercises where he led the group demonstrating his superb physical conditioning.
We would like to thank Kanayama Sensei for visiting England again and hopefully it will not be another twenty years before he is back in York again.