Day 2 of training at the JKA England International Spring Course.
Kobayashi Sensei (7th dan) lead the Sandan and above group with key focus being on, ‘Kime’, meaning, ‘to fix’ or, ‘set’.
For us, Kime means focus and power at the end of techniques, which is of great importance in destructing our targets. More specifically, we were looking at the, 0% semi-relaxed state (I say semi-ralaxed as clearly muscle engagement is required to hold form) before the technique is executed, to 100% speed, power and focus at the target, back to 0%. This must be done using the whole body, not just the striking limb or upper body.
Starting at the feet, where the sole of the feet are centred on the ground (as opposed to the edge for example), we generate speed and power, up through the legs, into the hips and use direct or rotational movement from there to deliver that energy to the end of the technique.
Key points being, our limbs and upper body do not generate any where near that generated when using the whole body, as above. Also, that even when executing a combination, it’s important to practice the use of the whole body to generate 100% into a technique then conversely, get back to 0% before executing the next.
I don’t believe it was directly mentioned, but this principle is key in ‘Ikken Hissatsu’ which is a Japanese term that JKA Shotokan Karate exemplifies; ‘One Fist, Certain Death’, essentially a combination of physicality and mentality to deliver one strike to finish an opponent.
This can be demonstrated even in partner work and Kumite safely as one of the other exemplifications of JKA Karate is control of mind and body.
Kata selections were Gojushiho Sho, Enpi, Nijushiho and Gankaku. I opted for Nijushiho as I was feeling indulgent and it’s one of my favourite Kata having learned it many years ago with one of my old Sensei, Sensei Otto Blank, who taught it in such a way that I loved it from the start.
Imura Sensei (8th dan) put us though our paces with initially, quite a thought invoking approach to the Kata, setting partner bunkai work (or application of techniques) enabling us to find not only the set approach, but also our own spin on them.
Imura Sensei then drilled the Kata by splitting us into two groups where we all did the Kata at full speed and power consecutively.
A great days training.
Onward to day 3!