We have had a great start to our karate training year – everyone has gotten back into the rhythm of training very quickly – which is excellent!  The competitors within the club have had several opportunities already this year to continue and enhance their training in preparation for upcoming Karate Alberta Tournaments and, ultimately the Canadian national championships in January.  A recent workshop was facilitated by International W.K.F. Kumite Coach Antonio Olivia Seba.  While Seba Sensei offered specific guidance to the workshop participants, his strategies are also applicable to all of us as we practice our kumite techniques.  These past two weeks I have been adding some of his training philosophy to our drills – one especially important concept is the idea of training exactly what you need to do in the ring.  For example, rather than doing multiple strengthening exercises, then moving onto kumite-specific drills,  we are incorporating the strengthening techniques into the movements we would do in an actual sparring match.  We will keep working on our kumite skills over the next few weeks as members prepare for the upcoming Karate Alberta Tournament.

We have also had the opportunity to introduce everyone to two sets of techniques demonstrated by Soke Sensei at our Summer Camp this past August.  Ju Ni Ho is a speed training technique done with a partner incorporating punches, kicks and blocks.  Ka Ka Te Ho is a set of 15 self-defense and take-down techniques that are relatively simple and very useable in a variety of situations.  We will continue to practice both over the coming months.

The summer camp gave us time to refresh our understanding of dojo etiquette.  And, with new members joining, now is a perfect time to review some of the concepts.  Sempai Eleonore Lebeuf-Taylor has done significant research on karate etiquette – her work provides a great starting point:  “Fundamentally, karate etiquette is respect. It pervades everything in karate – interactions between students, instructors, parents and young karateka, students and their environment, and the very dojo where they all train.... Practically, etiquette is shown in many ways in a karate environment:

  • One should bow to the shomen upon entering the dojo. Students should use this act to engage their karate mindset for the duration of their time in the dojo; this involves being aware of their surroundings and being mentally prepared to practice karate.
  • After entering the dojo, students should seek out and bow to the sensei and any other instructors present.
  • All karateka should treat others with courtesy at all times, regardless of their rank. The same considerations should be taken outside the dojo. If students meet their sensei, for example, they should always address them as “sensei” or by the appropriate instructor title, and never by their first name.
  • In addition to external conduct, respect must also be directed to oneself: the karateka’s gi and overall presentation must be clean and neat – both as a mark of self-respect and respect for training partners and instructors.”

Announcements

  • Karate Alberta is holding its next tournament on October 25 and 26 in Leduc.  The tournament is for both recreational and provincial team qualifiers.  If you are interested in competing, talk to me for further information and/or go to the Karate Alberta website. 
  • Remember, no classes on Friday, October 10 (Thanksgiving Weekend) and Friday, October 31 (Hallowe’en)

“Fitness and training is not about being better than someone else.... it’s about being better than you used to be.”

Enjoy your training!

Shihan Gary Sabean

Head Instructor