We have been training for a month now – it’s great to see everyone getting back into the rhythm of classes.  Well done!  For both our new and returning members, September can be a challenge – new and refreshed techniques, new goals, and new priorities.  As I mentioned, the 70th anniversary of Chito Ryu and the Soke Cup will be held in Kumamoto, Japan on August 6 and 7, 2016.  All members are invited to participate in the competition and as such, this gives us a great focus for our training this year.  Now you may be saying to yourself – “I’m not ready to compete at an international event – I don’t know enough, or I’m not experienced enough!”  Before you allow yourself to think that way, consider the following – first, the Soke Cup is a family tournament – one where there are appropriate categories for everyone to participate. Second, the best way to prepare for a competition like this is not to focus on complex techniques, but rather to ensure that you have the best command possible of the basics.  As such, our recent classes have concentrated on the basics – our stationary techniques as well as our kihons and katas.  In addition, our efforts on Friday nights during our kumite classes have been directed at working on basic footwork as well understanding defensive techniques. 

Following are some questions I have received regarding the Soke Cup – we will include new questions each month – if you have any specific questions please contact me with them and we will include them here for everyone’s information.

 

Soke Cup 101

Q.

What is the estimated time commitment and cost required to attend the Soke Cup?

A.

People often dedicate about 10 days to two weeks to this kind of trip.  Costs vary based on flights, hotel accommodation selected and length of your trip – but for one person, an estimate of about $2,500 is an appropriate starting point.  We will check into hotels recommended by the local dojo and as well, may get a group booking for flights at least for the trip to Japan.

Q.

Will our dojo go as a group or are we each responsible for booking our own flights and accommodation? 

A.

Again – it likely makes the most sense for us all to arrive at the same time and stay at the same hotel for the duration of the competition.   However people may have other travel plans for the trip back, so that will likely be up to the individual/family.

Q.

The competition is scheduled for two days in August – this seems like a long way to go for two days.  Is there additional training included? Will we have a chance to visit local attractions and tour the area?

A.

The actual competition is a two-day event, but typically participants arrive a few days ahead to acclimatize and train.  As well many members bring their families and schedule tours and exploration time after the competition.  If there is a big enough group going and people are interested, we may be able to book some groups tours of the area.

 

Q.

I am not sure I am ready for a competition like this.  Does it work like one of our local tournaments?

A.

The Soke Cup is organized like our tournaments in that for kata competitors, the categories are broken down by age, belt/level and potentially gender.  For kumite, the categories are divided according to age, belt/level, gender and, for the higher levels, weight.  Kumite is conducted using Bogu Kumite protective gear – a special helmet and chest protector in addition to fist and shin/foot covers and groin protection.

 

Announcements

  • Karate Alberta is hosting a regional tournament for both recreational and provincial team hopefuls on October 24th in Blackfalds (near Red Deer). Please see the Karate Alberta website for further information.  The deadline to register is October 17. 
  • Over the coming months our dojo will have the opportunity to work directly with WKF World Champion Luis Plumacher at our Friday night kumite class.  Plumacher Sensei’s first class with us is tentatively scheduled for October 23.  This is a great opportunity for anyone who regularly attends Friday night kumite class and for kumite students from other dojos.  There will be an added cost of $10 per student for each of Plumacher Sensei’s sessions.    
  • The second annual All Alberta Invitational Karate Tournament will be held in Calgary at Robert Thirsk High School on November 7. Please see me  or Sempai Mariah Blunt for more information and to get your registration form.  Deadline to register is October 30.  Please note, we also need volunteers to help with this tournament – if you are not competing, brown belts and up may assist with refereeing or coaching/supporting the children/youth members of the dojo as they compete.
  • As part of the All Alberta Invitational Tournament, WKF World Champion Luis Plumacher will be conducting a kumite workshop on November 8.  The workshop is open to all ages and belt levels.  Please see the link in “Upcoming Events” for more information.
  • Class cancellations:  Thursday, November 26 and Tuesday, December 15

“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you.”

Enjoy your training!

Gary Sabean

Head Instructor