Sunday, 5 June 2011

Shihan Norman Robinson 8th Dan

Notes from a course in 2009 with Shihan Norman Robinson (JKS SA, 8th Dan), in Nottingham, England

"Lean" Karate - stripping away unnecessary movement to make Karate fit/suit your own body type.


  • Old JKA style in a circle.
  • Used wall for some leg stretches/exercises.
  • To get fluid into joints and muscles at a temperature to be stretched and worked hard.
Hanme - hips 45 degrees, not all the way back.

Gedan Berai - finish block and land in stance at the same time.

  • Back leg push forward and slide in....
  • Front foot step forward and pull in.....
  • Back leg half step in and push forward to slide in....
  • Weight over toes on supporting leg when kicking for balance and stability - keeping face/body out of range.
Shihan Norman Robinson believes in Budo as a way of living, not religion. So he sees himself as a warrior/samurai.

He taught the lesson to focus on the lower body separately, upper body separately, then using the whole body.

  • Front stance, hips shomen, gyaku-zuki, on hikite kick mae-geri on the same spot.
  • Then gyaku-zuki, hikite and kick mae-geri same time stepping forward.
  • *pointer for me was to finish the technique before i do the 2nd combination.*
  • Important
  • When punching don't over rotate.
  • Everything direct to be first to the punch.
  • Punch 45 degrees focusing on hikite and keeping shoulders forward
  • Age-uke is more of a hooking punch for directness.
Exercise for uchi-uke
  • Arms wide, palms facing in, contract (hugging position), expand (start position), contract and expand out into uchi-uke - front stance.
  • *pointer for me - blocking elbow is a fist away from the hip to protect the body*
  • Exercise for soto-uke is opposite to above.
Partner work
  • Both left leg forward. One person quickly changes legs, attacks jodan gyaku-zuki and follows through with the back leg to attack with the top of your shin to theirs to take them down.
  • Choke hold. 
          - Right hand oi-zuki, parry with both hands to the outside.
          - Right hand keeps hold of the wrist.
          - Left arm and hand locks into the neck to control the take down.
As you can see by the expression on my face the choke hold is very effective!
  • Shin attacks.
     - Attacking inner and outer thigh with shin, natural movement, full momentum in and body
       weight forward.
  • Ashi-berai
     - Attack kizami-zuki.
     - Slide back and sweep with front leg (use hips and body rotation to take down).

*Pointer on kicking for me: jodan mawashi-geri - keep hips level!*

  • Movement/Body co-ordination
   - Used exercises for different sliding movements e.g. quick stance change, slide forward
  • Stances
  • Zenkutsu-dachi to half-way, back to zenkutsu-dachi - focus on balance, body control and weight over the knee.
  • When moving between stances you should have the ability to change the direction you go or the stance you go into (body control).
  • Kiba-dachi (co-ordination) Jumping left, right, forward, back on count (gedan berai left and right, nihon zuki forward and double hikite backwards).

  • Gyaku-zuki exercises
      - Stretch in (full range of movement - yori-ashi) and rebound backwards. Keeping form!   
        Make sure you contact!
      - Angles, side to side gyaku-zuki, soft movement, quick footwork (half-step in). In groups for 
        target and race against other teams.
  • Kumite
*Continuous movement is important!*

"Competition kumite is about speed, not strength..."

  • WKF/athletic style of movement where getting out of distance is just as important as getting into distance!
  • Everything (e.g. footwork/movement) should come through the knees.
I would highly recommend anyone to train with Shihan Norman Robinson should they get the chance to!


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