From Friday 12th - Sunday 14th October 2012 JKS England were proud to host Takeshi Yamaguchi Sensei (7th Dan JKS) at the Autumn Technical Seminar in Nottingham, England. This was the first course in the UK Yamaguchi Sensei has taught since he came over to Dublin, Ireland in 2007. Needless to say the weekend course, which consisted of 10 hours of training, was thoroughly enjoyable & thought provoking. In this blog I will cover what was taught by Yamaguchi Sensei on the Friday night of the course.
"One of the best seminars we've had in many years!" Scott Langley Sensei
(5th Dan, JKS GB & Ireland Technical Director)
Me with Yamaguchi Sensei.
In the 2 hours of training on the Friday night Kihon, Kata and Kumite were covered.
The key teaching points or themes to this lesson was that you should be able to kime at any point of the technique - not just when the foot and hand are landing and finishing at the same time. Yamaguchi Sensei was keen to express that there are 5 sections of the body that you can use independently as well as at the same time - these were the head, body, hips, arms and legs.
- When stepping forward into stance use your front hip to drive forward.
- When stepping backwards into stance use your back hip to drive backwards.
- Forward kizami, gyaku zuki in zenkutsu dachi - last punch and foot finish together, punch choku zuki to return to shizentai
- Shuto uke (in kokutsu dachi) is the same principle.
- In kiba dachi - mikazuki geri followed up with mawashi empi, returning back to tate shuto uchi uke.
It was also stressed how important it was to use shoulder snap and to be relaxed when performing striking techniques. There were many various arm swinging exercises used to make us loosen up and relax our shoulders and arms. As well as this, Yamaguchi Sensei also stressed the importance of hip snap too. Once of the exercises for this was to twist the hips side to side. The hips makes the hands move - hips working independently from the upper body!
Here are the key technical points Yamaguchi Sensei made clear about this Kata;
- Start position, hands are in shuto position
- First step is on the ball of the foot (koshi).
- On the chudan haiwan uke the arm is straight and the leg swings up and over.
- On the uchi uke's the hand goes directly back to the hip before blocking to chudan level.
- Before the 2 kiai points; look (one count), double block (second count), look (third count), double block to the other side (fourth count) - hip twist maximum for the double blocks, also use the hips for the foot raises and move in with the strike.
Tekki Nidan and Tekki Sandan were also covered by Yamaguchi Sensei going through more technical points. But for me it was more a case of refreshing my memory of these Kata's! Main thing I gained from this was a sense of humbleness that Kata can easily be forgotten if you don't practice them enough... So more work on all Kata in the future for me!
We went through Kihon-Ippon Kumite at the end of the lesson, for the jodan, chudan, mae geri and mawashi geri attacks. First we were told to do one-step by our own count so that Yamaguchi Sensei could inspect our technique, movement and corrections that could be made. For defending jodan and chudan attacks we were told to make full preparation for the blocks and to step directly backwards. For mae geri and mawashi we were told to step backwards and off to an angle whilst blocking then counter.
More advanced defending of mae geri attack would be to go directly forward with a kizami throat strike and gyaku zuki as you land into stance... to stop the attacker before they can get their kick off. For mawashi geri you would go directly forward and to the angle covering the kick before it's finished followed up with an open hand counter strike to the groin.
Here is a short video, thanks to Scott Langley Sensei, of the Kihon-Ippon Kumite demonstrated by Yamaguchi Sensei;
Soon I will be blogging about day 2 and day 3 of the technical seminar, thank you for taking the time to read this blog!
Craig Williams (3rd Dan JKS)