Wednesday, 24 October 2012

JKS England Autumn Technical Seminar with Yamaguchi Sensei (7th Dan JKS) - DAY 2

Morning lesson (10 am - 12 pm)

Yamaguchi Sensei (JKS 7th Dan)


The main focus of this lesson was on stances. Focusing on the correct knee position, weight distribution and compression. We also focused on the hanme position when stepping forward and back.

One of the exercises to make sure we kept compression in our stances was to go from front stance (weight on front leg), to back stance (weight on back leg), to kiba dachi weight in the middle), to back stance (weight on back leg) then back to front stance again (weight on front leg). We also covered an exercise working on neko ashi dachi:


The kata's we went through were Gojushiho Sho and Gojushiho Dai. We went through the Kata to count with Yamaguchi Sensei watching, then again with Sensei going through the Kata with us, then finishing with a demonstration by Yamaguchi Sensei (giving us technical feedback and things to change/work on). The following are key points to work on that I picked up at the time in bullet point form;

  • The empi goes directly in.
  • Squeeze shomen to hanme on the turning block.
  • On the nukites strike inside the line of the other hand.
  • Haishu-uke (back hand strike/block) for the first block in kiba dachi in Gojushiho Sho.
  • Haiwan-uke (forearm block/strike) for the second block in kiba dachi in Gojushiho Sho.
  • Haito-uke (ridge of hand block) for both blocks in kiba dachi in Gojushiho Dai.

Please watch the following links to gain many more technical points than the short few mentioned above;

Gojushiho Sho demonstration
Yamaguchi Sensei in action

Gojushiho Dai
Kata Bunkai
Scott Langley Sensei (JKS 5th Dan)

The key theme of Scott Sensei's lesson was teaching us to use our seichosen (centre) line to move- to stop excess movement, like jumping, and to make both hips work.

Exercise 1:
For example, one the exercises was to punch choku zuki in kiba dachi landing facing 180 degrees facing the opposite side. The key was to drive the punching side hip forward and the hikite side back, keeping a low centre of gravity to spin behind as you punch. Emphasis was on NOT to jump! See the following link for the video of the exercise; Moving from the centre - Scott Sensei

Exercise 2:
Gedan berai 45 degrees backwards, punch gyaku zuki. Drive front hip forward and back hip back to return to kamae. Keeping a low centre of gravity and feet connected to the floor. Again, NO jumping up! Feeling of compression. Here's another video; Keeping Seichosen line to return to kamae - Scott Sensei. This exercise was then progressed onto 1-step kumite; 1 step kumite, moving from the centre - Scott Sensei.

Course photo

Afternoon lesson (12.30 pm - 2.30 pm)

Yamaguchi Sensei (JKS 7th Dan)


Again Yamaguchi Sensei went through these kata's in precise detail. Picking out common mistakes we make but also the most minute details so that each technique is performed correctly. All kata's were watched first, then taught as both instructor and students practiced and finally ended with impressive demonstrations by Yamaguchi Sensei. Key points taught will be noted in bullet point form.

Kanku Sho

  • The first 3 moves - palms face down to twist in to the morote uke block and forearm snap to create the power.
  • Punch to uchi uke position is to escape a wrist lock/grab.
  • On the turn and grab before the mae geri - the supporting hand is flat so that the thumb doesn't get bent back (with the application being pulling the attacker onto the mae geri).
  • The second "jump" isn't a jump - you must keep a low centre of gravity when turning.

Bassai Sho

  • Start - hands are parallel on top of each other, not side by side.
  • Next move block behind then to the front in kosa dachi, with your head above the block so you can still see ahead. Kosa dachi is naturally 45 degrees of to the side.
  • Application to the turn, catch and pull in kokutsu dachi is catching a bo staff and pulling it away.
  • The turning scooping  open hand block into gedan berai - don't drop the weight bending knees too much, just natural transition.
  • Manji gamae - hand open to close.
  • Double ura zuki - make sure both hands come together when striking forward (jodan is a small target).
  • Turn ashi berai and jodan soto uke before both hands go to hikite, landing nihon zuki in kiba dachi.
  • Last 2 moves - double block then pull hands in (palms facing forwards finishing in neko ashi dachi).

Yamaguchi Sensei correcting my Bassai Sho

  • Yoi position in line with top of chest/neck.
  • First move hips aren't hanme, relaxed shomen position.
  • On the slow double block in shizentai - squeeze the inner thighs to bring you up to shizentai smoothly and controlled.
  • Manji gamae - hand open to closed.
  • Last age uke is more of an attack than a block.

Alan Campbell Sensei (JKS 6th Dan)


Heian Nidan with spinning on each step - to get us to relax our bodies to get more shoulder and hip snap.


Basic 1-step kumite - jodan, chudan and mae geri - the block is not the end move!

Soto uke exercise:

Attacker - JODAN attack (right hand)

Defender - step back with right leg
               - block right hand, then left hand and attack to their throat (soto uke preparation)

Attacker - punch chudan gyaku zuki

Defender - right hand block down

Attacker - punch chudan zuki

Defender - block soto uke

Attacker - punch chudan zuki

Defender - soto uke hand pulls to hikite to strike/block the attack whilst punching gyaku zuki trapping the attackers elbow then following it through to punch their face.

As you can see from these notes the course on this day was very informative and gave everyone something to take away to work on. Thanks to Scott Langley Sensei for recording parts of the course! Invaluable to have something to watch as well as read back after such an amazing course.


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