The following video clip is taken from the Practical Shotokan: Beginner to Black Belt Course taught by Sensei Paul Mitchell, Chief Instructor of the Wells Traditional Shotokan Karate Club earlier on today. Sensei Mitchell is talking about stand alone karate kata bunkai which could be fight finishers by themselves. As Shotokan Karate puts a lot of emphasis on multiple assailants, there are many techniques which can incapacitate an opponent very quickly, although they are not always obvious and have been dumbed down a lot over the years for many social and political reasons.
Kaki Waki Uke (Reverse Wedge Block) is usually seen as breaking somebody’s grip when they try to strangle you. However, if they have both of their hands on you, why not just punch/strike them? It is much quicker, they have nothing to defend themselves with (as they’ve committed both of their hands to your neck) and it could finish the fight then and there. If you use Kaki Waki Uke to separate their arms and release their grip, then you can both continue the fight on an even basis.
So what is Kaki Waki Uke more useful for? Well one of the most common street attacks of all is a swinging haymaker, which as Sensei Mitchell demonstrates here can be easily stopped with one side of the Kaki Waki Uke. Note that when he does this, that his opponent head is jerked slightly downwards and onto the other arm with is attacking to the neck.
In this instance Sensei Mitchell quite lightly attacks a specific point on the opponent neck causing him to almost pass out straight away. Had the blow been delivered with any real force, the opponent would have out cold.
Now if you’re thinking multiple opponents, you want techniques which give instant results and doesn’t waste a lot of your own energy (which you’ll need for fighting the others). Sensei Mitchell demonstrates how this can be done very simply using a common technique which most people happily overlook on a regular basis.
Sorry for short notice, but this course is being run my very own Sensei, Paul Mitchell, 4th Dan. Any course by Paul is always worth attending. Sadly, I’m not going to be able to make this on myself due to work commitments, but I highly recommend it if you can.
The course will be held on Sunday 29th January from 11:15am to 2:15pm.
As usual with Sensei Mitchell, this course will teach Karate bunkai including practical locks, take-downs and throws as well as the more obvious strikes and kicks. These defences will be geared against ordinary everyday street attacks, rather than traditional Karate Lunge Punches and Front Kicks. The techniques and principles taught will come from basic techniques through to complex kata.
All Karateka of any style and grade are welcome, though there is a minimum age of 12 for anybody below 4th Kyu.
As always this course is open to all other martial artists from other styles, whether they be from other internal styles looking to improve their knowledge, or from external styles looking to introduce more internal practices into their own martial art.
Paul is an excellent choice of instructor for this wide mix of needs, having had many years of experience in Shotokan Karate (4th Dan), Yang Tai Chi (A grade instructor with the Tai Chi Union) and Qi Gong (Qi Gong therapist). A number of his senior Karate students (and other martial artist including Wing Chun and Tae Kwon Do black belts) regularly train Tai Chi with Paul as well, so he is very adapt and understanding the needs and abilities of people from different martial arts backgrounds.
Within the Traditional Shotokan Karate Association, Paul is respected as a leading authority on Bunkai (applications). This approach is reflected in his Tai Chi which is taught both for health and well-being as well as for the martial applications of the art.
You can find out a bit more about Paul at this recently shot short film about him:
The course will cover (depending on background and experience) Qi Gong, empty handed forms to weapons forms, pushing hands and applications. It will be taught over two days in the Somerset village of Henton (two miles from Wells).
The Course starts at 9.30 am on Saturday morning and finishes at 4.30 pm on Sunday. The cost of the course is: £90 with a deposit of £30 required to secure a place. Cost includes the two days training and lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Many people do online classes, but these are usually pre-recorded videos. If you have questions, you have to type them in on your key board and wait on the teacher getting back to you. And if you don’t fully understand their answer, you have to send another question and wait again.
Furthermore, the teacher can’t actually see how you are doing things yourself, so can’t pick up on fine details that you may not even know to ask about.
This is why I was quite intrigued when I heard about Shihan Kousaku Yokota’s idea for an Interactive Cyber Dojo.
So what is an Interactive Cyber Dojo?
I’m glad you asked me that!
Basically, it’s a lesson over Skype with video, one on one with Shihan Yokota himself. A private lesson with a genuine Japanese 8th Dan, author and direct student of Asai (10th Dan) himself . . . . . well I just had to give this a go.
My first hiccup was that I did not have a webcam on my PC. No problem, I borrowed my daughters Apple Mac, and we were off.
The lesson was on the kata, Junro Shodan. This is a kata created by Master Asai and is part of Asai Ryu version of Shotokan Karate. It is not in other versions of Shotokan, so this was of particular interest to me.
Master Asai introduced the Junro series for a couple of reasons. One reason being to put more emphasis on the Neko Ashi Dachi (Cat Stance). This stance was widely used in Shorin Ryu which was the main forerunner to Shotokan, but has been almost completely replaced in most Shotokan Katas by the longer Kokutsu Dachi (Back Stance). Master Asai felt that we should bring it back as it is a very practical stance from a combat point of view which we have nearly lost due to standardisation of Katas, largely for competition purposes.
Master Asai also felt that when it comes to spinning techniques, most Shotokan katas have a heavy bias to only spinning clockwise and wanted to address this imbalance. You can check out the Junro Shodan for yourself below:-
Master Asai is considered by many to be the greatest Shotokan teacher and practitioner that ever lived. This is why very many Shotokan Karateka from other organisations and lineage’s have been interested in learning his katas. Unfortunately many of these people do not have access to a dojo which practices the Asai Ryu version of Shotokan.
After a student in New York persuaded Shihan Yokota to try to teach him over Skype from California, Shihan Yokota realised that he could use this method to reach and help many other Shotokan Karateka (and other styles if interested) from all over the world. Those interested in learning Asai Ryu Shotokan and the Junro series of katas no longer had to be limited by physical location.
So having made the appointment, Shihan Yokota, he sent me the Youtube link to Junro Shodan (above) along with a step by step pictorial schematic so that I could prepare myself in advance. For a few hours before my class, I went through the kata, learning it from the video. By the time it came to the class, I was still far from perfect, but more or less had the sequence of movements. Throughout the class, Shihan Yokota corrected my stances and movements and picked up details that I would never have got from following the video alone.
As I reflected afterwards, this was a fantastic way to learn. Had I attended a seminar to learn this kata, firstly I would not have received the link to the video and step by step guide. OK, I could have used my initiative and Googled it, or searched it on Youtube, but you can never be quite sure how truly authentic the version displayed will actually be.
Had I gone to a seminar, I might have had to travel for several hours to get there and back. This time was much better spent pre-learning the kata from Youtube.
Furthermore, had I been at a seminar, I would have been one of many, moving at the pace of the rest of the class; rather than having one on one attention for an hour from an 8th Dan and the class moving at the right pace for me and me only.
Being at home, I was a bit limited for space and often had to shuffle around a bit to fit in all the movements. However, I felt that all the other advantages far out-weighed this minor disadvantage. As far as I’m aware, nobody else is doing this. I’m sure many will follow, but for now I believe that it is unique.
So how much does this one-on-one with an 8th Dan actually cost?
Well if you were meeting face to face, then the standard rate would be $150 per hour. However, through Shihan Yokota’s Interactive Cyber Dojo, it is a very reasonable $29.99. When you consider that sometimes you can pay almost as much to attend seminar and be one of about 50 or more people with no one on one, this is a really good deal. Plus you have no travel costs, no parking charges, no food or drink to buy while you’re out and being via Skype there are no extra computer/telephone costs either. For many people, this is actually cheaper all round then going to a seminar. I personally think that Shihan Yokota is being a bit cautious and setting his rate a bit low, so I’d recommend that anybody who is interested should book in quickly before he catches on and puts his rate up.
My Sensei, Paul Mitchell, 4th Dan, is running a Karate Bunkai Jutsu Course which is of course not to be missed. The following details are taken from the club website:-
Bunkai Jutsu Course
Practical Karate for Beginner to Black Belt 2nd October 2011 11:00 – 2:30
This course takes the principles & techniques of Karate and applies them to realistic self defence.
Locks, takedowns and throws are included in this traditional Martial Art alongside the more obvious strikes and kicks. Sensei Mitchell will be teaching practical uses of the everyday moves within Karate from basic techniques through to the more complex kata moves.
Open to all Karateka from Beginner to Black belt, all welcome.
Taught by Sensei Paul Mitchell 4th Dan, Wells Traditional Shotokan Karate Group Instructor.
Wells Traditional Shotokan Karate Club is a very friendly and open club. Not only does Sensei Mitchell teach extremely good bunkai, but he also teaches in an open, friendly and humorous manner; so his courses are enjoyable on several different levels.
To find out more about how and what Sensei Mitchell teaches, please visit the Wells Traditional Shotokan Karate Youtube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/user/wellskarate, then book yourself in for the course.
My Sensei, Paul Mitchell, 4th Dan will be hosting a special Karate bunkai course looking at the principles & techniques of Shotokan Karate and applying them to realistic self defence. Along with the more obvious punches and kicks, this will include locks throws and takedowns utilising moves from both basics and kata.
The course is open to all Karateka regardless of grade – Beginner to Black belt. However, there is a minimum age of 12 for anybody under 4th Kyu
Basic details are:
When – Sunday 3rd April 2011, 11:00 – 2:30pm.
Where – Wells Blue Sports Centre, Kennion Road, Wells, Somerset, BA5 2NR
Kevin O’Hagan is an internationally renowned martial artist who I’ve mentioned several times before and have a lot of respect for. He will be hosting a Seminar on “how to develop short range knockout power” in Bristol on Sunday March 20th 2011, 11.00am to 3.00pm. Any course by Kevin is to be highly recommended.
Full details are below in his own words (cut and pasted from his promotional poster):-
Bristol dojo, 74/78 Avon St. St .Philipps.Bristol.bs20 opx
• Understand controlling aggression range
• Line ups and fence
• Dealing with verbal aggression.
• Functioning against ‘In your face violence’
• Targeting, impact development
• Ko shots, fight finishers
• Choke outs
• Dealing with single and multiple attackers
COST; Seminar £25.00p or seminar package with DVD Kevin O’Hagan’s ‘One shot system’.(60mins to compliment seminar content for reference) £40.00p.
CONTACT;Jake at jakeohagan@ymail .com or 07789865284 to book your place and also be on your mailing list.