Sakagami sensei is teaching this weekend, 24/25/26 May. Details below like location, fees (only doorsale) and timetable are accurate. See you this weekend at the seminar!
From now on, I will post all technical stuff that has been created for the Wadokai Holland Newsletters. I will translate the Dutch text from the articles and post the images. I will also post image galleries and YT videos that I upload. Wadokai Holland intends to film every event so stay tuned as I intend to upload regularly!
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Wadokai Holland FULL Newsletter download
As you know, our newsletters are written for Wadokai Holland, hence written in Dutch. During each month, we will translate all technical articles and post them here. If you are interested to see the full work or in advance, below the list of currently released newsletters
Check the video below of this event of Wadokai Holland. Click here to see the full gallery.
Meotode refers to the use of both hands. You have two so why use only one of them? Of course, easier said than done, but if mastered it is much more efficient and isn’t that what you are trying to achieve? Meotode consists of three Kanji ???. ? Meo means husband and ? to means wife. ? De means hand. Together the Kanji mean pair ??. They are supposed to be and work together. This series uses meotode in a fluid way. Meotode can mean using both hands at the same time as you can see in the first movement. This kind of movement is very well known in Wado Karate. Another application of meotode is to follow each other without interruption. Practically it means that before one hand is done with the task at hand the other hand already started. Hikite is often explained as adding power. Although this is something that you can argue, it is not the only explanation. Hikite can also be connected to meotode, symbolically grabbing the opponent to control him and increase chances of success when it comes to your attack. A kaisetsu from Pinan Shodan Tettsui Uchi for example (transition between second and third movement) is after otoshi uke, you grab and pull the arm of the opponent as you execute tettsui uchi to the temple. A master of meotode is Kazumasa Yokoyama sensei of Kenshinkai Shorin Ryu karate. He knows how to connect his techniques and control his opponent at the same time in a magnificent way. Unbalancing, locking, gripping the opponent for example in combination with not only gyakuzuki but any technique that suits him at the time. I have had several opportunities to talk to him and I have seen him doing this and I can say that he has phenomenal – probably unmatched – skill. If you happen to see a video of him you have to rewind it to find out what he is actually doing in that split second.
Using the tanto
The tanto consists of two parts. The knife itself and the shell in which the knife is stored. The shell is called Saya in Japanese. It is often suggested that in order to be able to defend against a knife you need to know how to handle it in the first place. You have to be able to know that you can expect and how to manipulate weakspots. Left is the drawing of the tanto and assuming kamae. On the right a couple of examples of how you can use the Saya. Control, stab, throw and block are a coulpe of examples that I demonstrate below.
This variation of mawashigeri is certainly not original Wado, but coincidentally the knee should be raised straight up. If executed with correct timing this kick can avoid the opponent’s kamae due to the characteristic angle of the kick. After lifting the knee you have to swing the foot up and tilt your hip. Continuously you have to throw your leg away – or at least have that feeling – to generate speed. This kick is next to a bit of variety in your training also a good way to keep your flexibility. Somebody who is a very stiff kicker will probably say that this kick is not suitable for him or her. Personally I think those people just found their weakness. Of course a little flexibility is necessity and you have to be careful when you do this technique, but in my eyes the dynamic of the kick, the training for a flexible (relaxed) lifting of the knee waiting with acceleration is a good training to discouver and get rid of a lot of bad habits.
Keypoint of Pinan Yondan
Pinan Yondan, the fourth Kata from the series of five emphasises nagasu and irimi. Kake uke is in Pinan Yondan, as opposed to kake uke from Chinto, Jitte and for example Niseishi executed as morote uke in a somewhat forward movement. Otoshi uke becomes sharper by bringing the elbow inside, squeezing it and keeping in close to the body. As a result, Otoshi uke becomes stronger in a natural way and internally there will be more connection between the body movement and the movement of te limbs, you Will not lose energy doing it in this way. This is connected body movement. Of course squeezing the elbows counts for both arms for best results. The second kake uke has a special characteristic by first contacting the ground with the heel before moving the weight and body forward. According to Sakagami sensei this is called nusumi ashi. Nusumu means to steal, hence stealing the distance.
NEWS: Students of affiliated dojo of Wadokai Holland get membership for free
Wadokai Holland has recently changed her terms and conditions in anyones advantage. Membership of a dojo really has value and is not only a means to allow your students to apply for membership. The membership of a dojo means that all its members are automatically members of WKNL. The only thing missing is a WKNL passport which costs 5 euro to obtain. Is your dojo affiliated and are you in possesion of a passport? Then you are ready to enjoy all advantages! For example, the passport allows you discount on the Sakagami sensei seminar 24/25/26 May!
Soto uke is a form of harai uke that supports an attack to the outside. We (wado) refer to soto uke, other styles call this uchi uke because the movement starts on the inside. Our uchi uke starts on the outside and is therefore called soto uke by other styles. A good way to practice soto uke is shown below. Personally I like this method because you drop into stance from shizentai. It is easier to feel how to use gravity to generate energy. At the same time you also train timing of kime in relation to the movement of the body. Of course, execution as done in basic training is not impossible but probably less practical. It would be more logic not to prepare the arms (as done in kihon) but to act from the position where your arm is at the actual moment, as you do in kihon kumite 9. In that case, san mi ittai is the key to generating energy.
Below an Ura waza instructed by Takashima sensei when he was over in Holland on invitation by Ishikawa sensei.
Events in April: Bassai Kata training and Tanto dori course
My visit to Alain Ferry in France
Together with Sakagami sensei, I went to visit Alain Ferry (http://www.akada-wadoryu.com) the 30th of March. Alain Ferry (left on all pictures) is a student of the late Fukazawa sensei. Our meeting took place in Nice, Cote d'Azur, France. We went there in name of FEW Federation European Wadokai to see what we could offer each other in the future. I have invited Mr. Ferry to take part in the annual meeting of FEW in Portugal which will take place later this year during the EU Championship in October. Mr. Ferry has quite a network in France, especially in the south of France. We had the pleasure to meet some members of his group, like Mr. Vasta and Mr. Champion. If they can make it I will meet them again during the seminar of Sakagami sensei 24/25/26 May in Holland and otherwise in October this year.
WKNL Kata training: WANSHU 16 March 2013
Explanations from Wanshu event of Wadokai Holland. Click here to see the gallery!
Application of Hiji uke
Hiji is the Japanese word for elbow (enpi is a nickname). Hiji uke is trained in kata in quite large movement. Examples are Pinan Sandan and Chinto. The kamae that precedes hiji uke from Chinto is a preparation for the movement that follows. As you can see the emphasis is placed on rotation of the central axis and hiji uke is trained in a big movement. In other words, hiji uke is the application of the bodymovement.
A practical example is working from a neutral position as shown below. In this care you work with central axis in combination with your arms hanging relaxed by the sides of the body for protection. The relaxed arm can be used to parry or deflect an attack such as a punch or grabbing action with the body. After hiji uke you can use the rotational movement of the body to execute shuto uchi to the floating ribs. Control Ukemi at the same time with your right hand and make sure follow up and use both hands in harmony accordingly as you continue with chudanzuki. The working together of the hands is called meotode. This will be further explained in the next newsletter.
As metioned before, seichusen is your radial axis. Depending on the angle this is either your weak or your strong line. Techniques should to be made from seichusen, or in other words your strongest line. It is often said that for example in chudan junzuki the punch is aimed to solar plexus, because this is the weak spot of your opponent (seen from front chudan). It is indeed a weak spot and effective to attack. However, the problem is at in ido kihon training aiming for you own solar plexus is not your strongest line. Many people punch too low. This is often the height of solar plexus, but after a simple test you can see that it is not a punch from seichusen.
In the example below I push forward a little bit, you can see that he is easiliy brought off balance. The correct height depends on your body but is in general a high chudan, just below the shoulder line.
In the good example (first to pictures below) I am hanging with my weight against his punch and he can resist it quite easily because he punched from seichusen (middle picture). As Ishikawa sensei always said "little things make a lot of difference". If his first is just a touch higher, and I am talking about an inch, than this is outside of this seichusen and his attack becomes weaker (see third picture).
To conclude an example with shiko dachi. From the front I am brought off balance easily. From the side, which is my strongest line, I am very stable. The point is to always use your strongest line to attack and aim to the weakest line of the opponent, especially when it comes to kuzushi. Attacks also have to aimed to kyuusho, pressure points and other weak spots of the body.
Keypoint of Pinan Sandan
One of the most important movements of Pinan Sandan is of course the first and second enbusen. If you would have to make a choice which movement would be the most important of those, your choice should be the second movement. The use of two hands is called meotode. This concept will be further explained in the next newsletter. The stance used is called heisoku dachi and is obviously considered an impractical stance. Nevertheless, Yokoyama sensei has an interested view on this, as he says that from this stance you can move in any direction very easily. As for training, this stance makes it very difficult to generate power. Especially karateka who draw their power from rotation will get into trouble. On a higher level you have to lower your center internally as you execute the movement, together with what Nukina sensei calls "Tai no nuki". This is a combination of relaxation, correct breathing, timing and controlling (sending/steering) your energy until the moment of transfer to put weight in your technique. To make this internal work work optimally, it is advised to first bring both elbows together slightly. Then, relax your arms completely so that the gravity pulls your arms down. At the right moment, you accelerate the movement and you regain control over your arms, which you temporarily ceded to gravity.
Kumite gata ipponme
Kumite gata are series of techniques that can be seen as Kata ohyo: applications of kata techniques. These kata are known under several names such as: Kumite gata, Ura waza, Kumite no Ura and for example Kata Ohyo. Ishikawa sensei new lots of "ura waza" but did not structure them. At this moment we follow the kumite gata of Sakagami sensei. In Aiwakai his kumite gata are numbered, this is #1. Eventually it is of course the technique and execution that matters. The first movement is equal to the second movement of Kihon Kumite #1, with the exception of jodan uke instead of chudan uke. The right shoulder has to be pulled little more (or at least that feeling compared to chudan uke. Connect the three movements and let them use each other positively. The second punch for example, can be made powerful by using the shoulder (helping aid) that was in a way prepared during the first movement. The second punch has to be delivered before Ukemi can recover from the first punch as you jam the front leg to prevent a kick with the front leg or at least make that more difficult to do.The function of the third movement is kuzushi, breaking the posture. Execute from your strong line (seichusen) and attack his weak line. The second series is a so called henka waza (variation) which is more practical. The dynamic of the hip movement is now continued and converted to a leg switch.
Next event: Kata Wanshu
SAKAGAMI seminar in Romania, 1-3 March 2013
Nukina sensei, the Japanese kumite champion '94 and '95, is resident in Romania since 2002 to spread Wado Karate in Europa. Born in 1973, he is considered a Japanese karateka from the next generation. Nukina sensei invited the more senior Sakagami sensei, who is part of the first generation of karateka who came to Europe to instruct our style.
Click here to watch the gallery of the event that took place in the first weekend of March 2013. I will upload a video later on. Sakagami sensei is scheduled to teach in Holland 24/25/26 May in my Dojo (Holland).
Assume gyakuzuki dachi. During Ido Kihon you have to change from junzuki to gyakuzuki dachi after mawatte and you have to execute a punch on the spot.The full name of this movement is sonobade ippon totte (also called ipon toru). Gyakuzuki dachi is slightly shorter and a little wider than junzuki dachi. In this case you start from migi gyakuzuki, this means that your body has to be turned to the left. Consider this kamae and stand as relaxed as possible. This stance is often interpreted as front leg bent and back leg streched. Although it might assist beginners to identify stances, it is a counter-productive method. Weight distribution should be 50/50 and both legs should be bend. Especially the back leg has a slight angle. "Neither bent nor streched" as Sakagami sensei would say. The front leg is often more bent than the back leg, depending on the height of your stance and the length of your legs. The movement is very important, move with your body and not with your legs. Move through seichumen and lead with the front hand. The intent in the front hand and pushing with your hips makes your body move.The front hand is now kamae and controls seichusen. Keep you lef hip back and move forward. The next step is the punch itself, of course this has to be done in one movement. Your hip is already opened and ready to punch. Punch with the left fist in this case and push you left hip forward while you squeeze your liver and kidney to generate internal muscle instead of being dependent of external muscle. Do not focus on turning of the hip and doing hikite, because your energy will travel in the wrong direction in this way. Focus purely on forward pressure and punching with the left fist. Hikite with the right fist will move backwards to the correct position at the side of the chest automatically after sufficient training.The moment that you punch you have to lower your weight (internally), assisted by an invisible ryo ashi hiza no nuki, to increase impact power. We advise lower grades to put attention in twisting the hips and making sure your elbow is squeezed, not opened, during the punch.
Pressurepoint behind the elbow.
The pressurepoint of this newsletter is the attachment of the triceps behind the elbow. This pressurepoint has to be affected continuously to ensure control over the opponent. A light sawing motion on this pressurepoint has more effect than simply pressure. The kumite belows shows an application of this pressurepoint, start in hidari ai gamae. Avoid tobikomizuki like Kihon Kumite. Grab the wrist with your left hand and connect your right arm to the pressurepoint. Adjust the distance and execute gedan mawashigeri. Apply the arm lock by letting your body drop and end in shiko dachi. Keep your arm close to your body for more control. Take hold of the palm of the thumb and keep applying pressure to the pressurepoint to control the opponent. Turn your body and apply pressure to the wrist, turn completely while controlling the opponent and take him down.
Wadoryu Kata Jitte - explanations from Kata training event 09-02-2013
Start with a relaxed kamae and adjust the distance if necessary. Your opponent executes tobikomizuki.You can intercept this quite soon with your leading hand by controlling seichusen. Within the same movement, execute tsukiuke with the right fist and use the principle of ko bo ittai to subdue a possible second attack of your opponent. This movement is very quick, as is tobikomizuki and only has a chance of success if you have the mentality to enter. It is about feeling the opponent. You might use Ten I (change of position) to the left to change seichusen to your advantage. This is done by feeling. If you would think about doing Ten I you would be too late and already punched with tobikomizuki. Execute tsukiuke with a slightly bend arm and use the rotation of your fist and arm and with that the position of your elbow to deflect the punch. Make your opponent off balance by entering deeply and with your forearm. Rotate your forearm and apply pressure to the chest of the opponent. Do not focus on taking the front leg. A lot of people get scared (startled) and move their weight to the back leg rendering sweeping the front leg ineffective. Practically, the opponent might move backwards due to receiving jodanzuki. Therefore, enter deeply and manipulate the centre of gravity of the opponent (tanden). You could say that you have to walk through the opponent and sweep his back leg instead of the front. Follow your opponent after the throw and position yourself so that the opponent can't kick you easily. Conclude with shitazuki. Shitazuki symbolises the importance of following the opponent and the control that you have over yourself and your opponent. Never lose yourself in anger or let any other emotion consume you.
Wado No Michi - Wado karate book
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Execute jodan tobikomizuki from a relaxed kamae. Be reminded that you should not pull your fist back prior to punching, but punch directly from kamae. Force yourself to move from your centre by sending the hips forward instead of stepping with the front foot. Slide if necessary slightly to the right to avoid the front hand of the opponents kamae. Of course, you pass kamae on the inside as well. Do not pull the fist back after punching but use ude no nuki (relaxing your arm), open your hand and create shikaku. Ude no nuki can't be compared to hikite.
Hikite is generally a manual action that can create tension in the shoulder and several muscle groups. In most cases it is also less functional to bring your fist back to the side of the chest as you do in basic training.Ude no nuki is a technique that appears in Naihanchi kata. Obviously, you always have to apply nukeru and relax instantly. In this case it is a way when 'hikite' becomes an automatic action. After attacking your fist will' bounce back' in a relaxed and natural manner. In this technique, the punch is more or less kept in the same place to create shikaku.
Shikaku means dead angle. In this case, shikaku is made and used to give the next attack more chances of success. Use the front arm to protect seichusen and control the front arm of the opponent. In case of contact you can feel the opponents movement. You could strike directly and maintain shikaku. But perhaps it is better to bring the opponents kamae down in a slight angle. Depending on the situation and the response of the opponent it is better to make either chudan or jodanzuki. This has to do with feeling at that exact moment. You can't determin up front what is better or worse, you can only notice and feel it in the moment.
Seichusen is the imaginary line that runs through the body from top to bottom straight throug tanden. In English this is often called the centre line. Seichusen is written by three kanji in Japanese (Kanji). "Sei" "Chu" and "Sen". Although Japanese is sometimes difficult to translate, in this case it can be done quite OK. Sei means correct, Chu means centre and Sen means line. Chu can also mean inside as Nukina once translated the Kanji for me with "It can also mean inside". This is not necessarily your exact physical centre like your navel. It depends on the direction because it is a radial axis and not necessarily front viewing. Seichusen is also your strongest line from where you should move and execute your techniques, but in this way they are naturally the strongest. The technique demonstrated below is an application of controlling your seichusen and that of your opponent. It is certainly not easy, but in my opinion a great example. Seichusen is not simply keeping your fist in the centre. In this demonstration the timing is sen no sen. Ukemi executes tobikomizuki jodan (chudan would not have made a lot of difference), torimi slides in depending on the distance and intercepts the attack with his leading hand. On the moment of contact, torimi should deliver a shock to Ukemi's attack to make it bounce off. Doing this, you can keep seichusen, enter, control Ukemi and counter in one smooth movement.
Keypoint of Pinan Nidan
Pinan Nidan is originally the second kata from the series of five, but is usually practiced first. The style “Shotokan”, who have changed the name from “Pinan” to “Heian”, renamed this kata to Heian Shodan. This is actually quite logic if you think about the fact that it is practiced first because of the difficulty anyway. Pinan and Heian have the same meaning, peace. The pronouncation “Pinan” is Okinawan, “Heian” is Japanese. As every kata starts with ukewaza, the meaning of Pinan or Heian symbolises that the eventual goal is the opposite of to destroy. Although this kata is usually seen as easiest, this kata is actually quite difficult because the movements are so fundamental. It is very difficult to hide errors and flaws. One of the keypoints of Pinan Nidan is Nukite, which is demonstrated on the images below. According to Ishikawa sensei, every kata has keypoints. These movements are the most important of the kata and contain more specific information than other movements. In this case emphasis is placed on practicing to open the body at the last split second. Also, moving your body to your limbs instead of the other way around is practiced in these enbusen. Take kamae as natural as possible and emphasise on body movement instead of positioning your hands.
Uchi uke application
On the images below I demonstrate how to execute jodan uchi uke as a basic technique with emphasis to the rotation of the wrist and the bringing to the inside of the elbow. Although contacting with the wrist (outside forearm) is possible, uchi uke is usually executed with the lower part of the forearm, near the elbow where there is a big muscle. Using this part minimises risk of damaging yourself. Making contact with the bone of the wrist, as mentioned earlier, could be an application but is usually considered kote uchi. The first application is fairly known, it is an application of go no sen and nagashi uchi uke. Uchi uke parries the attack as the body opens to the left. Naturally a counterattack follows with meotode.
The second application (images below) is perhaps unknown to you. By sliding in and pushing uchi uke forward the attack of the opponent bounces off upon contact. At the same time, you can execute jodanzuki. The go no sen version are two movements that follow each other fluidly and smoothly. The sen no sen application is one movement where the front hand is used while using seichusen and applying a shock plays a major role.
Mawashigeri and tsugi ashi mawashigeri
For regular mawashigei, (demonstrated by Esther) lift your knee actively and aim straight forward, to make it difficult for the opponent to see which kick you are actually going to do. Continuously, open the body sharply and let the supporting leg turn smoothly. Keep your back straight and try to relax your arms.
For tsugi ashi mawashigeri, take hidari kamae (demonstrated by myself). Start to move by pushing your hip forward in the intended direction. Now initiate mawashigeri to release weight of the front foot. This also causes to move the back leg below your body in order to make mawashigeri. This looks like – and is – one movement. If you put the intention on “step up” with your back foot instead of leading with koshi it is guaranteed that you will move in two movements and that you will suffer a sincere delay. The movement will also be considerably less smooth.
Wadoryu Kata Niseishi - explanations from Kata training event 26-01-2013
Stuff from the 2nd Newsletter of Wadokai Holland (WKNL)
To give you an impression of what will be the content of the updated website Ishikawa-Karate.com, hereby the series of Ohyo Kumite 4. The rest will follow!
Ohyo Kumite 4
I have seen a lot of variations over the years. One of the advantages of this variation is that you can explore how to control the opponent by grabbing his neck instead of his karategi. It is not said that you will encounter an opponent wearing a strong jacket. Also, you become aware of a pressurepoint in the neck that you can use to increase control. The neck is also easier to reach in comparison to the left shoulder. This gives more flow and less interruption to the series. The first movement by the way, Ishikawa sensei positioned himself slightly diagonal to take a favourable position concerning the opponent.
Stuff from the 1st Newsletter of Wadokai Holland (WKNL)
This first Newsletter is filled with stuff from our book "Wado No Michi". The second newsletter is all new stuff and the first article from that one will be added this weekend!
No matter what karateschool you visit, you problably learn seiken and junzuki first.
Relax your hand and strech your fingers. Bend your fingers and close your fist. Notice the position of the thumb.
Assume hidari kamae. Bend your front knee, push your body forward from your hips and protect seichusen with your left fist. Execute junzuki with your right fist and try to use your whole body as you maintain kinto.
Jodan uke ohyo
Jodan uke, as demonstrated by Ishikawa sensei in basic training, can be applied in many different ways by adjusting the direction and/or distance of the same movement, depending on the movement of the opponent. Below Ishikawa sensei demonstrates how to execute Jodan uke in basic practice with emphasis on squeezing the elbow in a relaxed manner. The end position, with the upper arm located near the face, is a natural strong position. An application of jodan uke (last image) is to deflect an attack and counterattack at the same time, this is called ko bo ittai. The change of distance, of course done with correct timing, can stop an attack. In such a case jodan uke transforms into osae uke as shown in this tanto dori example.
Keypoint of Pinan Shodan
Pinan Shodan (often practiced second or third because of the difficulty) is officially the first kata from the Pinan series which consists of five kata. Originally they were designed by Itosu sensei round 1900. The kata served as a physical educational system on Okinawan schools. The movements from Pinan kata are probably derived from Kushanku and some other kata. Although the techniques are relatively easy in comparison to some other kata, you have your hands full with them even after 10, 20 or even 30 years of training. Below is a part of Pinan Shodan. This part is a keypoint of Pinan Shodan, with as most important the second movement. The point is to be able to move the upper and lower section of the body independetely of each other. As you close the upper body (squeeze), the lower body may not be affected. Do not destabilise your posture.
Kihon Kumite 1
As this is part of the first newsletter, we choose to show you the most fundamental kata from Wado that exists. This kihon kumite is not the original number one. This is the revised version which dates back to 1958. We will show you the original version later so stay tuned!
Ukemi attacks with tobikomizuki, torimi controls maai and executes jodan nagashi soto uke. Torimi implies an attack with this distance. Ukemi enters deeply, creates space from himself and executes chudan gyakuzuki. Torimi emphasises on taisabaki and absorbs the attack as he counters with ipponken. Torimi controls ukemi at the same time with his right arm which is ready to attack.