Dragon Hill Training, 2008.

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Christmas 2008 came and went, as it has been doing for many years. Nothing new there. We find ourselves midway between that, let’s face it – joyous – occasion and the beginning of the New Year. We’ve been there before. Thus it was time for the special Dragon Hill Christmas training session – where we’ve been before (every year, in fact, for the last … errr … lots of years.

 

At eleven am on a very cold, very crisp morning, members of the Wantage Karate Club congregated in the car park of Dragon Hill, having made the trek all the way from their nice, warm beds (separately, you understand), dressed warmly (though warmly enough? Only time and frost bite would tell) and understandably excited by the thought of the traditional Christmas excursion.

 

At this stage I looked around at the assembled karateka, who now deserve an honourable mention. Sensei Paul was there, of course, flanked by Baz Knight who, through sheer unadulterated passion, had arrived a whole hour early (sorry for getting the times wrong, Baz). Brenda Longmuir, Kay Savage and Kerry Cross were there with Alison Franklin and Andrew Piggot. We duly made our way across a large field towards Dragon hill, on our way being joined by Ian Jordan. One of the best turnouts we have had!

 

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Did I mention it was cold?

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As we climbed the steps to Dragon Hill I started to wonder just what would be in store for us this year. This is my 5th Dragon Hill experience (I have attended every year since joining the club in 2004) and they have always been memorable, partly for the karate, partly for the weather (we have not yet had a heat wave at the end of December, though I live in hope) and partly for the scenery. It is such a joy to be outside with beautiful views over the Oxfordshire countryside, especially on a crisp winter’s day.

 

As I arrived on the top of the hill, the group duly assembled in a circle and then began to run around the top of the hill, to initiate the warm-up. Though the official temperature was about one degree Centigrade, wind chill made it feel much colder than this, so the warm-up was a most welcome start to the session. After a jog we did some basic stretching and then lined up ready for the lesson to begin, facing away from the White Horse (since the Hill of that name is adjacent to Dragon hill – for anyone not sure of the local geography). I gazed towards the horizon and saw, soaring close to the Hill, a red kite, blissfully unaware of the lesson unfolding below.

 

Everyone assembled was a capable karateka since the lowest grade present was brown belt so there was no need for any preliminaries. Sensei Paul started us off by all performing Kihon Kata (though his “special” version of it looked more like Heian Shodan) followed by Heian Shodan and Nidan. We then turned ninety degrees clockwise and performed Heian Sandan, then another ninety degrees befoe performing Heian Yondan. We turned again, practised Heian Godan and then turned again to go through Tekki Shodan.

 

This, I felt, was an interesting start to the special lesson. Previous Dragon Hill bouts have involved advanced traditional Shotokan kata (Chinte, Jitte, etc), other advanced kata (Ten no Kata and Sanchin), associated bunkai and strike shield work. I idly wondered why the lesson was starting off so “basic”. I was soon to find out.

 

Having performed these katas, we were instructed to perform a left oi tsuki. From there we had to step backwards with gedan baai and then, yes, you guessed it (well maybe you didn’t) continue performing Kihon Kata in reverse. After this we moved on to Heian Shodan, again in reverse, and continued with each kata, performing them backwards. I vaguely know Heian Nidan backwards and I even, in a perverse way, quite enjoy it, but there is a marked difference between performing kata backwards in the relative comfort of a dojo with regular walls to help direct you and doing so on the top of a cold, windswept hill with nothing to help but a group of other equally confused karateka.

 

Somehow we eventually managed to fumble our way through Heian Godan, each of us furiously concentrating on the kata at hand to try to predict the next move – I mean the previous move, which was the next move – oh, you know what I mean. Fortunately there was a brief respite then since our next kata was “only” a mirror image of Tekki Shodan, which I find a little easier than some of the Heians backwards.

 

Once we had performed this, we have a brief break. I had brought along some hot, milky, sugary coffee which a few of us drank before returning to a traditional line for the second half of the session.

 

Did I mention it was cold? Though the wind was biting like a rabid dog, I had to take my hat off to Alison. She recently achieved her black belt and must have decided that she was therefore invincible, since throughout all this she wore no gloves at all. No gloves. I must remember this immunity to pain the next time we spar!

 

The second half of the lesson involved Hangetsu. We performed this a few times, though using zenkutsu dache in place of hangetsu dache. After a few iterations,

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we split into groups of three (luckily there were nine of us): one of each group would perform zenkutsu dache while the other two used spare white belts Sensei Paul had brought along,

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wrapped around the ankles of the third, to pull their ankles inward (the idea being a strong stance would not falter under this pressure).

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We then practised Hangetsu using hangetsu dache where appropriate, for a few more times, before returning to our groups of three. A similar exercise ensured only this time the belt holders tried to pull the ankles outward, again with the implicit idea the a good hangetsu dache would not falter under this abnormal force.

 

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After a final few iterations of the kata (it is amazing how warm my legs were feeling by this stage, even if my

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body was starting to spasm) we paired up and practised some bunkai for this kata. We started off by having our partner attack right hand oi tsuki.

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The kata can tell us to block nagashi uke left hand feeding the attack through to the right hand, following up with a grab and pull down / punch combination.

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We then moved on to the mae geri gedan barai / gyaku tsuki / age uchi combination, this time with the attacker using a pad to help with aim and the “feeling” of the technique, and ended up with a block / mikizuki geri / punch combination.

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Finally, two hours were up and, after a brief photo shoot, we left the Hill and headed back to my house where my wife Barbara had prepared a nice, hot stew to help us warm up again.

 

And so here I am once again, sitting in my nice warm house and thinking back to another stunning day on the Hill. Training in 2009 will be starting in just one week’s time (with the traditional 2009 techniques – who ever thought that one up??) though I, for one, am glad that I filled in some of the time between Christmas and that baptism of fire by braving the elements (I did mention it was cold, right?) and joining friends for some benign torture.

 

The attending karateka ...

Left to right, Ian, Brenda, Kay, Kerry, Alison, Paul, Baz, Andrew and Dave
Dave Paine

Race Night Fundraiser

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Frank and Hilary from the Greyhound Inn very generously offered to run a Race Night to raise funds for the karate club. It was a fun and very successful night well attended by Club members, family, friends and supporters from the village of Letcombe Regis.

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Frank did a fantastic job of hosting and presenting the Race Night and proved to be a very skilful auctioneer of the various pledges that were donated to raise funds. These pledges included football tickets, horse racing day experience, homemade Christmas cake, hair cut, massage and concert tickets. Thanks to all those who donated the pledges.

 

Hilary also provided a lovely Chilli during the interval.

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Although most of us found luck wasn’t on our side Joe managed to keep guessing the winners successfully and even won the best ‘Cheer’ of the night, which was very well deserved.

 

At the end of the evening while Jim, Big Dave, Steve and Jonathan expressed their views, opinions and knowledge of martial arts!!!

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Frank and Paul totalled up the takings for the evening’s events and thanks to everyone we raised an amazing £600 that will go towards equipment hire, future events and activities for the club.

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A very big thank you to everyone, especially to Frank for his continuing and much appreciated support.

 

The web album may be seen here …

Karate race night

Self Protection

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Introduction

The following article is a short introduction to a few areas of self-protection. Violent crime is on the rise and can happen anywhere at anytime. This is by no means a complete article on the subject and is, in fact, only the tip of the iceberg but hopefully it may make you think about looking after yourself

Awareness – the golden rule

The most important aspect of self-protection is awareness. Good awareness coupled with good decision making will keep you safe on most occasions. This is easily said but more times than not isn’t realised or is forgotten about.

There are ways of practicing awareness that will take too long to go into here but my advice is to slow down and do not get involved in your own little world. Keep your head up and look at what is happening around you.

Going out

When going out let someone know where you are going and when you will be back, if something were to happen at least you would be missed and the relevant authorities could be called. Avoid putting yourself at risk to save time or money. Do not use a shortcut to get somewhere on time, it is better to arrive late than not at all.

If you are walking home at night try not to do so alone, carry a personal alarm that is easily accessible, or better still in your hand.

Whilst it should be your right to walk where you want and when you want, that is not the reality of society today.

Your person is more important than your material possessions, give these up rather than get yourself injured or killed to protect them. Be careful when using your mobile phone in public, these are a great target for muggers nowadays. Be especially careful at cash points, it is obvious why you are there and a would be attacker can loiter and watch from a distance easily.

In the car

Make sure you know where you are going on a journey and that you have sufficient fuel and that the car is in good working order, have breakdown cover in case of a emergency. As above, make sure people know of your journey times and let them know when you arrive safely. Take some blankets and emergency food and water especially when traveling at night or in the winter.

Drive with your doors locked and when stopping the car always make sure you can see the bottom of the wheels of the vehicle in front. This will give you room to manoeuver if needs be.

Keep your valuables out of sight and try not to open your windows more than two inches. When parking make sure that it is in a well lit area and make sure the car is left in a way where a quick getaway is possible.

Public Transport

If possible sit near the driver or groups of other passengers.

When using taxis try and use black cabs and never let a minicab pick you up from the street. If calling for a cab do not be afraid to ask for a woman driver or ask for the name of the driver who will be doing your run. Check their credentials. If you feel at all uneasy about the situation, do not get into the cab.

Possible assailants

Generally someone will only attack you if they are confident of victory. Attackers do not want a fuss caused as this will hamper their chances of a successful mugging/rape. If you make yourself a hard target by walking tall, being aware and moving quickly, there is less chance that you will be attacked than if you are lost in your own world chattering on your mobile phone/daydreaming etc.

If you are attacked

Giving advice on what to do when attacked is not easy. Some people prefer to capitulate whilst others will fight back with all their might. The only person who can decide what to do is you. It is your right to be able to physically defend yourself with reasonable force. Unfortunately the law does not tell you what reasonable is and it is judged on a case by case basis. You are however allowed to strike first as long as you have exhausted every other option to you and are in fear of your own safety.

Research has shown that even if a physical defence has failed, the victim has recovered better and more quickly than if nothing has been done.

If an attacker promises that you will be OK if you do something or travel to another location with them, do not believe them. It may seem obvious but these people are not trustworthy and how can going to a second location, probably quiet and secluded, help you?

Summary

The truth is that in an attack the body will produce a massive cocktail of chemicals and the adrenal dump will be huge. You will not be able to remain calm and cool and think straight. That is not the time to consider your personal safety, that time is NOW.

It is easy to read this document and then put it to the back of your mind or worse still be one of the millions who think ‘it will never happen to me’. If that is you, I urge you to read Merlyn Nuttal’ book ‘It could have been you’ about her how she was raped and nearly murdered on her way to work..

Three other books I would recommend on the subject are

  • ‘Dead or Alive’ by Geoff Thompson
  • ‘Streetwise’ by Peter Consterdine
  • ‘Dogs don’t know kung fu’ by Jamie O’KeefeIf you would like any further information please contact me or your local police station.

    Andi Kidd

Tony’s Gig (Feb 2008)

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Our resident musical talent Tony Hetherington played in Sutton Courtenay on Saturday 23rd Feb with his band, Ridgeway Country, 2008, and some of the club members showed up to lend their support. Here are the pics …

 

Howdy parnder

Howdy parnder

 

What a bunch!

Left to Right: Kerry, Brenda, Barbara, Kay, Big Dave, Tony, Big Steve, Jim (aka Richard), Pete

 

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Is that a drink, or are you pleased to see me?

 

The three amigos ...

Big Steve, Paul, Big Dave, ready to paaaarty

 

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… and the band played on …

 

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I could have danced all night …

 

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Is that a flying saucer?

 

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Does my bum look big in this?

 

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Lorraine and Pete

 

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Kerry helpts Pete hobble back to his wheelchair …

Christmas Party 2007

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This year the Karate Club held the Christmas Party at the local Sports Centre. There was a football tournament where the slightly younger karate members thoroughly outshone the more senior individuals.

 

Before Sensei appeared on pitch

Before Sensei appeared on pitch
After Sensei appeared on pitch

After Sensei appeared on pitch

 

After the Seniors recovered everyone congregated in the Bar for drinks and a buffet

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Some still had energy to play Twister, football, basketball, pool etc while some could only look at the old photo display that Sensei had provided and convince themselves they had improved with age!

Afterwards some of the party went into Wantage for a tiny nightcap.

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Kay measuring to see if she’s taller than a pint glass

Kay measuring to see if she’s taller than a pint glass
Sensei’s extensive finger injury the main discussion point AGAIN!!!

Sensei’s extensive finger injury the main discussion point AGAIN!!!

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A big thank you to Brenda, Kerry, Kay, Lorraine, Pete and Paul for all their hard work.

A Technical Analysis of Mawashi Geri

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Abstract

The Shotokan karate syllabus contains several kicks, of which four tend to be practiced almost to the exclusion of all others: mae geri keage, yoko geri kekomi, mawashi geri and ushiro geri. My experience has been that of these four, many people believe their execution of mawashi geri is good when typically it isn’t. Others tend to avoid the kick when possible believing that they are unable to perform the technique correctly. This is, of course, a gross generalisation but has led my desire to examine the kick more closely.

 

Mawashi Geri – An Introduction

Though the kick may be performed from almost any standing position, it is usually performed from a kamae (fighting) posture once the practitioner has advanced beyond third kyu level; thus this thesis shall concentrate on kicks performed from this stance. Further, it shall be assumed that the kick is part of an offensive technique that brings the attacking leg forward (rather than kicking and then stepping back).

The mawashi geri is a snap kick – the target should be struck with contact being made for the shortest possible time and once the target has been hit the foot should return to the ground as quickly as possible. The striking area used is either the ball of the foot (koshi) or the flat of the foot (heisoku) (some styles of karate and other martial arts use the shin, though this is not usual in the Shotokan standard syllabus). Striking the target using the ball of the foot is typically the harder technique of the two, demanding more accuracy. Using the flat of the foot therefore has advantages, but there is the risk of breaking some of the small bones along the top of the foot if, as is the case in the dojo, the practitioner is in bare feet. Both may be considered effective if a “street” situation where the kicker is wearing shoes.

Targets for the kick are numerous – head, stomach (being wary of the opponent’s elbow for the reason stated above) and thigh are common. Broadly speaking there are two ways to perform a mawashi geri and these I shall term the basic and advanced method. It is assumed that the kick is fired from the rear leg (ushiro ashi), though the following descriptions would be applicable if the kick originated from the front leg (mae ashi).

 

Basic Mawashi Geri

The basic method is normally taught when the student is first learning the kick. There are four steps involved in the kick’s execution:

1. Lift the rear leg with the upper half perpendicular to the target so that the lower half of the leg is almost horizontal (the knee should be slightly higher than the foot). Notice that at this stage, the leg should be strongly bent at the knee with the heel pulled back tightly against the hamstring, maximising arc travel. If the intended target is low (gedan) then the knee may be lifted only slightly, but if the intended target is high (chudan or above) then the knee should be lifted high. The front (supporting) leg should be slightly bent with the front foot pointing forwards.

The rear leg is lifted  to the side as the kick is prepared.

2. Swing the upper half of the leg to face the target, keeping the lower half in the almost-horizontal state as before. At this stage, the upper half of the leg should point directly towards the target’s centre line – the kick is being aimed. The supporting foot should swivel, typically on the ball of the foot, so that the foot is pointing away from the target. The kick can be said to be primed.

The knee is

3. At this point the lower half of the leg may extend to strike the target and then retract. Typically this is performed as an adjunct to the previous step in order to use the momentum of the body’s rotation to enhance the speed and power of the final kick.

The kick extends.

4. The completion of this kick (by which I mean restoring the foot to the ground) should be performed in an identical fashion to that described below discussing the advanced kick.

Note that during the description of this kick, the upper body has not been mentioned. The upper body should be placed in a position that enables the kicker to continue an attack (or launch an efficient defence) after the kick has been performed – there is no need for the upper body to be tense or have the arms flail as can often be seen by less experiences karate students.

 

Common Mistakes Performing the Basic Mawashi Geri

When performing this kick there are a number of pitfalls that may trap the inexperienced karateka. These mistakes may not only affect the quality and effectiveness of the kick but can also become a potential hazard for the overall safety of the kicker. The points below discuss their numbered counterpart above:

1. The rear leg (knee) is sometimes not lifted high enough, even though the karateka is to perform a jodan kick. The problem then becomes that before the kick is fired, the knee must be raised (else the kick would not reach its intended target) and this reduces momentum and ultimately speed and power in the kick.

2. All too often, even amongst senior grades, the knee is allowed to wander past the intended target, so that the upper half of the leg points at an angle and not directly in front. This can cause the following undesirable situations

The knee rotates too far round. Wrong!

a. Once the kick is thrown, the foot will come into contact with the target before the leg is fully extended, reducing the kick’s power since the arc of travel has been reduced and the corresponding end speed of the kick will thus also be reduced

b. Due to the way the legs can rotate within the hip joint, the knee will typically be forced to dip at this stage, again causing a loss of power

c. The further the knee has been over-rotated, the harder it is to recover the leg after the kick has been performed

The knee dips when kicking. Wrong!

d. There is a tendency to have the body bent at the hip during the kick – this will reduce the kick’s range

Sometimes, the supporting foot is not rotated enough (or even at all). Though children (and some particularly flexible adults) can still perform a decent jodan kick without rotating the supporting foot, it should be remembered that nobody can stay flexible for ever, and stressing the knee in this way can cause serious injury in later life.

3. The actual kick is relatively straight forward. Note that its success is dependant on how well the preparation has been performed – if this preparation has been done proficiently then a decent kick is likely to follow.

 

Advanced Mawashi Geri

Though the basic mawashi geri is ideal for learning the principals involved in the kick (and may also be an ideal tool for building up thigh muscles), it has, in my opinion, a fatal flaw if used in a kumite drill – it is comparatively slow. All kicks tend to be slow anyway, when compared to hand striking techniques, but they are capable of having the element of surprise if performed relatively quickly. Enter the advanced mawashi geri. This may be described using the following steps:

1. The leg is lifted as if to perform a mae geri (the supporting leg remains as it was, slightly bent with the supporting foot pointing forwards). Already there are some major advantages to this approach:

The kick is initially raised as if it were a mae geri.

a. The kicking knee (being forward) provides a degree of cover for the torso and can act as an tacit shield between the attacker and the defender

b. The defender may well believe that the attacker is intending to perform a mae geri attack, and plan accordingly

c. Because this initial move is that of a mae geri, it will typically have been practised many times and thus the attacker should be supremely confident whilst performing this

2. Several actions now happen almost simultaneously.

a. The supporting leg and foot turns to point away from the target. This ensures the body rotates helping provide power to the kick (note the foot should be flat on the floor when the kick strikes – a common mistake is for the kicker to raise onto “tiptoe” when performing the kick)

b. The kicking foot rises as the body twists and is fired. There is typically less time in this situation for the foot to point down, weakening the kick, and the kicker further gets that advantage that the kicking knee will automatically point at the target and not overextend

During the kick, the supporting foot is rotated away from the target.

3. Once the kick has reached its target and returned to “base camp” (which, as with the basic mawashi geri, has the foot slightly lower than the knee and the lower half of the leg almost horizontal), the return of the kicking foot to the ground should be completed as soon as possible (unless, of course, another kick of the same leg is to be performed). The body should be righted, i.e.

a. The supporting leg should twist back so that the supporting foot is once again pointing forwards

The kicking leg is reset after the kick has been performed.

b. The kicking foot should be reset as if the kicker was to throw a mae geri (in other words, as described in step 1 above). Both of these actions may be effectively accomplished through correct use of the hips.

c. Only then should the kicking leg should be placed on the ground

This final step, after the kick has been performed, is crucial, yet all too often ignored by the kicker who takes the view that the kick has been performed, “job done”. In these situations, the kicker may simply drop the knee. Not only is this attitude lazy, in allowing gravity to do the work, the technique is often slow – as mentioned above, the return should be very quick – and in neglecting good form, the kicker excludes from use a hugely potent weapon in their arsenal: a second kick off the same leg, that can catch the target completely unawares . If the opponent believes the first kick has been spent and then launch a counter attack, a great deal of success for the kicker may be achieved through the judicious use of a second kick, and if the leg is already in position, that kick can be much faster than the initial.

 

Conclusions

The mawashi geri kick is a favourite amongst many seasoned karateka for its relative ease of use and potential effectiveness. It can often be daunting to less experienced students due to the subtle body movements and perceived flexibility required. However, with a little knowledge of the mechanics involved it can be used to great effect by relatively junior grades.

Often, the basic mawashi geri is considered stronger than the advanced kick, but the latter is much faster and I believe that aspect of the kick is crucial. Further, the advanced kick has the benefit of allowing the hips to be employed at exactly the correct moment making it, for me, a much more satisfying technique.

Dave Paine

Karate – a Childs Perspective

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When I first started Karate in October 2005, I was shy and didn’t understand any of it, everyone made me feel welcome and I soon began to get the idea and learn the moves and techniques such as Age Uke. This is a block that blocks a punch to the head. A punch to the head is called a Jodan punch. Soon I was able to do my first grading to become an orange belt.(you start at a white belt.) I also learnt a block called Soto Uke which is used to block a punch to the stomach. A punch to the stomach is called a Chudan punch. I have entered competitions and have been able to come 1st 2nd and 3rd. I’ve been training for 1 and a half years and now I’m a yellow belt. With the support of the club I will continue my journey and hopefully end up a black belt.

Holly A. Ward age 10.

Culham Fun Day Demonstration

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As part of a Karate Outreach programme Wantage Shotokan Karate Club members gave a demonstration at Culham Science Centre, Abingdon during a Family Fun day on 10th September ‘06. Other events include a bird of prey display, Go-Karts, Tug of War competition and a band. Volunteers included the Ward clan (Holly, Carrie & Judas!), the Crosses (Brenda & Kim), Kay, Chris, Alison, sprouting Sean, Old Pete, Tim, Big Dave, Alan & Patrick. When including family members there were just under 50 of us that attended the day, as always, great support.

Two displays were given showing basics, various kata (individual & team), hand pads and focus shield drills, breaking breeze blocks & wood (Tameshiwara) and various kumite forms. The finale consisted of a dynamic role-play demonstration involving bow and knife defences where Brenda gave Kay, Alan, Tim & Pete a good whipping with Sensei Paul tidying up a few loose ends. A good day was capped by the club winning the tug of war competition. This was despite a certain club member hedging his bets and offering his services to his employer’s site based team as well. No wonder he could only manage an hour of training that evening!

Check out the Gallery for some pictures of the event.

Visualization

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Visualization is a means of mental rehearsal. It is useful for learning new skills and practicing existing ones.

When we learn a new movement we fire a neural pathway for the movement. At first this pathway won’t be very strong and may not take the most efficient path (a little like a drunk wandering home). However, as we practice, this pathway becomes stronger and as the skill develops the neural message takes a more direct route. That is why it easy to keep repeating the same mistakes if we don’t continually monitor and correct our technique as this will reinforce the incorrect pathway. This is where visualization can help.

Here is an example of how visualization works that you can try. Take a piece of string and attach a small weight to it such as a ring. Hold the string between the thumb and forefinger so that the weight can move freely. Imagine that the weight is swinging back and forth for a while and see what happens. Next visualize the object making a circular action. This demonstrates that when you think about an action there is a suble corresponding muscle impulse – this is called ideomotor action.

Visualization can be practiced almost anywhere where it is a useful skill to enhance performance and is a good way to practice when injured. It can be used, for example, when learning a new kata or kumite drills. It can be used to visualize a positive outcome when competing be it the end result (wearing the medal) or the techniques you intend to score with. It can also be used to aid relaxation by imaging a place you feel calm in such as a warm tropical beach or beautiful garden.

There are two ways to visualize:

Internally This is where you see yourself from inside through your own eyes.

Externally This is where you see yourself through the eyes of an observer like watching a video of yourself.

Which way you choose is up too you use which ever you find easiest. Choose a skill/movement sequence. Visualize yourself making that movement perfectly. Try to see what your doing and in your minds eye think about what it feels like and which muscles are tense / relaxed. Try to use all your senses in your visualization as the more vivid you can make it the better. It is worth noting that it is a good idea to get an example of the technique you want to practice by watching someone else perform it either in the flesh or on video. Look at the technique and see yourself performing it as well as they do.

Visualization is used by many top sports people to enhance their performance. It is a skill like any other – the more it is practiced the better you will become at it. I hope that this article has been of intrest and is helpful in your training.

References Body Mind Mastery By Dan Millman

Catherine Harris

Tom’s Goodbye

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Wantage Shotokan Karate Club has recently said good bye to one of it’s most regular and keenest students, Tom Richards. Tom started training at the club as a 15-year-old in 1993 and has trained under two previous club Sensei’s. In 1998 during a six-month break from university Tom worked in Australia and met a local lass. He has now emigrated and will be marrying one ‘Katrina Parker’ on 22nd September in Ballarat, central Victoria. A number of you may recognise Tom from the photographs, he previously attended the Vince Morris course in Swindon and unfortunately was unsuccessful at a Nidan grading attempt in Tisbury last December.

The club presented Tom with a framed poster with a number of printed photographs from various TSKA and club events. This was personalised with club members signing or writing a few words of encouragement, best wishes and nice worded ‘abuse’! His last training session was going to culminate into a lesson he would never forget by being bundled by forty karate-Ka. Fortunately for him common sense got the better of me and ‘Yame’ was shouted just in time.

Tom has continued his karate training in Melbourne with the Australian School of Shotokan Karate (ASKF) under Sensei Edji Zennel 4th Dan who is the Victorian state kata Coach.

Paul Edwards

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