Brenda, Kay and Paul attended an open ‘Master Class’ with Richard Amos Sensei – 6th Dan (Renshi) and World Traditional Karate Organisation Chief Instructor on Saturday 4th November 2006. The course was held at Hemel Hempstead and hosted by Sensei Malcolm Phillips 6th Dan of Seishinkai Shotokan Karate International. The following day the World Traditional Karate Organisation’s 2nd UK WTKO Championship was held at the Seishinkai Honbu Dojo… Saturday’s course consisted of two separate sessions lasting almost two hours. Both sessions attracted in excess of 100 participants. The theme was smoothness of movement and body compression to facilitate acceleration.

The first drill focussed on the immediate retraction of the leading hand when stepping with oi-zuki to improve forward acceleration. Sensei Amos stressed the importance of initial explosive pull back of the arm timed with the forward thrust of the rear leg to maximise body acceleration. The feeling of pulling an opponent towards you was then further developed by partnering up and using a facing partner as an anchor to react against. It was explained that oi-zuki wasn’t a natural movement and was infact opposite to the body’s natural gate of opposing arm and leg in unison. However having captured the feeling it could be transferred to easier combinations.

Sensei Amos stated that the most emphasis during training focused on the end stages of technique at the point of kime. However one should be prepared to strike the target at any stage along the striking limb’s trajectory. Subsequently delaying movement of the fist at the start of the technique may later prove to be detrimental. The starting positions of rising and outside blocks were then examined in detail. In the case of rising block the shoulder, arm and hip were fully compressed in a gyaku-hanmi position. This enabled the compact shoulder to provide the foundation to react against. While in the case of the outside block the upper arm was held out perpendicular to the ear with the lowerarm completely relaxed and flopped down on top of the shoulder. This emphasis on relaxation and recoil of techniques was practiced with partners moving up and down the Dojo in a Sanbon kumite style exercise utilising same arm blocking and counter-attacking at speed.

 

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Role Direction Initial technique Followed by
Tzuki-te (attacker) Forward Oi-tzuki jodan Soto-uke chudan
Uke-te (defender) Backwards Age-uke Gyaku-tzuki chudan
Tzuki-te (attacker) Forward Oi-tzuki cudan Age-uke
Uke-te (defender) Backwards Soto-uke chudan Kizami-tsuki jodan

Role Direction Initial technique Followed by Tzuki-te (attacker) Forward Oi-tzuki jodan Soto-uke chudan Uke-te (defender) Backwards Age-uke Gyaku-tzuki chudan Tzuki-te (attacker) Forward Oi-tzuki cudan Age-uke Uke-te (defender) Backwards Soto-uke chudan Kizami-tsuki jodan

This concept was taken forward with Mae geri, with Sensei concentrating on the recoil of the kick combined with fast body rotation. This led into looking at the Kata Kanku Dai putting the concepts of the training session to use in various sections of the Kata such as the Mae geri sequences and the choku tzuki – uchi uke combination. Sensei Amos is scheduled to return for further master classes on 24/25th November 2007.

Paul Edwards