Just another WordPress.com site

Archive for August, 2010


September 2010 will be a busy month for Hartlepool Wadokai with lots of new projects starting up. This is in addition to our regular 20 hour’s of classes per week.

We’re restarting our Reception Karate Classes at West Park Primary School. We ran these last year and they were very popular with the school and the kids, a number of them transferred to our main club once they were old enough. This is one hour a week, (2x 30min classes) teaching 3-5 year olds FUNdamentals incorporating basic Karate movements and some work on soft focus pads. This is a great way to introduce the kids to the ‘rules’ of learning Karate.

Our new Women’s Self Defence & Fitness Classes start up with a pilot this month too. This class is already fully booked and we even have a waiting list! This pilot is being funded by the Hartlepool Borough Council’s Sports Development team because our club development plan mirrors a lot of the local authorities targets.

Finally, we’ve got some Workplace Health Fitness/Self Defence sessions running. These are also funded by the local council and the sessions will be targeting council staff including the Primary Care Trust/NHS & Fire brigade staff. These sessions will be run during lunch breaks at central locations making them accessible to council staff.

If you’d like any further information about these sessions, then please contact me on 07984 798634 or via email carl at hartlepoolwadokai dot com (spelled out to stop spam!).

We’ve also got a number of events this month:

Saturday 18th September – Hartlepool Wadokai Annual Sponsored Walk
This walk is done every year to raise funds for the club-only championships which will this year be held on Sunday 17th October. To download your own sponsor form, please click here.

Saturday 25th September – Wayne Otto Kumite Seminar
This course is once again hosted by our friends at TASK and will be held in Stockton. This is a great opportunity for students to train with one of the world’s most successful Karate competitors and the current English All-Styles National Coach.

Sunday 26th September – Hartlepool Wadokai FIRST AID Course
This course is run by Mr Paul Suggit (http://www.trainingfirstaiders.co.uk/) who works closely with the HM Coastguard. This course only has a few spaces left so please get in touch asap to book a place. Costs: Committee Members – FREE; Club Members – £15; Non-Members – £20, first come first served.

There will also be a club grading once we’ve held an Instructors meeting to decide the date and venue.

Japan Nationals Results

I’ve had a few emails asking for a list of the Japan Nationals Results for 2010. Most of the names were written in Kanji and my Japanese isn’t good enough to translate them. I took photos of the final results but when I checked them a few minutes ago, it looks like I may have missed some of the categories, and some of the pictures are blurry but they’re better than nothing.

I’ve posted the pictures on my Facebook page (Carl Jorgeson) and I believe anyone can view the album.

When I get chance, I’ll try to find out the full results and get them typed up.

Learning from the world’s best…

If you ignore the fact that Danny boy has his eyes on the camera with his customary pose, the photo shows our students watching the Senior Women Individual Kata Semi Final matches from the Wado World Cup 2010.

The challenge was to see if the students could pick the winner of each Semi Final, in the first match (Louise Fisk vs Nao Sekikawa), they couldn’t – I personally think this was a close match and If you asked both competitors, I’m sure they’d agree that the Kata were’nt the best they’re capable of. Most of our students picked Louise as the winner when in fact Nao Sekikawa took the win.

The second match, the students did better with most correctly picking Emiri Iwamoto over Jessica Buschor.

We then asked our students for feedback about why they chose who they did and what they liked/disliked from the performances. We then tried to explain why the competitors won/lost and more importantly what our students can learn from the videos. The main learning point is to slow the overall Kata down, our students tend to ‘blitz’ through the whole thing, trying to set a new land-speed record. The second point is not to ‘lift’ out of the stances and this comes from their basic/kihon.

We put these learning points into practise and it was great to see such a significant improvement in performance with just a few minutes practise.

Wado World Cup – Women’s Kata

At the Wado World Cup 2010 it was interesting to see the various countries performing Kata. I actually found the kata more interesting that the Kumite, and being a fighter, this is something that I never thought would happen. Everyone was a part of the JKF-Wadokai family,  but there were still subtle differences between the different countries.

I’m relatively new to being a Kata competitor myself, my first ever Kata competition was the Japan Wadokai Nationals in 2008. Despite my lack of experience I was still surprised to see balance issues during performances being missed or ignored, I’ve always thought that this was an important point.


The first video shows Nao Sekikawa from Japan (AKA) against Louise Fisk, former Shiramizu Intern and member of the New Zealand Team performing in the Semi Finals. The second video is Louise’ kata.

Louise had to go through 4 rounds for her 3rd place medal whereas Sekikawa was rather luckier in the draw being seeded to round 2, and then getting a bye through round 3. Sekikawa then came up against Amy Coulson from England and then met Louise.


The first video is Jessica Buschor from Switzerland, and the second is Emiri Iwamoto from Japan. Iwamoto got to this stage without dropping a single flag, and it’s easy to see why.


This was an all Japan final, with Nao Sekikawa (AKA) losing out to Emiri Iwamoto (AO). Iwamoto went onto win the JKF-Wadokai Nationals the week after this Wado World Cup too.

Video note: I had to MUTE the audio on this video because there was a very random conversation going on between Amy and Louise :-), I was tempted to put a cool soundtrack to it…  but couldn’t decide between heavy rock and cheesy pop.

JKF-Wadokai registered branches in England

The JKF-Wadokai is an internationally renowned Karate organization consisting of 1,350 branches within Japan and 250 groups outside Japan (including registered branches). The Wadokai has over 1,000,000 registered members worldwide making it one of the largest single-style karate groups in the world.

The Wadokai Technical Department manages testing to obtain various qualifications, sets standards and implements planned seminars so that practitioners will meet these technical standards.

In plain English, the JKF-Wadokai is the group in Japan that is responsible for Wadokai throughout the world and is the group that our club, Hartlepool Wadokai belongs to.

England currently has 16 branches registered with the Wadokai HQ, of which Hartlepool Wadokai is number 4-17-007 – no really!

JKF-Wadokai Branches in England 
– download the full list (taken from the Official 46th Wado-Kai Karate-Do Championships event program)

Amy Coulson, WWC Double Bronze Medalist…

Amy scrapping with Rie Hirai, another of the Shiramizu Alumni at the Wado World Cup 2010.

Amy did very well at the Wado World Cup, we’ve had this friendly rivalry between us since Amy first began competing. Amy is natuarally competitive and her goal for a while now has been to win more medals than I’ve won in my competition career so far. Before the WWC we were pretty close but with the lastest addition of TWO bronze medals (Individual & Team Kumite) at the Wado World Cup, I think it’s fair to say that Amy has taken the lead!

Amy with Sakagami Sensei

You’d think Amy would be particularly pleased with her performance and I’m sure deep down she is. The main thing that’s bringing smiles to her face is the fact that at the Japan Nationals which were held a week after the WWC, Amy scored with TWO HEAD KICKS in her first round fight, Amy wasn’t even upset at just missing out in this very close 8 points to 7 match. Head kicks are something that Amy has struggled with for a long time and she thinks this landmark achievement is more significant than winning medals at the Worlds. – This is clearly a result of having ‘Performance Related Goals’ rather than being focussed on medals!

Wado World Cup Medal Tally

Wadokai Karate-do World Cup 2010 FULL RESULTS – PUBLIC COPY

Please download the above document for a printable copy of the full (& confirmed) Wado World Cup results. I’ve also added a medal/points tally too.

England finished second overall out of 29 countries for total number of medals & fourth overall based on points. The points system is the same that I use for all my club competitions – 1st place = 3 points; 2nd place = 2 points, 3rd place = 1 point, Team results count as one placing.

This is a great result for England but I believe that this is just the beginning, with the right support in place, the athletes could easily take the number one spot next time! Watch this space for the game plan…

Wadokai Nationals, running order…

Arakawa Sensei (Shiramizu) photo copied this running order schedule for me for Saturday’s JKF-Wadokai National Champioonships.

– sorry, the paper was folded in my pocket but if you download the image you should be able to see all the categories ok…


Shiramizu with Wadokai England members
from British Karate Academy – Sensei Lee Minion 
& Traditional Karate-do Wadokai – Sensei Jamie Jewell
& Hartlepool Wadokai – our club!

Tonight Amy and I took 15 of the Wadokai England entourage up to Sugito to train at Shiramizu with Takamasa Arakawa Sensei. We had to take the train in two waves because some of the guys were delayed getting to the hotel, I sent Amy on ahead and I brought the rest of them with me… By total chance, we all somehow ended up on EXACTLY the same train that pulled into KUKI station for the transfer on the Tobu line to WADO station.

It was a scary sight, and one that has never been seen in the sleepy Sugito town before – 15 foreigners strutting along… all heading in the same direction, to the Shiramizu dojo. We turned up just in time for the start of class and we were all greated like old friends, and some bemused smiles before the guys quickly got changed for the start of the class. The dojo isn’t very big so I was pleased with the warm welcome that we received. I must admit, I was embarrassed taking so many people at one time since we effectively took over the dojo.

I’m still out of commission with my knee, so I got to compare the English with the Japanese, I must say that there wasn’t much in it between the cadet/juniors in the kata. It was a really good session, led entirely by Arakawa Sensei himself. I think Arakawa Sensei spent sometime ‘sizing up’ the various cadets & juniors during the basics and foot work drills – because let’s not forget, they’ll be competing against each other at the weekend. The session moved quickly onto Kata, with groups of students performing a number of kata at a time. This quickly becomes a mental endurance game due to the heat and humidity. All the students fed off each others energy and it was great to see our Kata guys performing on par with Shiramizu. The session finished with line / partner fight drills against a partner.

The entourage on the platform at ‘Wado’ station after training

Arakawa Sensei’ great sense of humour and friendliness came across instantly in the class and as usual everyone worked very hard, but had a great time doing it. The Shiramizu team didn’t want to be out done by the English and vice versa, so the atmosphere was great with everyone working that little bit harder. Sensei also had a chance to practise his English too.  

Arakawa Sensei said a few words and asked me to translate, I paraphrased and thanked the England Team for training at Shiramizu and said something like ‘it’s good practise for everyone who’ll be competing at the Wadokai Nationals at the weekend’ and wished everyone luck. Sensei cracked a small joke at my expense explaining that Amy studied tons of Japanese whilst on the internship whereas I didn’t… I explained in my best Japanese that I was very busy… 🙂

After the session everyone was presented with a special ‘Wado’ face towel and keyring, we took a couple of group shots and everyone hung about for a while practising their English and getting to know each others names. We them headed back to the station for an eventful trip back to Ikebukuro where I got to practise (and totally blag!) a number of conversations in Japanese with the station ticket masters.

It should be noted that Jamie Jewell Sensei & all his group had only just got back from climbing Mount Fuji – the biggest and most famous mountain in Japan when we set off for the Dojo. No rest for the wicked!

On Tuesday, Amy and I took Nicole, Abby & Aaron (Kobukan Darlington) but Sensei was running a pre-belt test examination straight after the lesson so we all forgot about the group shot BUT I did get this one:

Thank you Arakawa Sensei and Shiramizu for letting us all train… we’ve all had  a great time!

Wado World Cup RESULTS – Printable list

Been sightseeing in Kyoto today with Amy, on the way back to Tokyo on the Shinkansen I typed up the results.

I’m not sure which Japanese Cadet won one of the events so I’ve listed ‘TBC’ next to their names. Also, the original number of competitors in most events was much higher but a lot of competitors didn’t get to Japan – I’m guessing that the current economic climate didn’t help…

Please click on the link below to download the results… if there are any errors please let me know:

Wadokai Karate-do World Cup 2010 FULL RESULTS – PUBLIC COPY

Wado World Cup 2010 FULL RESULTS

Not shown in the images above:

Women’s Team Kumite – 1st Place – JAPAN, 2nd Place – RUSSIA

Men’s Team Kumite – 1st Place – JAPAN, 2nd Place – RUSSIA

Wado World Cup, Kata Video’s

Most of the video’s were recorded from the stadium seating and they aren’t very good for studying techniques etc… these are the few that I recorded myself from the side of the mat:

Senior Men, Individual Kata Quarter Finals – RED – Regis Perez (France) vs BLUE – Kosei Yuda (Japan) RESULT – 5 flags to Japan.

Senior Women, Individual Kata Round 1 – RED – Zoe Hartmann (Switzerland) vs BLUE Louise Fisk* (NewZealand) RESULT – 5 flags to NewZealand. *Louise is last year’s Shiramizu Intern & my Karate Sister 🙂

Tomorrow is the Semi Final through to the final rounds. In Kata this generally means that the performances get better and better. In Kumite however, it generally means that the bouts get less and less interesting to watch because the fighters become more ‘cagey’ – more aware of messing up at this late stage and missing out on the glory. I’ll record as much as I can and post them onto FB/YouTube etc…

Wado World Cup – Day 1 RESULTS

It was a mixed bag for Team England, with some great performances & some disappointments. The main disappointment being my performances or lack there of in Individual Kumite were I lasted an impressive 10 seconds before having to pull out due to my knee instability, Individual Kata was looking to be a go when I was warming up before the event. I got through a really nice performance  of Niseishi, and then ended up on my backside the second time around. I changed it to Seishan and couldn’t keep the stances. It was with a very heavy heart that I had to forfeit yet again this time before even getting on the mat. It was a double blow because I was the only Men’s Kata Competitor seeded, and my opponent wasn’t particularly great.

There may be some errors as I did this really quickly BUT The full results as they stand are below:

Men’s Kata (Pool 2) hadn’t been posted and the Team events were still going on when we left the venue.

I’m really pleased with Amy, she’s got through to the Semi’s in Individual Kumite, and finished in the top 8 for Kata but lost out to Japan for a place in the Semi’s tomorrow. Louise (my Karate Sister) made it through to the Semi’s tomorrow.

The England Men’s Team just missed out to an Oscar Worthy Iranian Team with the guys looking a bit battered afterwards. Sensei Lee Minion & Sensei Jamie Jewell had to take my place and Joe Cox’ place in the team, unfortunately Lee didn’t get to fight. Alex Wickens fought VERY well with a 10-7 win and got a dislocated thumb for the trouble. Martin held is own but couldn’t get the scores for his hits, Jamie was up against the Oscar winner himself and lost a contact lens and got a bust up eye for his trouble. Jevaun was on fire with his awesome footwork but again couldn’t turn it into points. The team went down fighting 3-1…

I haven’t actually taken a good look at the results so far, so I can’t really comment on the rest as yet.

Wado World Cup – Category Draw’s

This is the Category Draw’s from the official event program… Sorry, some of the pics have the category weights cut off… 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Wado World Cup…

Ok, so this morning Amy and I took the 12:03 Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Tokyo station to arrive in Nagoya at precisely 14:10. As soon as we got off the train we were hit by the heat and being a white guy in Japan, the sweat instantly started pouring. We had a short subway ride to Fushimi station and then what felt like a very long walk to what we thought was our hotel, the Tokyu Inn Sakae. We were told by a very nice Japanese lady that the whole squad had been transfered to another hotel, the Nagoya Kanko Hotel. So, in the scorching heat we had to walk back the way we had just came from and then to our very fancy looking hotel.

We were immediately greeted by some of the England Squad – sorry no pictures because I wasn’t feeling particularly cheerful at this point. I just wanted to get cleaned up.

We were given our event programs & T Shirts and bumped into Louise Fisk (Aka Former Shiramizu Intern & member of the NewZealand Squad). We headed back to the station to visit the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium for our weigh in.

We sneaked a quick look at the set up for the weekends competition…

Back to school…

Group shot, Wednesday morning class (From Arakawa Sensei' blog)

After taking a few days to get over the jet-lag and orientate ourselves to life in Japan, we headed back to Shiramizu for a much needed Karate check-up… We’ll be heading back their as much as possible but we also want to chill-out a bit with some sightseeing.

Over the past few days we’ve hit Ikebukuro (where we’re staying), Shinjuku, Tsukiji, Ginza, The Imperial Palace and Asakusa – all in Tokyo.

Today Amy and I took a 1200km round trip to Kyoto on the Shinkansen (Bullet train) to visit some places we’ve not been to before. (We visited Kyoto back in Jan 2009 but didn’t have a lot of time).

Namely the Nijo-jo – a massive and very impressive castle built by Ieyasu Tokugawa, the Shogun to remind the puppet emperor who was the real boss in Japan. It’s actually built over the road from the Kyoto Imperial Palace too! The Emperor’ descendants got the last laugh a mere 200 years later when the last Tokugawa Shogun formally resigned to the Emperor Meiji at the Nijo-jo.

We also visited the Fushimi-Inari shrine, the shrine dedicated to the god of rice & sake of all things. The site of approx Ten Thousand Red Torii which line the walkways up the mountain. The Torii are donated by Japanese companies & individuals who wish to be successful. We braved the heavy downpours without umbrella or raincoat (and got drenched in the process) but we made it to the top – anything for a little bit of last minute good fortune for the Wado World Cup!

We head to Nagoya tomorrow morning, and we’ve got the weigh in on the afternoon, we’ll be chill-axing before the big event.

A busy week planned for next week, I’ll try and keep you updated.


Well, after a very busy past few days of packing and final prep we’re finally sitting in the airport having a bite to eat before we fly… next stop Tokyo 9.30 Monday morning (tokyo time).

If your local to Hartlepool, or even in the UK I very nych recommend that you visit the Hartlepool Tall Ships and you’ll have a great time.

We’ll try and keep everyone updated as much as possible… keep checking the blog and we’ll maybe see some of you if and when we come back.

Tall Ships Confession…

I have a confession to make… my packing for Japan is  really not going well. In fact, it’s not happening at all. I managed to iron 12 Karate suits yesterday (and it took hours!) which is really a pointless act because the flight to Japan is only going to undo all my hard work anyway! …apart from this, I’ve not really accomplished anything…

The main reason for my packing inadaquecies? The Hartlepool Tall Ships 2010 event… this is without doubt the biggest event to ever be held in my home town and the timing of it is just terrible. I can’t understand why the organisers didn’t check my schedule before picking the date for this event… they must have realised that we’d be heading to Japan on Sunday 8th (Tall Ships – Saturday 7th – Monday 10th).

I’ve been making excuses to head over to my parents house on Hartlepool’s ‘Headland’, their house offers fantastic views over the Hartlepool Bay, and is perfect for watching the Tall Ships coming in to birth.

This video shows the Russian ‘MIR’ sailing under tug escort into the deep water harbour.

(The TV Show ‘HOUSE’ is playing in the background…)

Tomorrow our Karate club, Hartlepool Wadokai will be running a FREE KARATE Taster Session in the Earth Zone at the Tall Ships event (10am-11am) so I’ve just taken a walk through the Tall Ships Village to scout out where we’ll be. There is so much going on, tons of live music and entertainment, food stalls from all over the world etc… the town has a truly international feel and only a handful of the ships have arrived so far (some were held up due to lack of wind in the North Sea).

You can find out more about the Hartlepool Tall Ships 2010 here

The use of YouTube in Karate clubs…

Our Karate club recently purchased a really cool new Sony Handycam (Camcorder). It’s really compact, meaning that it fits easily into our kit bag and totally idiot proof, meaning that even I can operate it and make it do what it’s supposed to… One of the reasons for this purchase is to use it to record our performances in Kata / Kumite etc… (And our students) on a more frequent basis. Sites like YouTube allows us to post instructional videos for our members to see, and also our student’s performances… then give the students private access to the video’s for them to study – perfect for during the holidays!

During the Wado World Cup & Japan Nationals, we’ll be recording a lot of JKF-Wadokai kata and posted the videos online as their is a big shortage of footage available.

After the Wado World Cup*, we’ll be posting Kata videos performed by Amy and I for our students to study.

*We’re not posting them BEFORE the WWC because we can’t let our competition see how good/bad we are 🙂

Fighting fit…

Just a quick update to let my few readers know that I’ve been given the ‘green light’ from the Physio, I’ve moved on from RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) to MICE (Movement, Ice….) And I’ve been authorised to do some light stretching today too. Seiza is still beyond me, but another day or so and I’ll be 100% fit… ok, maybe 99.9% fit.

It’s been an eye opener being on crutches when out and about, I know people are trying to be helpful but some naturally assume that you can’t quite manage to open doors etc… or wait your turn at queues. It became quite frustrating so I quickly returned the crutches and made do with limping along everywhere instead… One of the England squad suggested that I practise the famous Karate Kid crane kick (see vid)

But instead, I was reminded of the equally famous (In Britain at least) Monty Python comedy sketch ‘The Black Knight’… One of the most memorable scenes from the  Python library… ‘it’s only a flesh wound…!’

This video clip is NOT SUITABLE for younger viewers:

Special Thanks…

The parents (who are also instructors at our Karate club) are on holiday this week so it was always going to be a busy last week in England. Mr Vince has been a great help this week despite being full of the dreaded MAN-FLU, he’s been helping at all the classes and it’s much appreciated. Amy has been a superstar this week too. She was already working everyday this week, and then she would have been training in between. She’s managed to change all of her shifts at work to early morning shifts to lead our Karate classes each evening. This isn’t the ideal situation as Amy’s now on the go almost non stop from 7am until 9pm each day.

Now, I need to start packing and sort out my ITunes playlists…

Kids are great


There’s nothing like a couple of home made ‘good luck in Japan’ cards to pick up your spirits after getting a setback.

Thanks Rebecca and Mollie for these two…

Injured… but optimistic…!

This short video in the Men’s Open Weight shows how my first ever entry into the Wado World Cup may have come to a startling halt before it even begins due to this short fight. It took place yesterday at the South Yorkshire Open Championships. This competition was supposed to be a last minute ‘check up’ competition to see how the final preparations for Japan are going, and to get some ‘builds’ to work on for the big event in two weeks time. I didn’t expect a trip to A & E (Accident & Emergency).

I can’t actually straighten my leg at the minute and I’m on crutches, but I’m feeling optimistic. I’ve got a great team of physio’s behind me and Amy is making me cups of tea so I’ll be fighting fit in a few days…

…now for the fight analysis.