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.
There’s not many Wadokai kata videos to find on the internet, and the official DVD’s that are available tend to be focused on ‘instruction’ rather than ‘performance’. This makes it difficult to compare your own performance to a high quality benchmark outside of your own group. The following are two Wadokai videos available on youtube.
The video is of Takuya Furuhashi winning the men’s kata division at the JKF-Wadokai Nationals in 2007. Seishan, Chinto and then Wanshu in the finals. Furuhashi-san also went on to win the men’s kata division at the Wado World Championships in Vancouver, Canada in 2008 (see below).
There are a few differences between the way these kata are performed and the way my kata is performed. These are relatively slow kata, with lots of intentional pauses between techniques. This obviously means that the competitor is on the mat longer and therefore that the judges can spend more time appreciating the techniques. The pace of the Kata is a little different to my version.
It will be interesting to see what the judges make of my attempts at some of these kata in a few weeks time!
As part of Carl & Amy’s prep for the Wado World Cup & Japan Nationals, Hartlepool Wadokai has arranged a special Kata training course with Sensei Peter May 6th Dan JKF-Wadokai & Sensei Lee Minion 5th Dan JKF-Wadokai.
Both instructors are the current Wadokai England National Kata Coaches and though both have visited the club before, this is the first time that they’ve ran a a course in Hartlepool together. Sensei Minion has also been selected to compete in the Senior Men’s Kata Division on behalf of England at the Wado World Cup (alongside Carl).
This is a fantastic opportunity for the club, and friends of the club to get some great training with two of the UK’s best Wado Kata coaches.
For more information, please download the PMay&LMinion Seminar Poster or contact Carl via email (carl at hartlepoolwadokai dot com) or tel 07984 798634.