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…
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.
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…
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 🙂
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.
This photo shows the countdown clock to what’s being billed as ‘the biggest free event of the year’, in case you can’t make out the picture, it currently says ’13 days to go’. This is the ‘the tall ships races’, and this year they will be stopping off at Hartlepool, my home town, for 4 days. Our town of 90,000 people is expecting up to a million visitors.
Needless to say that this is a really big deal and the local authority and its partners have been working tirelessly to get the town ready. From developing a brand new transport interchange, to painting double yellow lines on every bit of road they could get there paint brush to. Also, every school in town has had Tall ship themed events to ensure the kids are enthused for the event.
One of the many Tall Ships displays at one of the schools we work at…
Now, you may be wondering what this has got to do with Karate…. Our club, Hartlepool Wadokai will be doing its but for the event, we are the only Martial Arts club in the Hartlepool Sporting Association (HSA) so we’ve been invited to run a karate taster class during the event. With so many people attending the Tall Ships, this has the potential to significantly raise the profile of Karate so we are looking forward to it.
The countdown clock has a double meaning for us too. It’s also a countdown for Amy and I flying out to Japan for the Wado World Cup. The tall ships event runs from 7th August to the 10th and we fly out from Heathrow on 8th… making the next 13 days or so very important.
Amy and I spent a year living in Japan from July 1st 2008 until July 1st 2009. We worked as the shiramizu interns, I ran the English language classes at the dojo and we both taught English for other companies in saitama and Tokyo.
Sensei Takamasa Arakawa is the owner of the dojo and anyone that knows him, or even knows of him will tell you that he is a fantastic wadokai technician and he’s also a genuinely nice guy.
The reason for mentioning the dojo?
at the upcoming Wado World Cup there will be at three former shiramizu interns competing (Louise Fisk – New Zealand & myself and Amy – UK). there is also another WWC competitor from Germany who is currently training at the dojo in preparation for the competition. This shows how special shiramizu is and how highly regarded Arakawa Sensei is internationally.
At the JKF-Wadokai Nationals, Shiramizu will no doubt have a massive club presence alongside fellow Englishman Pete Williams (the current intern). Shiramizu are often asked to do demonstrations at the big Karate events so I’ll have my video camera on standby.
Needless to say that Amy and I, and no doubt Louise will be visiting Shiramizu when we get back to Japan. I’m hoping to get as many of our Wadokai England team there as possible so that they can experience the ‘shiramizu magic’…
Yesterday our club ran a wado kata course with Sensei Peter May and Sensei Lee Minion at the Belle Vue sports centre in Hartlepool.
This was the first time that we’ve invited both instructors up at the same time so we wanted as many of our students as possible to train with them.
We split the course into three different sessions and students could choose to attend one, two or all three sessions. I think splitting the event like this helped because it fit into other peoples schedule better, this meant that we got 40 people to the course.
Session 1 was a general training session, this allowed our younger and low grade students to train. The session covered various types of resistance training as a way of getting your stances right. Then it moved onto sparring. The session was a good warm up for the more experienced, and the younger kids loved every minute of it.
Session 2 was a masterclass in Pinan Godan. This is the first round kata for the August JKF-Wadokai Nationals in Tokyo. A lot of our students also need this kata for their next belt test so this was a logical choice for this session. At the end of the session all the competitors demo’d Pinan Godan and got some more feedback.
In Session 3 we started off with Seishan, this is the compulsory Kata for the Wado World Cup in August. After a short break we moved onto Kushanku, this would be testing everyone’s endurance because at this point we’d all been training for over four hours! Once again, at the end of the session all the competitors heading out to Japan demo’d Kushanku, and once again got some much needed feedback.
I’d like to thank kobukan Darlington, Derby Karate Academy, Teesside, Lincs Aiwakai, and Carlisle for supporting the course.
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!
Imagine that you were a respected karate coach, with a rather successful and ever-growing karate club…
Now imagine that you were also going to be competing at the biggest competition of your tournament career in a few weeks time…
This bit is multiple choice…
A – would you keep your head down? concentrate on your training, hope & pray?
B – would you create a blog about the whole experience, and then promote it everywhere you can?
Surely option B is setting yourself up big time. If I manage to crash out in the first round then I’ll be more than a little upset with myself…
The problem is, one of our parent’s asked, quite innocently if we’d be writing another blog to keep the club members updated on our progress at the Wado World Cup. At first I explained that we probably wouldn’t, but when I sat down with a nice cup of tea and thought about it, i realised that it was actually a great idea (Thanks Scotty).
Amy is still out of action from an injury she picked up at the British Championships. The club seniors were shocked on Tuesday night to discover that the club’s very own Terminator was out of action. I had to explain that eBay doesn’t sell replacement mechanical body parts from the future…. yet. She’s got some magic pills from the doctor and she seems to be fixing well. Watch this space…
Personally, I’m getting more and more comfortable performing kata for competition. I’m currently trying to get over the urge of blitzing every move, in every kata. I attack every move and I personally think I perform kata like I fight – very aggressively.
Kumite – i’m starting to look forward to Japan now, once you’ve been competing for any length of time, i don’t think you have days were you’re 100% fit anymore, there’s always something that isn’t working as it was designed to. The average human body (i.e. everyone’s but Amy’s) isn’t supposed to operate at 110% for long periods of time. The trick is to peak at the right time, i.e. at the Wado World Cup & then again a week later at the Japan nationals.
Despite feeling the double pressure of competing in Kata & Kumite, I’m feeling relatively fit and healthy. My thoughts for the day… BRING IT ON!!!
There’s only 24 days until we fly out to Japan. I’ll try to get some karate pictures posted tomorrow because the blog is looking a little plain.