Out in front demonstrating technique
Casting a watchful eye over the class
Chatanyara Kushanku training
Getting low in their stances for Paiku
Swedish Course - 29th May - 1st June 2014
Four Days Teaching at Wakajishi Karate Club
I had another great opportunity to teach at one, if not the best, Swedish Karate Club last week. The Wakajishi Karate Club based in Stockholm is home to some of the most talented Karateka in Sweden, some on the Swedish National Kata Squad, many aspiring to gain their place. Judging by their efforts, hard work and enthusiasm, this club will be the hub for Swedish karate with many going on to represent Sweden.
I had been out to Sweden to coach a few times before for Wakajishi Karate Club so was no stranger to the Dojo or the students which made it easier to tailor the course for their specific needs so each student would get the maximum out of each session. It was good to see how they've improved since my last visit and how much they took on board this time too. Very motivating for me too.
I flew out on Thursday morning to Stockholm for what was to be the start of a four-day coaching course, returning home on Sunday evening after delivering about 11 different sessions. The sessions were all different focusing on either different Katas, techniques and individual improvements.
Thursday started off with two sessions, an afternoon and an evening session. Both sessions concentrated on Paiku Kata getting the students to think about the Kata, how to train to practice the Kata and then how to perform it. A good couple of sessions to get the mind and body working.
I had three different sessions on Friday. The first session I was focusing on Unshu Kata, technique and performance. Session two concentrated on Chatanyara Kushanku, once again technique and performance. I joined in many parts of the sessions to demonstrate the techniques more clearly to the students. The final session I concentrated on different exercises and techniques to improve jumps for the Katas.
Saturday was split into four sessions. The first session was with the development class up to Green belt, where I went over Kata basics, only focusing on a few techniques but concentrating on getting them right. The other three sessions were with the higher grades where we worked on Chatanyara Kushanku Kata. Everybody gave maximum effort and didn't let tiredness beat them, a lot of drills and technique to fine tune the Kata. I decided to also get their minds working differently for the last session and to think about kata in a different way to what they were used to. The sessions were very interesting, fun and relaxed.
Sunday saw the last two sessions before I flew back to England in the evening. I took the opportunity to work with everyone individually in the morning session, rotating each student and working on any specific Katas they wanted to go over. It was great to see such diversity of choice with the students wanting to develop Gankaku, Unsu, Chatanyara Kushanku, etc.
The final afternoon session was the killer, always the hardest and most grueling session, this time the dreaded killer Unshu...the Unshu Challenge! In fairness no one actually died, but nearly a few tears ;-) It was a hard final session and everyone pushed through to the end, great effort and determination shown.
So I tried to mix each session with something different, not just drill work, not just technique, but some theory, demonstrations and above all make each session fun.
I was really impressed at how focused everyone was and the commitment that was shown during training. As an instructor, it's very rewarding to see everyone constantly improving and working hard, and to be able to such an enthusiastic group of people with so much potential. Whist I was there I was shown wonderful hospitality, and thank everyone for having me over again. Hope to see you all again soon!
I'm back at Braintree next weekend for my regular coaching course, with two courses in Wales following in June and then in North London at the start of July. For anyone else who is interested in Kata courses, please contact me or inbox me.