The inaugural weekend course with Sensei Jean-Pierre Fischer 8th Dan former French Coach, winner of both the French Kata competition 14 times and 6 times European Kata champion as well as 6 time finalist of the World Championships. Today he travels around the world spreading his knowledge through instruction of Shotokan karate. He also regularly instructs at Sensei Hideo Ochi JKA annual courses in Germany.
The two day course was held over the weekend of 4th & 5th February 2012 at the Sobell Leisure Centre, London. Despite the heavy snowfall over much of Europe which severely delayed and cancelled many flights Sensei Jean-Pierre Fischer managed to make the journey into the UK. With just under a 100 karatekas’ attending both days of this course.
The first day of the course Sensei Jean-Pierre Fischer focused on the application and preservation of the first four Heian Katas for all grades with regards to the formation and understanding of how these Katas should be used as the foundation to more advanced Katas as well as their origins, and acceptable variations within the JKA. During the brown and black belt session, Sensei Jean-Pierre Fischer instructed a detailed overview of Tekki Shodan, Bassai Dai, Bassai Sho; translating and demonstrating the technical effectiveness of the Heian Katas within the more advanced Katas.
The following day Sensei Jean-Pierre Fischer focused heavily on Heian Godan Kata, using extractions of Heian Godan within Kinon line work to drill down and highlight general class reoccurrences and address those necessary key points. After which he then went through Jion Kata with all grades, explaining that much of the technical detail they have been taught over the two days will enable them to manage their understanding of this Kata. This was successfully received by the class and any new forms within the Kata were explained and practiced by his leadership.
During the afternoon the inaugural ISKF Competition was held. The result of which will follow shortly.
Sensei Moussaoui and ISKF-UK would like to thank Sensei Jean-Pierre Fischer 8th Dan for his excellent class in karate instruction. Sensei Moussaoui would also like to express his thanks to the karatekas from other associations, who came to support the event.
Best wishes to all
Sobell Karate Club, the Honbu Dojo of ISKF UK, proudly hosted a three-day course from 30 April to 2 May 2011 with Sensei Hiroyoshi Okazaki 7th Dan ISKF, nephew of the legendary Master Teruyuki Okazaki 10th Dan, Chief Instructor of the ISKF.
The main theme of this very well attended brown and black belt course was correct and accurate movement, particularly in relation to kata. As 18 times USA Kata Champion, four times Pan-American Kata Champion and runner-up in the kata categories of two JKA World Championships, Sensei Okazaki was able to impart a wealth of knowledge through impressive demonstrations of his exceptional skill.
On the first day of the course, participants developed their speed, kime, dynamism and focus through combination kihon (utilising gyaku hanmi age uke, haito and shuto uchi), as well as through the katas Heian Shodan, Tekki Shodan, Bassai Dai and Hangetsu, over three hours of detailed instruction.
Among the many things Sensei Okazaki impressed upon us on that day was the importance of driving the hips forward in attack, using the hips to turn sharply, ensuring that stances do not break when performing certain movements, clearly differentiating chudan and jodan strikes, and minimising wasted movements.
The second day consolidated and developed on the skills practised on the first day. Sensei Okazaki focused on the katas Tekki Nidan, Tekki Sandan, Empi, Jion and Kanku Dai. Participants were also challenged to perform Heian Shodan in reverse and back to front. The emphasis was on making hipwork more efficient and effective.
On the final day of the course, participants were guided step by step through the katas Sochin, Gojushiho Sho and Kanku Sho, as well as some of the kihon required for the higher Dan gradings. Sensei Okazaki also went through some useful kumite combinations with kizami zuki and gyaku zuki, which demonstrated his experience as a fighter as two times USA Kumite Champion.
A tough Dan grading with Sensei Okazaki and UK Chief Instructor Sensei Ahcene Moussaoui 6th Dan ISKF followed the training. As a Senior Instructor, Technical Committee Member and graduate of the Instructors’ Course, Sensei Okazaki proved to be a highly professional and demanding judge.
In total, five passed Shodan, four passed Nidan and one passed Yondan. The success of those who achieved these Dan grades is a tribute to the dedication of the students and the skill and dedication with which Sensei Moussaoui and his wide network of ISKF UK clubs continue to teach traditional Shotokan Karate.
Sensei Moussaoui would like to thank Sensei Okazaki for having made the long journey over to the UK despite a busy schedule, and for the inspiring instruction he gave us. In addition, Sensei Moussaoui would like to note his gratitude to the students and instructors from other associations and abroad, including those from Estonia, Ireland and Dubai, who took part in the course.
Best wishes to all
Teruyuki Okazaki, 10th Dan
Between 17 and 19 April 2009, ISKF UK proudly hosted a special weekend course with the legendary Teruyuki Okazaki (10th Dan), Chief Instructor of the ISKF and direct student of Master Gichin Funakoshi, who was the founder of Shotokan karate. This inaugural event was held at the Sobell Leisure Centre (Finsbury Park, London, UK), home to the ISKF UK Headquarter dojo.
The promise of expert tuition from Master Okazaki attracted a large number of dedicated karateka from all parts of the UK, as well as from countries as far afield as Italy and Estonia. Sensei Ahcene Moussaoui, Chief Instructor of ISKF UK, was extremely pleased with the turnout and the fellow-feeling among participants, many of whom were from other karate associations.
From the onset of this course Grand Master Sensei Okazaki clearly showed why he is deserving of the uppermost grade within Shotokan Karate, with Buda style wisdom conveyed through the simplest of explanation alongside illustrated demonstrations.
In all training sessions over the three days, there was a clear emphasis on the execution of correct basic techniques. In particular, Master Okazaki stressed the importance of using the lower abdomen to control the upper and lower body when punching, blocking, kicking and turning. In order to practise this, participants were taught combinations of arm and leg movements that Master Okazaki urged us to work on "even for just 15 minutes a day."
Master Okazaki also explained the many lessons we can learn from the katas passed down to us by Master Funakoshi. He was particularly illuminating on the logic of the katas' selection, the different skills and qualities they develop, and their inextricable connection to kumite.
Besides technical instruction, Master Okazaki eloquently conveyed to us his philosophy of what it means to be a martial artist. Everyone left the course with plenty to think about, and with a deeper understanding of the discipline. The general feeling consensus amongst all those who took part was that they had learned valuable lessons from an authentic embodiment of a true Shotokan Grand Master.
Dan grading with Master Okazaki
Many congratulations to the twenty ISKF UK students who passed their grading with Master Okazaki - eight obtaining 2nd Dan and twelve achieving 1st Dan. The rigorous examinations conducted under the watchful eye of the world's most experienced karateka certainly put the students through their paces and tested their budo spirit. We very much hope that Master Okazaki will visit us for many years to come to encourage ISKF UK to continue developing and succeeding.
We at the ISKF-UK Headquarters’ would like to thank Grand Master Sensei Teruyuki Okazaki 10th Dan for presenting us with such a fascinating and global insight into today’s world of Shotokan Karate. Also for showing us a vision of peaceful unity; present and future. We would also like to thank all Karateka’s that came from all over the UK and across Europe for supporting this event.
Best wishes to all
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