Wednesday, October 16, 2013

First Instructors Only Seminar in Czech Republic

Last weekend, October 11-13, we had 3 amazing days of deep karate training, about 15 top instructors from Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Germany, Austria and Czech Republic participated.
The idea was to keep a small group of high level instructors so we can work on small details, and dive into depth of karate giving attention and correction to each individual.
Sensei Nishiyama had this idea, of teaching small groups of instructors in depth, so they can teach on in their own dojos.
We decided to keep doing this instructors only seminar once a year, and limit it to 25 participants.
We worked for a long time on Tekki San Dan, which is one of Sensei Nishiyama favorite katas, how the inside move and the outside follows, and we applied this idea later to kumite.
We worked to details on Ni Ju Shi Ho, another of Sensei Nishiyama favorites,  we worked on details of the outside form, this is a great kata to work on smoothness between techniques, and having no gaps between actions.
We also worked on Chin-Te, with its unusual type of techniques, which is a chance to work on same basic principles in variety of directions, and making our movement vocabulary richer, and enable our nervous system to keep the sequencing in movement even if it is unusual movement.
We spend substantial amount of time working on many variations of Shikake Waza (set up strategies), how to estimate the opponent, bring opponent into your rhythm, and create and seize the chance without space of time.
We went into how to use the distance within each strategy, how to stay calm and sensitive to opponent while setting up. It was lots of fun.

We plan the next year instructors seminar in Sweden, in the beautiful town of Sigtuna, only a few minutes away from the airport.

I am so happy that we have such dedicated, passionate instructors, this is how we will keep Nishiyama karate and bring the level up.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What feels powerful is not necessary powerful.

Butch Harmon was chosen as world best golf instructor since 2003 and he said "for longer drives, forget what feels powerful".
I thought that this is really cool, he said the instinct to try to pound the ball of the tee result in what is known as "hitting from the top", which is a power killer because it disrupts the natural sequence of motion.
He said: "if you cannot hold your finish, have a balanced finish, you are going at a speed your body cannot support. Try to go at 70, 80% of your max speed - and get your downswing sequence right, that will give you more distance for sure."
To me this is so simple yet so impressive.
Sensei Nishiyama used to tell us over and over not to use "top power", get the sequence right, each segment from the ground up accumulates maximum energy and transfer it to next segment, to produce maximum total amount of force, the arms and legs of the technique should be merely an extension, making direction, tools of contact and of course the add some to the total chain of energy.
Sensei Nishiyama used to say over and over that what feels strong is not necessary strong.
Go at slower speeds that you can handle to develop proper sequence and than increase speed gradually, do not go faster than your stance could handle.

Bud Winter was the best sprint coach in US history and he said that he tells his athletes to run at 80 to 90 percent of their maximum speed, and they always ended up running their fastest when they thought this way. Bud Winter was a big fan of relaxing, he requested from his sprinters to relax their facial muscles while they sprint, so the effort is only where needs to be.