Bournemouth Karate Club (Wado Ryu)

In karate training we all start of in a simplistic way, learning sequences of techniques, start points and end points. Over time, the finer details and precision matter, as maybe our speed and physicality diminishes.

A pet hate I have is the second and third movements of Pinan Sandan when executing the motions of Jodan Gaiwan Uke (Soto Uke) and Gedan Barai simultaneously with both arms. It irks me when people make the strange two-arm flapping movement, that hardly covers any protective area in front of the body.

Nodding donkeys equivalent in karate bowing

Bowing is very much part of Japanese cultural etiquette, and there is a lot that could be written about etiquette but I will leave it to you to search on the Ogasawara school of etiquette.

The very quick topic I wanted to cover in this blog is bowing during your pairwork practice, with a partner or a stream of partners.

This isn't my story but I will retell one I heard from a fellow instructor. They visited a club outside of our organisation just to do more physical training to fill their week out. There was an instructor filling in at that club, and he had that strange habit of doing loud nasal blowing on every technique.

I thought I would use a provocative title as click-bait to grab your attention.

It has been said that this one technique shows the grading panel enough insight into your technique as to pretty much make a judgement, or at least it is very telling on how Wado is your Wado currently.

This technique is practised a fraction of times in a lesson compared to every Kihon, and could well even be done once depending on how the class goes but it is my favourite technique.

Practice

I find teaching karate very enjoyable and rewarding. Frustrating sometimes, but that’s because I want everyone to do the best they can and progress.

Teaching a larger class also has its difficulties as there will be a range of abilities, but also trying to spread techniques and syllabus work is time consuming.

Because what we are doing is not “karatecise” or “kick punch fit”, it’s not alternative to some spin class, there are nuances to it and different things to different body types which can be difficult to explain in broad strokes to everyone.