Harpenden JKA hosts senior grade training sessions

We regularly get together with other local JKA clubs and hold focused training sessions. Recently, Harpenden JKA hosted a senior class with Stevenage JKA and Zanshin North Herts. We welcomed an excellent mix of adults and youngsters from 3rd kyu right up to sandan.

These inter-club training sessions create two important opportunities:

  1. The instructors at each club train while someone else teaches for a change!
  2. Students get the chance to train with people outside their own club

It also means that none of us have to travel too far to experience high quality senior instruction.

Technical aspects of Bassai Dai

For this particular senior grade karate training session, Sensei Miranda dedicated the first hour to a technical breakdown of Bassai Dai. One of the four JKA ‘sentei’ katas, Bassai Dai features heavily in our karate, and is a favourite grading kata.

Bassai Dai as the name suggests (breach the fortress) is a powerful kata. You spend the first part blocking and keeping opponents at bay. Then the balance swiftly moves towards attack mode.

Sensei took us through key segments of the kata, explaining the finer technical detail. Essentially, the goal is to achieve strength, rhythm and (always with JKA) that straight-to-target movement.

Minimal footwork kumite

Part two of this senior grade session featured fast-paced kumite – Sensei Miranda’s favourite! Working in threes, we took it in turns in the middle position to defend and counter, using minimal footwork.

We focused on not leaning – either in or away from an attack – thereby avoiding the danger zone. Instead, positioning of feet, use of hips and ‘locking’ are the key learns to enable an effective means of blocking and attacking.

Regular changing of partners meant we all experienced taller, smaller, stronger and weaker people than ourselves.

Return match

We’ll be organising a return match as soon as we can – squeezed as usual in between, club training, home life, grading, competitions, work and school.

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