Sensei Gary in Japan – JKA Honbu in Tokyo – Day 4

Posted:11 April 2013 15.15 – 23.15 (in Tokyo)

As the evening draws to a close, I’m wondering if this is the best time to start writing the blog considering how much I just drank!

Today was the first day of Gashaku (training camp).  The first hour was conducted by Sensei Shuseki Shihan Ueki and we covered basics, importance of balance and partner training.  Simple! (tell my arms and legs that)!

We also went over Bassai dai and Bunkai with Kawawada Sensei, it was such an enjoyable class.  You think you know a kata then realise that you don’t.  Bassai Dai is a strong kata BUT we tend to use too much power, resulting in the shoulders being raised and the techniques being shorter than they should be; consider this when practicing Bassai Dai.

After lunch, we practiced Kanku Dai with Imura Sensei, 65 moves means 65 moves so don’t cheat yourself and practice properly. The Honbu instructors are awesome, I didn’t want the class to end.

After training, everyone was invited to a meeting to discuss any issues that needed resolving.  It seemed that everyone was happy!  The meeting was followed by a party at a grand hotel. It was by invitation only and yours truly was on the invitation list.  As you would expect, there were vast quantities of wine and beer, therefore, it would have been extremely rude had I not helped consume it (or at least most of it)!

All my favourite dishes were also served (duck, chicken and fish), I think I may have over indulged! Oops!

Everyone in the room had to give a speech, the main table consisted of Sensei Ueki Shihan, Sensei Osaka, Sensei Imamura, Sensei Okuma, Sensei Ogata and Sensei Kawawada.

I also had to give a speech, I told them how well JKA-England is doing and how much we’ve appreciated all their support. Long may it continue.

Chief instructors of France, South Africa, Portugal, Angola, Australia and Norway were also present.  One of Hungary’s chief instructors sang a nice song at the party tonight, his son trained with us.