Please join us for the Winter Course 2022

Shikukai Winter Course 2022 will be the first major face to face course that Shikukai has held post restrictions. Our vision is to create a focused, smaller, boutique course that connects us to our Wado. It will be different to the usual large courses we’ve held in the past, but with Sensei’s guidance it’s sure to be a success. 

It is important that we manage the numbers carefully this year.  Please contact us to let us know you are coming (or thinking about it) etc.  Give us your Mobile number and we will add you to a WhatsApp Group just for this event.  

Saturday 12th Feb 11:00 Registration / warm up   

11:30am – 3:00pm (3:00pm-3:30pm) personal practice

Sugasawa Sensei & Shikukai Senior Instructors

Danbury Sports Centre, Danbury CM3 4NQ

Sunday 13th February 11:00 Registration / warm up

11:30am – 3:00pm

Sugasawa Sensei & Shikukai Senior Instructors

Danbury Sports Centre, Danbury CM3 4NQ
Sunday 13th will also include:

  • Kyu Gradings   3:00pm – One month notice required please
  • Dan Grading     4:00pm – Formal handwritten letter to Sensei by 11th January 2022

Free parking –  Danbury Sports Centre has an upper and lower car park—————————————————————————————–

Course, Grading and registration fees 2022

  • Kyu Grading Fee £14.00 – One month notice required please
  • Dan Grading Fee £25.00 – Formal handwritten letter to Sensei by 11th January 2022

Attendance to the course must be booked for and paid in advance

Paypal https://www.paypal.me/StevenThain

2 Day Rate

  • Adult member – £50
  • Adult Non-member – £60
  • Junior (11-17yrs) member – £30
  • Junior (11-17yrs) Non- member – £40

1 Day Rate

  • Adult member £30
  • Adult Non-member £35
  • Junior (11-17yrs) member £15
  • Junior (11-17yrs) Non- member £20

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Additional Dojo time
 

  1. Thursday 10th February. Shouwa Jyuku regular dojo session
    7:30pm -9:00pm
    Woodham Walter Primary school, The Street, Woodham Walter CM9 6RF
    Open to all.  £10
     
  2. TBC – Friday 11th February. Shouwa Jyuku Instructor led
    6:00pm – 8:00pm
    This session is TBC and very much subject to demand.


Covid.  We will be exercising an upper limit of attendance. We ask that if you aren’t double vaccinated that you carry out a covid test before arrival to the course and do not attend if you have any symptoms. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
Cancellation due to Covid.  If you test positive, we will refund any payments you’ve made to the course.

Social.  We won’t be organising the usual large group meal this year. We suggest people organise themselves for meals in the evenings. We will arrange a meet at a couple of central pubs at the time.

Accommodation. There are many options for accommodation in Chelmsford. Sensei will be staying at the Premier Inn Chelmsford City Hotel. CM1 1NY

Money.  We intend to be cash free this year. You will need to pre-book your place onto the course with payment made in full one month prior to the course, this will help us in planning to give the most benefit to your training.  Paypal https://www.paypal.me/StevenThain

WhatsApp. Please email your attendance and payment along with your mobile phone number, we will add you to a group for the event that will give important information out.

International students.  International students please email us for your attendance. Stansted Airport is the closest airport to us. There are regular affordable  buses that run to Chelmsford regularly. If you are having difficulty with this, please contact Steve, Tim or Natalie.

Steve. thethains41@gmail.com /  07989 257044 

Tim. timshaw499@hotmail.com /  07585 707718

Natalie. natalie.harvey9@gmail.com /  07972 790246

Facebook@chelmsfordshikukai 
www.wadoryu.org.uk
www.shikukai.com

Report: Shikukai Autumn Zoom Course 30/31 October 2021.

This year’s Shikukai Autumn Course was held over two days via Zoom. Whilst this type of training has its limitations, on the positive side it meant that everyone could get together without geographical constraints.

Saturday’s session welcomed students from many parts of the UK, Norway, Holland, France and Australia. Sensei opened the proceedings, welcoming everyone and was pleased to see how many people had made the effort to attend.  He then handed over to his team of instructors, whilst keeping a close eye on events.

The first session for all grades was taken by Richard Barham 6th Dan Sensei. The first part was a warm up including breathing exercises initiated from the Hara, not merely the chest. He then concentrated on core basics and how they related to Kihon and Kata.

For the first time, Zoom Breakout rooms were used, enabling sessions to be more grade specific. The instructors had previously met together via Zoom to work out the technicalities and all worked well on the day.

Tim Shaw 7th Dan Sensei took the Dan Grades for an hour long session, which he split into two parts. The first half was focussed on the relationship between the centre and techniques that operate at the furthest edges of our reach; including examples from Kihon and Kata. The second half concentrated on operating multiple sequential techniques with the same hand, all connected to the body movements, which, in turn, created free-flowing fighting combinations.

Concurrently, the other Breakout Room for Kyu Grades was lead by Steve & Pam Rawson 7th Dans Senseis. They concentrated on the 60 moves of Kushanku Kata as demonstrated by Grandmaster Otsuka II many years ago on one of his UK courses. The similarity between the first and last moves of the Kata was demonstrated. Use of the Hara in these moves linked back to Richard’s initial session. Some simple Kumite drills were then practised, incorporating moves from the Kata.

The Breakout rooms were then closed and everyone resumed training together for the final 30 minute session which was lead by Bob Wymer 5th Dan Sensei. He linked the movements of the first five Kihon Gumite into a sequence, making it easier for the junior grades to start learning the basic attacks and defences.

Sunday saw a similar number of 40+ students attending with the first general session being taken by Rob Selby 5th Dan Sensei. Rob’s focus was on moving off line and engaging Hara utilising Koshi wo Kiru. He did this by way of a series of drills which stretched both mind and body. The second part looked at various Renketsu Dosa from the Shikukai Syllabus showing how the movements practised in the drills were evident.

The two Breakout sessions were then opened. Steve & Pam Rawson took the Dan Grades, focussing on a series of kumite drills which could be used in a general sparring scenario. These were then varied to incorporate the hand techniques pictured in the Shikukai syllabus. The effect of this was to change the emphasis from competition style to a more traditional Jiyu Kumite.

Steve Chamberlain 7th Dan Sensei took the Kyu Grades. His focus was on explaining to the students what an examiner would look for in a Kyu Grading examination including distance, timing and Zanshin.

Once the breakout sessions were concluded and everyone returned to the main room, Pam Rawson explained how the meaning of familiar Japanese karate terms can be understood from how they are written in Kanji. Among the examples she gave was how the Kanji for Sen ()  “before/to lead/proceed” appears in the following:-

Sen Sei

Sen Sen No Sen 先 先

Senshu

To keep up momentum Steve Rawson ended the course with a set of kicking drills culminating in a short warm down. Sensei closed the course by thanking everyone for their efforts and is looking forward to when we can all train together face to face.

Pam Rawson 7th Dan

7th November 2021

Karate Training on Zoom!

At the beginning of 2020 the thought of karate training online was not something Steve and I had considered, but as the pandemic drew on, it became clear that something would have to be done to keep us all in touch and maintain our training in whatever form we could.

Our first session using Zoom was somewhat trial and error. We had originally hoped to do it outside, using an I-Pad but that didn’t work so we cleared surplus furniture out of our study and used the computer instead.

We quickly learned what ideas would work and what wouldn’t due to lack of space and internet quality. It soon became clear that the normal lesson style involving student correction was not practicable and a different approach had to be found.

We would divide each session into short sections, each covering a different aspect and developing a theme over a few weeks. Shikukai students have embraced this new approach to training, which in turn has given the Shikukai senior instructors the opportunity to run sessions, including Instructor Courses.

On Saturday 7th November Steve and I held a general Zoom training, where over 30 students of all grades joined in for 90 minutes of hard training. Sugasawa Sensei joined the session and as ever, maintained his watchful eye over proceedings.

The session began with a recap of Meoto-te and Jodan/Chudan/Gedan areas of attack/defence. For the past few weeks I have been explaining to the students how the Kanji readings and meanings of karate terminology are interlinked. The example I used on Saturday was the “Chu” 中 in chudan being the same Kanji as the “Chu” in Sei Chu Sen (literally “correct centre line”). Punching, striking, covering, blocking and kicking techniques were combined in a variety of ways to exercise both mind and body.

During this session, we reminded students of the three main principles of punching, as reiterated by Sensei Sugasawa on a previous Zoom course.

During a short break for rehydration, I gave a brief explanation on the main points to consider whilst practising Kata. Pinan Godan was then covered for the benefit of the junior grades, followed by an in-depth look at Chinto. This was broken down into sections of four to six techniques, each section being practised several times before moving on to the next. Once completed, the sections were all put together, culminating in the complete kata.

We then moved on to pair work, (including I-dori) which involved practice of the earlier principles, but without the physical presence of a partner. It was commendable to see the students learning the pairs techniques in this way.

Steve and I would like to thank Sensei and Shikukai students for supporting the Zoom sessions run by us and the other Seniors. We know it is not ideal, but at least we can all continue learning and training.

Pam Rawson

Report: Covid-19 Update.

The worldwide pandemic continues to affect all of our lives and I am sure that we are all experiencing degrees of uncertainty, which impacts significantly on our well-being and our livelihoods. Experts have mentioned how consistency and regular routines are key to maintaining a healthy level of general wellbeing. I would like to think that in some way the Shikukai community has been able to supply that consistency, albeit through circuitous routes.

In a very practical way we have been able to keep secure contact with all of our members and also bring on-board new members; something we are keen to do.

The Zoom events have proved popular and have certainly not interrupted our Instructor Course programme. The challenges involved in presenting and sharing high quality training through the medium of Zoom has actually opened up new possibilities, as the instructors rise to the test and present new and old ideas in ever more interesting and innovative ways. The most recent instructors course involved three separate presentations of training patterns, concepts and ideas delivered by the most senior Shikukai instructors, with Sugasawa Sensei joining in and adding comments when necessary. These sessions have also given Shikukai members outside of the UK chance to join in with the programme, and in a way has drawn us all closer together. All of these Zoom sessions come completely free of charge.

We have also been presenting Zoom sessions targeting kyu grades, hosted by Sensei Carol Chatterton, Tim Dixon and Richard Barham; these have proved to be very popular as each instructor has a wealth of experience behind them.

Access to these sessions can be found through the Shikukai Members and Clubs Facebook page.

In addition, many of our clubs are steadily beginning to open up and return to face-to-face training. We have all been working hard to stay within Covid-secure guidelines and have been developing different strategies and ever-more devious ways of enriching our training, despite the lack of the up-close and personal necessities of pair training and sparring. It is the creativity of the instructors and the student’s response that unwittingly has produced a wider range of possibilities, which in-turn enriches the broader experience of the complexities of Wado as a system. I genuinely believe that when we finally emerge into some form of ‘normality’ the students who have engaged with these opportunities will not feel that the lock-down and restrictions plunged their training into a period of hibernation or regressive stagnation, but instead they will feel enriched and invigorated by new layers of understanding and application.

Tim Shaw

Announcement – Tokubetsu Shoudan Promotions.

It is with great pleasure that Sugasawa Sensei would like to announce the Tokubetsu Shoudan awards for 2020. These promotion are rare and unique events within Shikukai Karate-Do International and the recipients have been honoured with promotions following the prescribed guidelines and constitutional requirements of the organisation.

7th Dan:
Stephen Chamberlain
Stephen Rawson
Pamela Rawson

6th Dan
Tim Dixon
Carol Chatterton
Richard Barham

5th Dan
Robert Wymer
Robert Selby
Stephen Greenwood

3rd Dan
Douglas Falconer
Natalie Harvey

2nd Dan
Miguel Galue
Roberto Ciuffa
Sue Dodd
Paul Taylor
Nathan Taylor

1st Dan
Patrick Kerneis

Huge congratulations to all.

Report: Shikukai Winter Course, Chelmsford, Essex.

The annual Winter Course at Chelmsford is always deservedly popular and 2020 was no exception. With students and instructors travelling from as far afield as Norway, the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Hungary and England there is always a strong feeling of the Shikukai Family coming together to train, share and learn. 

Once again training took place over four days, starting on Thursday night under Shouwa Jyuku Instructor Tim Shaw 7th Dan, assisted by Steve Thain 4th Dan, and beginning with the art of moving from A to B. This lead on to triangular footwork, initially from Shuto Uke, then to the connected move in Bassai and ended with applied pairs work.

Friday night was led by Sugasawa Sensei at the usual location of Woodham Walter Junior School, the location of Chelmsford’s children’s class. The session’s focus was Seichusen, with Sensei starting the class before handing over to Tim Shaw Sensei, whilst he moved amongst the students offering guidance and correcting any errors or misconceptions. The session gradually built up, taking in Tobikomi Junzuki Jodan, before ending with Sanmi Ittai Dosa.

Friday night’s social was at Bunsay Down’s Golf Club, where the wood-burning stove was much appreciated by a number of people. After the meal was a quiz, which luckily for some of us featured a picture round, thank goodness for Pokemon and Pikachu. Congratulations to Pam Rawson Sensei 6th Dan and Steve Rawson Sensei 6th Dan and Pål Midtsæther Grødahl on winning the quiz.

Saturday dawned bright and clear (more on the weather later) and training moved to the Danbury Sports Centre. The popularity of the Winter Course became obvious with the dojo packed with students of all grades and ages – juniors through to senior instructors.

This year the Saturday training had a separate children’s class, which included students from Chelmsford (Woodham Walter), Hertford and Mark Searson’s Seishan group.

Pam Rawson Sensei began with a gentle warm-up, before Steve and Pam Rawson Senseis took the Senior Students through some basics. The session continued Sensei’s theme of Seichusen, but this time emphasising correct posture and focus on hikite movement.  Students practised individually and in pairs on a variety of drills. This enabled the students to identify the correct muscles that come into play and how these can affect the control of your centre line.

After a break Tim Shaw Sensei and Atilla Jakab Sensei 3rd Dan took the 2nd Dans and above through Bassai Kata, again concentrating on  Seichusen alongside the tempo of the Kata. The brown belts and 1st Dans worked with Gary Ockwell Sensei 5th Dan and Pam Rawson Sensei on a series of kicking drills ending in combinations that focused on relaxation. Meanwhile Carol Chatterton Sensei 5th Dan took the junior students through Pinan Shodan then Steve Rawson Sensei followed with pair work, applying principles from Pinan Shodan. Kyu gradings also took place and congratulations to those students who passed. Saturday’s training was followed by 1 hour of free practice.

Saturday night’s meal was back in Chelmsford at the Two Brewers. Again a fantastic night, with lots of catching up and a very enthusiastic game of Chinese Whispers making a return from last year!    

Sunday’s session began with Sensei presenting Adam Jakab from Hungary with his 2nd Dan Certificate. The session then started with Gary Ockwell Sensei warming us all up, before the groups split again. Steve Rawson Sensei alongside Martijn Schelen Sensei 3rd Dan, took the Senior students through kicking drills working in groups of four emphasising correct body position during the kicks. This then developed into defences against kicks with a focus on Irimi. While this was happening, the junior students were focusing on kicks and Taisabaki with Carol Chatterton Sensei and Tim Dixon Sensei 5th Dan.

After this Pam Rawson Sensei took the senior grades through the finer points of Wanshu kata whilst the 1st Dan and Brown belt students once again worked with Gary Ockwell Sensei on learning Wanshu kata with Sugasawa Sensei giving valuable insight and advice where needed. Steve and Pam Rawson Senseis then introduced some variations on Kumite Gata with the Senior Dan grades. The junior students practised Pinan Sandan and pair work with Tim Shaw Sensei and David Vlk Sensei.

All too soon the course was over. Sensei thanked all those who had attended and made special mention for the fantastic effort the members of Chelmsford’s Shouwa Jyuku club had made to make the course such a great experience for all of us. Then it was out into storm Ciara and a safe journey home for all.

Andrew Skelton
3rd Kyu                  

Report: Shikukai New Years Instructors course.

This traditional annual training course for senior grade instructors and students took place on Saturday 4th January at the River Bourne Sports Centre in Chertsey. Sugasawa Sensei first welcomed the class and New Year’s ‘Good Wishes’ were exchanged. He mentioned that rather than setting New Year’s resolutions which could easily be broken, he personally preferred to set longer term or more continuous goals. Sensei asked each person for how long they had been training in karate, and the answers ranged from around eight years for the ‘newest’ students to over forty years from a number of those present. Sensei noted that he was pleased to see that so many people were training for such a long time. He said that it was encouraging that even when they are no longer able to take part in competitions or sparring sessions, these students then worked hard to find deeper meaning from their karate practice. He encouraged everyone to ‘keep going!’

Tim Shaw took the warm up with a thorough ‘start-of-the-year’ stretch of the whole body. Many different exercises were performed in a progressive manner to ensure that everyone felt supple and had maximum flexibility ready for the training ahead.

Steve Rawson took the next section of Kihon (basics) concentrating on junzuki and gyakazuki techniques leading into an emphasis on nagashizuki. Steve was able to ensure that many repetitions of each technique were completed whilst encouraging correct movements. He noted common errors to be avoided, introducing a series of drills which kept the practice fresh and dynamic. Students then worked in pairs to ensure that the body-shifting element of nagashizuki was performed effectively against an oncoming attack. The drill then developed further to include one, then two additional nagashi-type movements.

After a short break, the class divided for Kata practise with Sensei giving individual and group support. Carol Chatterton took 1st Kyu to 2nd Dan students through the details of Nai Hanchi Kata. Pam Rawson took those with 3rd Dan and above for Chinto Kata. She broke this kata into individual movements, then combinations and finally practice of the whole kata. For each of these sections she gave clear information about how the techniques should be correctly performed, some of the possible meanings and uses of the movements, and information about timing and tai sabaki (body shifting). Further practice of the full kata starting from a different direction than simply ‘facing the front’ made students think about their position in the dojo. This emphasised the need to be able to rely on ‘muscle memory’ for accurate movement and direction through constant practise. Karateka then observed each other performing the kata and gave detailed feedback on an aspect for improvement.

All too quickly, the enjoyable and informative three- hour session came to an end. Everyone had worked hard throughout. Students and club instructors alike had become engrossed in the stream of group and individual feedback given to them throughout the course. This ensured that they could go away to work on and further improve their techniques, and also that they would be able to pass on their enhanced knowledge to other students.

Tim Dixon

Report – 2019 Shikukai Xmas end of year course, Chertsey Surrey.

I believe the first thing I should do is explain the special significance of this training session to me.  This will be the first instructor training session I have participated in for 5 years, indeed the only 3 hour training session in this period.  In the intervening time I have had one emergency surgery to save my life and another to save my left leg.   As a result, I had some concerns about my fitness and ability to meet my expectations for my grade.  The break has however given my persistent knee problems time to settle down.

So, you can imagine that I approached the course with some trepidation and excitement.  But one of the joys of any Shikukai training session is getting to see some dear friends, and this course was no exception.   There were some notable absences, Stephen and Pam Rawson from Weymouth, Gary Ockwell from Swindon and Rob Selby from Exmouth and their respective students.

The class began with a standing bow to Sensei Sugasawa and the class.   The warm-up was taken by Sensei Tim Shaw which challenged many in the room, me included.  The notable exceptions were the Chelmsford ladies, the Chelmsford men not so much!

Sensei Tim then, at Sensei’s behest, instructed the class.  We began with basics in line starting with simple Junzuki with MawattJodan Nagashi Uke and Mawatte Harai Uke.  This progressed on to Junzuki Nido Zuki and Junzuki Nido Zuki Sonoba Gyaku Jodan Nagashi Uke,  Sonoba Zuki.  Specific emphasis was placed on the appropriate hip engagement, fluidity of the movement and maintenance of a vertical Sei Chu Sen throughout.  I was personally reminded to stay relaxed and maintain a constant height.  We subsequently substituted Gaiwan Nagashi Uke for the Jodan Uke in the combination.  At Sensei’s instruction we changed the final Junzuki exercise to Nido Jodan Nagashi Uke followed by Sando Zuki.

This was followed by a similar exercise based on Gyakuzuki.  We were reminded on the importance of a smooth transition to Gyakuzuki stance when executing “Sonoba Ippon Toru GyakuzukiGyakuzuki emphasis was on opening the hip before stepping through and eradication of unnecessary up and down or side to side body movement.

I found the floor to ceiling mirrors exceptionally useful in checking my movement.  This was complemented by the fact that I was standing behind Stephen Chamberlain and Carol Chatterton giving me a visual queue.

After a short, but much needed break, we continued our work on the upper body and hip movement in a static fighting stance with a basic Juno Jodan Tateken Zuki;  again, with emphasis on the appropriate hip movement ensuring the elbow stayed in line with the fist through the extension and pull back.  The exercise was executed with no Okuri Ashi movement, so the ballistic power came purely from the hip rotation and the arm.  We explored the role of the hip movement when the back hand provided defensive cover to our Sei Chu Sen and when our front hand delivered a follow up Jodan Zuki.

Sensei then instructed in the use and power generated by the hip.  He illustrated this with an exercise in fighting stance when the back foot Okuri Ashi was driven exclusively by a Tsuki (Zuki) hip rotation.  Initially this was done without any arm involvement until eventually it included a full Tsuki movement.

Sensei Stephen Chamberlain then took the class through Pinan Nidan move by move.  Special attention was given to maintaining appropriate Zanshin through the transitional moves.  Emphasis was made to the many changes of direction, to ensure the defensive technique was effective through the turn.

Sensei posed a question to the assembled class on the mechanics of Gedan Harai Uke and how that changes when the body is turning during its execution.  My understanding was that the body executes contra rotation when performing Gedan Nagashi Harai Uke at rest to energise the arm.  But when the body is in motion as with a turn what is the dynamic then?  What is the arresting force in the two cases?

In preparation for pair works Sensei Tim had the class practice the techniques to be employed by Tori against a Chudan Zuki in our lines.  During this preparation stage the initial emphasis was on the defensive Jun no Naiwan Nagashi Uke. Finally, the offensive technique was included that further opened the hip and drove the up-turned fist Jodan in a move reminiscent of Pinan Godan, before the jump.  No emphasis was placed on the defensive Ten-i movement as this is a response to the depth of Uke’s attack and came into the pair work later, but body rotation, Ten-tai and technique, Ten-gi were well illustrated.  Also, the economy of movement (Mudana Ugoki) and absence of any tension or unnecessary power (Mudana Chikara) made Sensei Tim’s demonstration highly effective, composed and compact, not something I was able to reproduce.

We then applied the technique in pairs moving up and down the hall in Gyaku Gamae.  In pairs the efficiency of the technique became clear. Tori’s defence ensured that while disturbing the balance of Uke by redirecting their attack, it maintained contact and therefore some control over Uke’s punching arm and therefore their posture.   Tori’s offensive technique built upon this Kuzushi element with a strike to the face that slid up Uke’s arm (Noru) while deflecting the arm down further compromising Uke’s posture.  As a final illustration of Tori’s dominance, a second move was added to the technique that opened up Uke for a follow up technique. Tori moved inside (Uchi) by moving their punching arm to strike to the face with the back hand.

As is so often the case in Wado Ryu the challenge is in the seamless transitions taking two moves with different objectives and performing them as one.  The old Wado maths problem 1 + 1 = 1.

I was most fortunate to pair with a dear friend and “proper” sized partner, Mark Gillis.  Even though this this meant having his very large fist coming towards my face!

This marked the end of the 3 hour session which, as it turned out, was just a little too short for me and an hour too long for my body.

At the end of the session Sensei thanked everybody for their support throughout the year and emphasised the special bond that we share.  Sensei introduced the term Kizuna 絆 which translates as a bond or relationship between individuals which for me is very real.

Sensei also introduce the Japanese word for person Hito, written as 人 The origin of the kanji is to symbolise our interdependence.  It shows the two elements can only stand together.

After training the festive spirit set in as a party with food had been arranged at Weybridge Cricket Club.

Kevin Perkin.