Zen-Shin Martial Arts Association

176 Soho Hill, Handsworth, Birmingham, West Midlands, B19 1AL.

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Kata Workshop – Season 2

The summer holidays are in full swing, and we have the usual and expected reduction in class attendance during this month due to people taking a well deserved holiday.

This has not stopped us at Zen-Shin from continuing what we always do – Karate. The summer time is good to have some fun, but for those that want to get ahead, it’s the perfect period for students to spend more time improving their karate.

Without the usual routine of school, homework, studying, and other clubs, some students have more time and energy to come to karate and train even harder.

On the 14th August 2021, we held our 5th Kata Workshop. Sensei Jumoke has spent the first four weeks going to Gojushiho Sho, and is now working on the next stage to get the students to the next level.

We are using what we have learnt from practicing and performing our kata and using that to help us improve other katas too. We divided the class up into a few groups and went through the kata, creating slower parts to the kata, and contrast them with fast combinations.

The lowest grades worked on Heian Nidan. They were already able to do the kata, so this allowed us to have a go at performing it up to the first kiai. I think the way in which we went through the techniques, and the attitude that was upheld by the students, allowed us practice with a ‘competition mindset’. The students were focused and trying their hardest. Sensei was pleased.

Another group went through Bassai Dai kata. It was interesting to see how some studfents, when performing the kata to a rhythm, were able to move more sharply, and exert more power into their movements. The way in which we went through the kata focused on the fast combinations of blocks, with intermittent slow techniques. It was refreshing to see the students revisit an old kata with a new interpretation.

The highest grades continued to focus on Gojushiho Sho. The kata is new for many of them, so some were still trying to get familiar with the turns, angles and direction of the movements. Others were able to focus on a few combinations that were previously highlighted as areas of difficulty. This could be where a new stance is introduced, or the transition from one technique to another is difficult.

Well done to everyone that came to the kata workshop. We are making progress, and I hope we can continue our progress into the future.

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