Review your approach to training

Part one (1 of 5 articles)
 An introduction to the series

 There comes a point in your training when you admit to yourself that you are into karate for life. The great thing about this admission is that any targets you set yourself can be made with a long-term view. So rather than saying you will work on, for example, one of your kata’s over the next two weeks you could set the target over the next two months, because you know you will have plenty of time to address other areas needing improvement later.
 Every senior grade will reach a point when it seems difficult to make improvements.  The obvious solution then is to change your approach to training because you cannot expect a different outcome by keep doing the same things. There is no danger of me falling into this trap during 2011, following my coaching sessions with Andre Bertel, who like Shihan Kato, teaches Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu Karate.  This varies significantly from the Shotokan generally taught in the UK, it is not sport karate and it is not a hard style that emphasizes kimi. Rather, the student has to go back to basics to understand junansei (softness), effective use of koshi (the hips), and using the arms and legs like whips.
I have seen bunkai applied to kata combinations that would never work outside the dojo, but with Asai-ha Shotokan-ryu Karate what really matters is the bunkai and understanding the underlying combative principles of a kata. Practical bunkai adds another dimension to kata training. As an example of practical bunki, here is a short video taken during one of my sessions with  Andre Burtel, which brings the kata Tekki Shodan 'to life'.

Michael Barr 4th Dan

Tekki Shodan - bunkai
Also, I recommend visiting Andre Bertel's blog -


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