Andre Bertel UK Seminar part 2.........

That night, Karateka from Europe were invited to Espanol for a hearty Spanish Banquet, which is where Blackpool and Wyre Karate Ryu recently had a club meal.
As expected, the quality of the food and the level of service from the staff was exceptional.
The wine was flowing nicely, where myself, John, Naz and Michael entertained our Karate cousins from Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and Spain in Poulton Le Fylde's most popular restaurant, with of course Andre Bertel and his lovely wife Mizuho.

Oliver Schoemburg and Christa Lehmann

Rivas brothers from Spain

 After the meal, it was a quick but very short walk to the Old Town Hall public house, for a couple of quick pints of Witch Hunt to allow our European cousins to experience "Full Power" Real Ale.

The following morning, my thigh muscles were aching, but other than that, I was feeling pretty good. The first person I met in the dojo was Christa, who was wearing a really nice pair of grey socks as her feet were cold!
Sensei Dave from our club had managed to avoid the pressures of modern day family life to join us on the second day of training with Shihan Bertel.

Christa started the session with a great warm up routine, before Andre joined us on the floor.
From this point, we re-capped on the three key elements that we had achieved the previous day and again put these into practise with our partners whilst we practiced Kumite. This involved Gedan Mae Geri, followed by Ushiro Geri, to illustrate the priciple of spinning on a vertical axis, applying compression and then delivering Ushiro Geri to your opponent.

That afternoon, Andre took the session through Kata Seiryu, which again looked specifically at the key points of the weekend. Shomen and Hanmei, vertical axis and softness.
I have seen this Kata on Shihan Betel's You tube page some time ago and was vaguely familiar with it, but that was all!

Contrary to popular belief, Andre Bertel has been waiting a long time to meet Kev Berry!
I found it a struggle as I progressed through the Kata, as I didn't know what came next and found it difficult to keep up, as others did. I can only think that the senior grades on the course either knew the Kata, or at the very least had tried it before. I on the other hand was lost at times, although I did enjoy it and will look at Seiryu again in the future.

The session ended with a ten minute question and answer session with Shihan Bertel, which I felt was a really good de-brief on the two day course.

From my background, I find that debriefing is a good way to reflect on the two day course to evaluate what you have learnt and what others felt about it and for Andre to gather feedback.

One Karateka stated that the "No Kime" side of the training had in fact impacted heavily on his view about his previous 40 years of training.

I on the other hand since getting back into Karate 3 years ago, have been following Andre's blog and feel that I am in a good position to adopt the softness side of Karate in my training.
What I also felt what is a big positive about the course, is that Shihan is qualified as a teacher, who is able to explain the techniques in many different way so that you can comfortably understand his lesson. He also takes this one stage further, by explaining the science behind Asai Karate and the reasons why Kime is not used by explaining the effects of opposing muscle tension which takes the speed and power from normal Karate.
He finished by summarising, "If boxers felt that Kime was of benefit, why dont they use it", which rubber stamped it for me there and then.

The course finished where we  enjoyed tea and cake at Sensie Barr's home address with Shihan, before going back to normality.

What did I think of the course?
I though it was great, easy to under stand and the repetion of the Kihon involved in Asai Karate was the message of the weekend.
Would I train again with Andre Bertel?'ve guessed......................Watch this space!! 

Kev Berry 1st Kyu Blackpool and Wyre Karate Ryu


  1. Hi Kev, thank you for the article.. and for mentioning my socks :-)

    Best regards from Switzerland


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