‘Narrow and Deep’

Reflections from Japan  
Training  ‘Narrow and Deep’.

My day-to-day karate at home is focused on the practical application of Kata. 
Recently I have preferred to practice fewer Kata, to be ‘narrow and deep’, rather than ‘broad and shallow’ in my approach. There are just not enough hours in the day to give 26 plus kata the justice they deserve. I prefer an approach  of being able to perform a few kata to the best of my ability, which is not an easy route when including the relevant bag work, bunkai and oyo waza. My objective when visiting Andre Bertel in Japan was not only to work out a good plan for an unforgettable England course in July, but also to improve three of my favourite kata.
Sensei Andre’s advice was to ‘turbocharge’ my kata by returning to kihon to improve the foundations. This is ‘a secret’ of Andre Bertel’s own karate; analyse movements and paying attention to detail through simple combinations.  
The lessons I have had in Japan have therefore been much more than a mix of kata training - performance and application. The big surprise has been the immense value from breaking down my kihon and introducing ways of improving my movement and power. Then putting the new learning back into the kata and the kata application. 
As you get older, there is no getting away from the fact that you have to change the way you train. One big positive is that the training I took from Andre’s last England course has actually helped my karate to measurably improve. 
This visit to Japan has been beyond my expectations and adds to the possibility of achieving greater gains through thoughtful training back home.
The karate to be taught by Andre Sensei is the TRADITIONAL (BUDO) STYLE OF SHOTOKAN of JAPAN.  
"Those who sign up for the England 2016 seminar on 30th and 31st July will access authentic Karate-Do, although the seminar will be more technical than physical, so that everyone can participate and learn as much as possible".       


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