The primary aim of this opening session was to put across the essence and scientific basis of the technical aspects that would be emphasized throughout all the sessions, be it Kihon, Kata or Kumite, setting the theme for all the instructors taking sessions at the Seminar.
On the philosophical level, Malcolm Sensei explained the importance of understanding "kokoro" (spirit) and implementing this attitude in karate-do as well as in all aspects of life. He quoted a former teacher under whom he trained some years back, Masahiko Tanaka Sensei, who had often stated: " Karate is 90% spirit, 10% technique". He also expounded on the old karate saying that everything begins with rei and ends with rei. (rei literally means bow). However it can be taken to mean the rei of reigi which means courtesy/respect. Thus, "everything begins with courtesy and ends with courtesy", and the members of Karate-no-Michi South Africa must adopt this approach, if they are genuinely following the Karate-no- Michi ("Way of Karate").
This session was an implementation of training with spirit (kokoro). It was held outdoors at the Zoo Lake, in trackshoes, tracksuit pants or shorts and t-shirt or vest.
An enthusiasic and spirited Michael Roetz Sensei led by example, taking the karateka through a series of very physical variations of kihon, testing their strength, stamina and endurance - a true test of spirit.
Malcolm Sensei explained the kata Kanku Dai move by move, going into the smallest details and finer points of the individual moves and following up on the technicalities, especially those related to hip movement and stabilisation as explained in the first session the previous evening.
Mike Dukas Sensei commenced this kumite session by explaining the meaning of the following terms:
The aim of the session was to implement a practical and more efficient way of applying “Unsoku” with the accuracy of techniques and blocks, which Mike Dukas Sensei, after having explained the concepts, demonstrated exactly what was required.
The participants then attempted to put into practice what they had just been told and shown. Since “Unsoku” and “maai” are two of the most important aspects of martial arts,
Yahara Sensei's 360 degree rotation of hips resulting in a devastating straight arm uraken or empi-uchi was an excellent example of the hip and stabilisation theories explained by Malcolm Sensei earlier in the seminar.
It also demonstrated the need for the stabilisation muscles to be utilised.
Finally, Malcolm Sensei taught hip movement and stabilisation in hiza geri, added this technique to the Yahara Sensei and Tanaka Sensei tokui waza, thereby creating a devastating combination of all 3 techniques which was practised by the participants of the seminar.
Ian Sensei commenced the session with the participants doing Heian Shodan and utilized this kata to illustrate that the start of each move was slow due to the initial take-off (thrust) being ineffective.
He then took the group through various Plyometrics drills and exercises to increase their understanding of how to generate a quicker take-off. These exercises included Pogo jumps, Knee-Tuck jumps, Split jumps and Squat jumps, all of which form part of a training regimen for them to utilize regularly to generate an explosive take off, using the correct action of ankles, knees , quadriceps and other leg muscles.
By the end of this session, the majority of the participants understood what was required and their techniques started to show far greater fluidity.
Similar to the third session of the seminar, Malcolm Sensei explained the kata Jion move by move, on the same basis as he did with Kanku Dai, however not overly repeating the technicality details, but rather allowing the participants more chance to remember and implement the hip, stabilisation and other theories that were explained in depth throughout the seminar.