Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I’m writing this post on the same day that the Shiramizu dojo is heading to Canada for the JKF Wadokai World Karate Championships - over 20 kids are competing in the junior open tournament on Aug 21, and a few older ones are on the official Wadokai Japan Team competing in the adult Wadokai Worlds Aug 22 & 23.

If this wasn’t enough to be keeping busy with, the dojo has also had a number of students try for a Dan grade in the past few days too! I think therefore, that it’s a good time to reflect on the past few weeks where ‘competition fever’ has been gripping the dojo.

It’s been a very busy time at the dojo. Everyone has been in overdrive to make sure everything is as it should be, from the travelling details to the students kata and kumite standard. To add to the pressure on the Shiramizu students’ shoulders, a small number of them will be performing a demonstration at the World Championships. This is a great honour for the dojo, and something that Arakawa Sensei and his demo team have taken very seriously. Almost every day that I’ve visited the dojo over the past few weeks, the demo team has been busy practising.

I would also like to mention the Shiramizu ladies kata team (being the official Japan Women's Kata Team) dedication and expertise has inspired me, a devout kumite-only competitor, to appreciate kata competition. I have particularly enjoyed watching the bunkai, or application of the kata which under the WKF kata rules is necessary for team kata finalists. Their bunkai performance is technically very good, and with just the right amount of theatrics thrown in, even a non-Karate-ka will be able to appreciate the performance.

Photo taken from the blog of Arakawa Sensei

I think it’s fantastic that one dojo, albeit a very successful one, can enter a large squad into both the JKF Wadokai World Championships in Canada AND the JKF Wadokai Japan National Championships over the same weekend. It is a testament to the hard work that everyone here puts into their training and teaching. I simply feel privileged to have been a small part of the build up to both tournaments; you simply can’t help but be inspired by so many talented and self motivated athletes training every day.


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