Sunday, October 11, 2009

Takagi Sensei`s Seminar

(Photo from Arakawa Sensei's blog)

Erica here!

Last Sunday, October 4 , Louise and I, along with a dozen or so other people, attended Dr. Hideho Takagi Sensei’s seminar held at the Ikebukuro Sports Centre (Takagi Sensei is the chair of the Wadokai's Central Technical Committee). It was a black belt event, but I was kindly invited to join as well. I was quite relieved to see another brown belt upon arriving and to Louise’s surprise; it was a fellow karateka from her dojo in New Zealand.

We started the 4 hour seminar with partner work where we would move up and down the room with one person punching and the other doing various blocks and counter attacks. Many times during these exercises, Louise and I had no clue what we were supposed to be doing so we did our best, occasionally mimicking Arakawa Sensei and/or making up our own drill. Afterwards, we moved on to ido kihon, kihon kumite and lastly kata.

As usual, Takagi Sensei was very instructive and humorous. During one of our many water breaks, Yoshinhara Sensei and Louise trotted towards Takagi Sensei for some pointers about the stance Naihanshi, upon spotting them, he proceeds to look around the room as if he hadn’t seen them and starts to jog away. Eventually, he let them catch up and gave some valuable advice on how the stance is supposed to feel.

During yet another water break, I was practicing with Yoshinhara Sensei my gyaku-tsuki (reverse punch). Takagi Sensei comes up to us and explains that I’m using too much of my upper body and that I should focus more on using the hips. I watched paying close attention when he was explaining it, showing us when out of nowhere he hits me with a chudan gyakutsuki. Obviously he held back and he had only lightly hit me but even so, I felt the force and could then imagine how it would feel to be behind a strike that had his full force.

Arakawa Sensei and Takagi Sensei (photo from Arakawa Sensei's blog)

Often, Takagi Sensei would enlist someone to assist him when he is demonstrating and most of the time; his uke would get attacked at the most unexpected times. It was quite funny for the rest of us, but a little unfortunate for whoever was his helper at the time. By the end of the seminar, my mind was brimming from everything we’ve done and desperately trying to retain everything. I’m sure I have forgotten some of it already, but it was a very enjoyable seminar and it went by really fast.

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