2010 news archive

20 December: Christmas break

We're taking a break over the Christmas period. There will be no training on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve or the 2nd January.

Thank you for your support throughout 2010. Have a fantastic Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the new year, when training resumes on Friday 7th January (6.30pm for beginners to purple and white belt and 7.30pm for 3rd kyu and above).

12 November: Training with a Karate legend – Shihan Hirokazu Kanazawa, 10th Dan

Written by Chris Denny, 2nd Dan (Instructor, Backwell Karate)

Sensei Chris Denny with Master Kanazawa

Sensei Kanazawa is the World Chief Instructor of the Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF) and had recently announced his retirement from world travel.

On Sunday 7th November 2010, I attended Watford Leisure Centre where Sensei would be leading a ‘good bye’ course, joined by his sons, Nobuaki Kanazawa (6th Dan) and Daizo Kanazawa (5th Dan), along with the Chief Instructor of Nara Prefecture, Japan - Sensei Ohigashi.

The event was ticket only and had sold out well in advance, due to Sensei’s popularity. The venue was completely filled with around 300 students. As soon as the Senseis entered the hall, there was complete silence and everyone bowed with respect.

Sensei Kanazawa initially addressed the importance and the correct procedure of seiza, using left then right knees and hands.

The course went on to kihon (basics) starting with correct punching and keeping the elbows in. This progressed to short combinations of punches, stressing the use of hips with each punch and block. All the while, Sensei Ohigashi was walking around, reminding everyone of ‘hikite’ (correct use of your ‘reverse hand’).

Whenever we were shown a new combination, Senseis Nobuaki and Daizo Kanazawa would demonstrate these with precision timing and flawless technique. We learned combinations with kicks, punches and blocks and used these with a partner before going into groups of three and using four blocking combinations against two attackers.

Club member, Gareth Davies, with Sensei KanazawaDuring the course, we were privileged to a display of numerous counters to jiyu ippon kumite attacks displayed by Senseis Nobuaki and Daizo Kanazawa.

Sensei Nobuaki Kanazawa also performed the kata Gankaku Sho. This was a highly intricate kata that included moves I had not seen demonstrated in a kata before. It was absolutely fascinating and I joked with a fellow student that we’ll be doing that next. And then we did! Several times. It was excellent and I was glad Sensei Kevin Leigh (from the hosting club) trained in the crowd near me to show us the moves.

I cannot express how honoured I felt to have trained with all the Senseis on this momentous day. After receiving a long standing ovation, Sensei Kanazawa and his colleagues made themselves available for everyone to have their photo with them and an opportunity for Sensei to sign his famous signature on books students had brought with them.

It was truly a memorable occasion and a chance to say goodbye to one of the foremost Shotokan Karate masters in the world.

12 November: Change of venue on Friday 19 November

Map to temporary training venue On Friday 19th November we’ll be back at the Backwell Budokan Hall at our usual training time of 7.30-8.30pm, due to a drama performance at the Parish Hall. Use the Rodney Road entrance to Backwell Recreation Ground. The Budokan is immediately behind the Scout and Guide Hut. Take a look at the map to see where it is in relation to our usual dojo.

No other training times are affected.