We were proud to host ISKF Chairman and Vice Chief Instructor Sensei Hiroyoshi Okazaki (8th Dan) for our 8th annual Spring Course held at Sobell Karate Club (ISKF UK Headquarters) over the April Bank Holiday weekend.
As a graduate of the ISKF/JKA Instructor Trainee Programme, certified instructor, examiner and judge, and a successful competitor at regional, national and world levels, Sensei Okazaki proved to be a highly professional, exacting instructor.
The focus of the weekend was firmly on kihon, with particular attention paid to the correct, efficient use of the body when executing punches, kicks and blocks, as well as when moving from one stance to the next.
Specifically, participants were reminded of the need to think carefully about when to contract and expand the body; about inward and outward tension in stances; about the meaning of each movement in kata; and about the importance of developing kime, amongst other things.
Kumite was also practised, with Sensei Okazaki expertly demonstrating the proper distance, timing and focus required when attacking and defending in sen-no-sen and go-no-sen scenarios.
Sensei Okazaki also taught two sessions for blackbelts registered on the ISKF Instructor Trainee Programme. This was the first time the Programme took place outside the US – the UK is now the only place in Europe where trainee instructors can work towards the prestigious, internationally recognised qualification.
11 senior blackbelts in total attended the sessions, where they discussed and practised the intricacies of advanced Shotokan kata and developed their ability to notice, communicate and correct common student errors, all under the watchful guidance of Sensei Okazaki.
Sensei Ahcene Moussaoui (7th Dan), ISKF UK Chief Instructor, would like to congratulate Sensei Okazaki on another excellent course and thank the participants from all over the world who made it all the way to north London. We look forward to seeing you again next year.