by Arijit Chakraborty
Group photo with Shihan Sarkar
An intense Traditional Shotokan karate workshop spread over three days was held at Calcutta Judo Club, Shihan Purandar Sarkar not only imparted knowledge of the physical, whether it be the correction of form or the perfection of posture, he also fortified the minds of his students with words of motivation, truly inspiring them and directing them towards excellence.
Synopsis for the 3 Day Workshop: 4th, 9th and 11th June.
• 15 mins of Warm up - wakes up almost every muscle of the body. Then the was dedicated to the application of 1st 3 kata’s (detailed choreographed patterns of movements practiced either solo or in pairs)
• Heian Shodan, where Heian means “peaceful mind” and Shodan means “first level”. This kata/form contains 21 steps. Different types of applications were shown right from basic level to advance level. 21 steps were broken down in minute details so as to understand the basic which will help to modify and implement when needed or to implement the basic steps. Both are deadly and effective when applied/used correctly keeping science in mind.
• Heian Nidan. Nidan means 2nd. This Kata comprises of 26 steps. This Kata is more physically demanding, both athletically and fundamentally than Heian Shodan, acting as a useful stepping-stone. This develops a strong use of the hips, while developing the ability to execute more than one technique from one position, while generating impressive amounts of power. Here it was clearly shown that the different techniques can be used in different ways. While doing the basics, the techniques were used as block where as in advance application the same techniques were used as an attacking option which was few people ever thought of.
• Heian Sandan, Sandan means 3rd. This Kata comprises of 20 steps. This is where a student is introduced to perform techniques in kiba dachi (horse riding stance). The techniques included in this Kata are very simple to a common man but when shown the application it is very difficult to be performed.
The day started with warm up as usual as this is very important for a sports person. This ensures that no muscle injures are encountered sue to stiffness. The warm up was followed by basic techniques as Sensei was creating the mood and the fulfilling the requirements that were need to perform the 2 of the most difficult katas.
• Heian Yondan is the 4th kata in the Heian series. This has many similarities with Heian Sandan. Here most of the steps are performed in horse riding stance and many new techniques are introduced. This Kata can’t be performed if the whole body is not in sync and flexible.
• Heian Godan is the last kata of the Heian series and is the most difficult of them. It has 23 counts. A combination of quick and slow movements, timing skill and fluidity of motion are essential for this kata. It is the first Shotokan kata containing a jump. The techniques that are used in this can be very effective in close combat situation where in one can defend oneself from very close distance and can also create his/her own fighting distance.
The day completed with techniques like face punch, reverse punch, upper block and kicks. All of them were performed keeping in mind accuracy, speed and timing.
In the final day the focus shifted from Kata to some advance Kumite techniques and hands and leg conditioning. After the usual Warm up session, the class started with hand condition and ended with leg conditioning. Advance Kumite techniques were shown where the focus was on correct hip movement along with timing and speed. When you are in a tradition Karate seminar then you can’t think of a day without kata even though you focus on other aspects, likewise we performed the 1st kata that has body shifting sidewise and is performed on mainly in kiba dachi or horse riding stance, it is Tekki Shodan. To perform this one needs to have a stable kiba dachi.The ideology of this kata is to perform with the back on the wall or to perform in a narrow corridor. After each techniques/kata there was a round of Q/A where the doubts were cleared.
The 3 day seminar ended with a group photo and the wait for the next seminar.
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