New Black Belts

Well done to our newest black belts who after years of hard training and a five hour examination have achieved their Shodan grade.

David Long, Hemel Hempstead

Ryan Badger, Milton Keynes

Southern Region Grading Examinations July 1st 2012

Address

Main Hall, Harpenden Leisure Centre, Harpenden, Herts, AL5 2HU

Timetable
Existing Belt Kyu
Tiny Tigers – 12:30pm – 1:30pm
White
Blue Stripe
Orange Stripe
Red Stripe
Yellow Stripe
Green Stripe
Purple Stripe
Brown Stripe
 1:45pm – 3:00pm
White N/A
Blue 10th
Orange 9th
Red 8th
Yellow 7th
Green 6th
Purple 5th
Purple & White 4th
Brown 3rd
12:30pm – 3:00pm
Brown & Single White 2nd Ho
Brown & Double White 2nd
Brown & Single Red 1st Ho

Enquiries

Call Brian on 07737 034 354

Shihan Akio Minakami Interview

Image of Akio Minakami

Shihan Akio Minakami

Akio Minakami Interview

 

Shihan Akio Minakami Profile

Image of Akio Minakami

Shihan Akio Minakami

Born and raised in Tokyo, Akio Minakami began his formal martial arts training at age 7 under the 9th Degree Kodokan Judo Black Belt, Takagi Sensei. Minakami moved to the United States in 1967. He won 5 Gold Medals at the 1974 All Japan Karate Championships.

In 1983 Minakami received his Shihan Certificate (6th Degree Black Belt) from the governing body for karate in Japan, the Japan Karate Federation (JKF – formally FAJKO). Shihan Minakami was the first individual ever to receive a unanimous passing grade, meaning all 11 Masters representing the 4 major styles on the examining board gave him their approval.

He then repeated this remarkable achievement when he graded for 7th Dan. This is an amazing feat for which he will always be known. Minakami is also a Black Belt in Judo, and a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Kendo.

He is regarded as one the finest Karate instructors in the world and currently teaches many International Champions. He is fluent in English and able to communicate concepts and philosophies clearly. He is friendly, approachable and an inspiration to karate practitioners of every level and style.

Higher Realm of Karate

Karate has become very popular as a self-defence sport and conditioning exercise.  Many people see karate in the movies and TV and fall for the flashy moves they see on the screen.  Many also go to tournaments and learn the techniques of the champions.

They believe they can copy these techniques and learn all there is to know about karate.

Unfortunately, they forget these moves only make up a fraction of karate training.  Karate changes according to one’s personal growth and personal endeavours toward the training of the art.  If one learns a technique from someone, they must understand that what they see is that individual’s level of karate and it is not the ultimate.

The ultimate of karate is impossible to do it one’s lifetime and therefore there is no limit to the training itself.  To make our karate perfect in one lifetime is impossible.

As we grow older we sometimes forget that we all lose muscle strength with age and cannot do all the things we could at a younger age.

If we remember this and train with the correct attitude and correct view, then karate will keep changing into a higher form.  This means we must keep an open mind in our karate training.  We must be able to find new ways to adapt and grow according to our age, body and wisdom.

The key point is we are not perfect, so it is all right to make mistakes while training, but do not go in with a closed mind doing the same thing year after year.

If we do so, then one’s growth in karate will stop and only old age will take over.  Keep the mind open and see what will be your next level.

Then work in that direction.  Also, observe one’s own mind to see if you are seeing straight or out of a deluded mind such as fantasies, envy, greed and so forth.

If a beginner expects to d flying jump kicks on their first day, they do not have a clear mind and expectation of what their body and experience are capable of.  However, if one is reasonable, karate will be fun and very rewarding to your life.

We sometimes forget we are universal beings, constantly receiving universal energy (Ki).  This Ki strengthens us and helps us become more receptive.  We receive this Ki through the air, or from energy on the earth or from gravity, food, water, etc.  If one uses these natural elements the results will naturally be greater than if we do not care.

We can strengthen ourselves through breathing exercises, visualisation, eating well, exercising, and generally taking excellent care of our bodies.  For instance, there is a tree on the field and it lives according to the soild on the ground, but if we add fertiliser to the soil, certainly the tree will grow even stronger.

So now, why I am talking about these things that are not about kicking and punching?  Because, we do kicking and punching with this universal being – the body, mind and spirit.  Through correct training we can all do karate for a long time and receive the most out of our training.

With correct instruction we may use our body movements wisely and most efficiently.  To get the most out of our life, our mind, body and spirit must be working in unison at their fullest potential.  At this point the mind will be calm and observant, the body will move most naturally, and the spirit will be noble and strong.  Then our karate naturally grows with class.

As a karateka, become noble with compassion, contrary to the egotistical.  This is how we strengthen our mind and allow it to flow as naturally as possible.  If our mind is full of obstacles such as bad habits and ideas, then the natural flow will be agitated.

Karate training is to endeavour to live one’s life in the most natural way and to prolong life itself.  There is no one technique, such as a punch, that can be perfected nin one’s lifetime.  This philosophy is, “we are all striving to reach the top but there is no top.”  Like time, our training is endless.  Be happy and practice with moderation.  This is karate do.

Shihan Akio Minakami

Randolph Williams Memorial Shotokan Karate Championships 2012 Rescheduled

Due to a double booking at Shenley on 19th May, the Shotokan Karate Championships in memory of Randolph Williams will now take place on Saturday 9th June 2012, 9am at Shenley Leisure Centre.

Grading Dates 2012

Gradings

Sunday March 25th
Sunday July 1st (rescheduled from June 10th)
Sunday September 9th
Sunday December 9th

Assessments (Brown Belts)

Sunday March 11th
Sunday May 27th
Sunday September 2nd, 12pm
Sunday December 2nd

All the gradings and assessments will take place at Harpenden Leisure Centre.

No Lessons Over the Easter Weekend

Reminder: there will be no lessons on Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Dojo News, March 2012

Change of Grading Date

Please note a change to grading date. The next main grading will be July 1st 2012. We have been advised on that day that there may be road restrictions on the high street as it is Armed forces day. Please allow extra time to park your car and attend.

Competition

A competition is being arranged for all students and all ages in Milton Keynes on Saturday May 19th. Full details to follow. If you would like to compete or come along speak to your instructor. It is a good chance to take this opportunity to compare your skills and others and enter into a competitive arena. This competition is in memory of Sensei Randloph Williams who recently passed away all proceeds will go to his memorial fund.

Dates with No Training

There will be no lessons on Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Please feel free to make your missed lesson up at any other venue or time during the week..

Tanners Wood Hall will be closed for the following training dates due to Blood Donation days: May 1st and May 15th. Please make up your missed lessons at Breakspeare School on Friday or Sunday Morning at Tanners Wood Hall.

Please remember apart from the above exception dates training continues as normal during the school holidays at Easter and during the summer.

Shihan Minakami Visit

Shihan Minakami will be in England on July 8th and there will be opportunity to train with him that week, dates and venues to be confirmed.

Pre-Lesson Etiquette

We would like to remind students when they enter the hall if they arrive early we expect them to come in and sit quietly, practice Kata or basics until the lessons starts. Karate is a disciplined Martial Art and it can be unfair on some students who are trying to practice if others are running around or talking.

License Renewals

Please make sure all licences are renewed they should have a pink slip in the back and should be renewed each year in January. If for some reason this has not been done please complete a licence form and hand to your instructor.

Brown Belt Assessments

A reminder all Brown Belts are expected to attend the assessments, next assessment will be May 27th. We hope this will improve fitness and give all brown belts a chance to go over the full syllabus for black belt excellence.

Recent Grading

A big well done to all those who passed the recent grading there seems to have been some real improvement please maintain your level of commitment and focus and attend all lessons.

Kumite Lessons for All Grades

Kumite is held every Wednesday at Harpenden between 7 – 8 pm. Kumite is open to all grades although brown belts are expected to attend at least 1 or 2 in between assessments. We understand this may be late for some of our younger students maybe they could attend during the school holidays. This lesson has a more laid back feel to normal and incorporates fitness and stamina training.

Brian Owen

Bushido Summer Championships, 25th July 2009: Results

KATA UNDER 8 ALL GRADES

Winner – Johnny Lewis- Vaike ( Woughton MK), Second – Julia Zoladkiewicz ( Oxford ), Third – Joleyon Flynn ( Woughton MK), Fourth- Harvey Allen ( Shenley MK ).

KATA WHITE TO PURPLE/W 8 years to 11 years

Winner – Tristan Atkinson ( Hinckley ), Second – James Dawson ( Woughton MK), Third – Jordan Flynn ( Woughton MK), Fourth – Brittany Allen ( Shenley MK ).

KATA BROWN TO BLACK  8 years to 11 years

Winner – Khaleah Lewis-Vaike ( Woughton MK), Second – Jack Allen ( Shenley MK ), Third – Georgio Raggozino ( Brook End MK ) Fourth – James Sutcliffe ( Letchworth ).

KATA WHITE TO PURPLE/W  12 years to 15 years

Winner –  David Thomas ( Stantonbury MK )

KATA BROWN TO BLACK  12 years to 15 years

Winner – Wesley Britnell ( Woughton MK ), Second – Savannah Watts ( Shenley MK ), Third – Oliver Parkes ( Hemel ), Fourth – Hannah Frank ( Buckingham ).

KATA WHITE TO PURPLE/W  Adult 16 years and Over

Winner – Greg Zoladkiewicz ( Oxford ), Second – Arturo Reyes ( Oxford ), Third – Simon Babatunde ( Shenley MK ), Fourth – Vicki Harrison ( Brook End MK ).

KATA BROWN TO BLACK  Adult 16 years and Over

Winner – Nick Heaps ( Harpenden ), Second – Anthony Griffin ( Stantonbury MK ), Third – Steve Frank ( Buckingham ).

TEAM KATA WHITE TO PURPLE/W BELTS

Winners – Julia Zoladkiewicz, Jordan Flynn and Joleyon Flynn.   Second – Anthony Thomas, David Thomas and Tristan Atkinson.

TEAM KATA BROWN TO BLACK BELTS

Winners – Savanah Watts, Wesley Britnell and Khaleah Lewis – Vaike.  Second – Jack Allen, David Sutcliffe and James Sutcliffe.

KOBUDO SAI KATA

Winner – Oliver Parkes ( Hemel ),  Second – Savanah Watts ( Shenley MK ).

SAN BON KUMITE 8 years to 10 years All Grades

Winner – Khaleah Lewis – Vaike ( Woughton MK ), Second – Jack Allen ( Shenley MK ), Third – Johnny Lewis – Vaike ( Woughton ), Fourth – Anthony Thomas ( Stantonbury MK )

SAN BON KUMITE  11 years to 15 years

Winner – Hannah Frank ( Buckingham ), Second – David Thomas ( Stantonbury MK ).

JYU KUMITE ADULT MEN

Winner – Steve Frank ( Buckingham ), Second – Anthony Griffin ( Stantonbury MK ).