A great September Seminar with Sensei John Kerker

Sorry, folks! I have to apolgize. This may be a bit late getting posted, but life has been crazy the last few months with recovering from COVID, craziness at work, karate classes, etc. However, we did have a fantastic seminar on September 9th and 10th with Sensei John Kerker covering Ryukyu Kobudo Shimbuka Bo and Sai Kihon on Friday evening and then several of Master Tatsuo Shimubuku’s kumite on Saturday.

Friday night we worked the bo kihon needed to perform the first bok kihon kata and then spent time learning the first bo kihon kata. It really is a great little kata. After a short break, we worked on the ten sai kihon, and then learned Akamine’s Sai Kihon Kata Ichi, another great little kata.

Saturday, we worked several of Master Shimabuku’s kumite techniques. I had asked Kerker Sensei to focus more on quality (understanding the lessons underlying the kumite, the mechanics of how they worked, and how the lessons of Sanchin Kata play a role), rather than quantity (trying to get througn them all). He did an excellent job!

Everyone had a great time and came away a better martial artist. The highlight for me was one of my students, Erin, having several “light bulbs” click on and having some of the techniques we were working really flow for her. She was grinning from ear to ear! It is moments like that, that make the serious study of any martial art worth it.

Martial Mayhem for a Good Cause!

On Saturday, October 30th, a group of martial artists got together at the Beulah United Methodist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, for a day of martial arts training while raising money for Knoxville’s Children’s Hospital in honor of Charla Alley. Sadly, Charla, the wife of Sensei Jim Alley, succumbed to a terminal illness some time ago. The seminar, initially planned by Sensei Bob Noel, was canceled and rescheduled several times due to the Covid pandemic.

Several instructors from different styles volunteered their time to teach various topics to a group of about 30 attendees. Nearly $1,000 was raised for charity, and every participant had a great time.

Here is the lineup of instructors for last Saturday’s event.

Sensei Bob Noel
Uechi-Ryu Karate
Event Host & Organizer

Sensei Noel teaches traditional Uechi-ryu Karate at the Knoxville Uechi-ryu Karate School located at the Street Beatz Studio.

Sensei Noel led a warm-up session consisting of Uechi-ryu basic exercises and the Uechi-ryu version of Sanchin Kata.

Sensei Eddie Satterfield
Isshin-ryu Karate

Sensei Satterfield led a great session on Qi Gong breathing as a tool for relaxing, energizing, and healing. It was a great way to get charged up for the seminar.

Sensei Danny Satterfield
Isshin-ryu Karate

Sensei Danny Satterfield led a very informative session on the framing mechanics of Sanchin Kata. I think it was an eye-opening session for a lot of participants.

Sensei Danny Smith
Isshin-ryu Karate

Sensei Smith led a session on a sai kata from the Tokushinryu Kobudo system. It was clear from participant’s comments that they really enjoyed this session

Sensei Scott Britt
Isshin-ryu Karate

Sensei Britt presented a fascinating session on the Suruchin, a traditional flexible weapon from Okinawan Kobudo. Scott has written a book on this intriguing weapon.

Sensei Darren Gilbert
Isshin-ryu Karate

Sensei Gilbert presented a great session on using stances to break the line of attack and avoid getting hit, while still allowing you to effectively strike your opponent. This foundational skill is key to unlocking techniques in kata.

Sensei Michael Patrick
Torite Jutsu

Sensei Patrick presented a session on using pressure point techniques to control and subdue your attacker. Understanding pressure points is a big help in understanding the techniques found in kata. This is always a popular topic with participants.

Sensei Mike Allen
Isshin-ryu Karate

Sensei Allen led a well-enjoyed session on Tegumi, which is a traditional form of Okinawan grappling. Many participants commented that this session was a lot of fun.

Sensei David Higgins
Shorin-ryu Karate

Sensei Higgins, a black belt in Shorin-ryu as well as a student of Uechi-ryu, led a session on Shuji No Kun, a Yammani Ryu bo kata. This session was particularly enjoyed by a few of our younger participants, and I enjoyed it as well.

Sensei Jim Alley
Isshin-ryu Karate

Sensei Alley ended the day with a session on techniques from Naihanchi, which with Sanchin Kata, is referred to as the mother and father of Isshin-ryu Karate. It was a great end to a great day!