Guest Instructor for the past 35 years
Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi, 9th Dan, (FSKA)
Chief Instructor, Funakoshi Shotokan Karate Association
The Tiger and dojo
In Sensei Andre Dulce's beautiful dojo, on the Shomen wall, there is an almost floor to ceiling Shotokan Tiger that is done is a raise relief, and that along with a floating wood floor that covers an area of close to 3000 square feet, truly sets the main dojo of the Washington Shotokan Karate Association apart from any other Shotokan dojo, anywhere else in the world. Established in the greater Seattle area for more than 35 years the WSKA's reputation is well earned.
Dojo Kun
Inset into the Shomen wall is the Dojo Kun, a true representation of what the art of Shotokan Karate should represent to all of it's practioners. In addition there is also a traditional photo of Master Gichin Funakoshi, as well as a photo of Shihan Kenneth Funakoshi.
The grading Friday evening
As is often the case on the day before the seminar Sensei Dulce schedules a Dan grading, and this year was no exception, with four students taking the opportunity to test for Sho Dan in front of Shihan Funakoshi. Sensei Dulce very kindly invited me to sit on the grading panel and I was honoured to do so.
Bassai Dai
One of several katas that we focused on in detail during this years seminar was the kata Bassai Dai. Here Shihan Funakoshi is seen demonstrating the required block and associated hip rotation that is required in the early part of this kata. As with all things related to karate proper repetition year after year is one of the basic keys to success.
Attention to detail
Through out Shihan Funakoshi's various demonstrations on the finer points of kata, all of the students made a point of keeping a close eye on all of his movements, in particular the rotation of his hips at certain points in the kata that is often overlooked by many students when practicing.
Making a point about spirit and technique
At every class, seminar, and tournament that I have participated in that Shihan Funakoshi has given, one point is always emphasised over and over again, and that is that you can not have good kata, or good basics, without first having good spirit. On this day with a class of more than 50 senior ranks good spirit was indeed the order of the day.
With our Chief Instructor - Shihan Funakoshi
Both I and fellow instructor, Sensei Nathan Olson (San Dan), at whose dojo I have the privilege of teaching, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves during the time we spent at Sensei Dulce's dojo and we are both looking forward to next year.
Our host once again
As in the past, Sensei Dulce was the perfect host going to great lengths to make sure that we were made to feel right at home. We were indeed fortunate to have once again been in invited to this very special annual event, we came away with great memories and it was good to see old friends, and to make new ones.
Part the clouds - see the way.
"The objective of karate-do is to contribute to the evolution
of the human spirit through physical and mental training."
Sensei Peter Lindsay