As Kimura Shukokai International (KSI) will be holding their World Championships in Atlantic City USA in July 2012, this year’s World Chief Instructors Course (WCIC) was held in Potsdam Germany as opposed to the traditional venue in the USA.
This year saw representatives attending from England, USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, India, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Greece, Switzerland, Portugal, Czech Republic and of course our hosts Germany.
Everyone started arriving on Tuesday 27th March and with great efficiency were transferred to the Mercure Hotel in Potsdam notwithstanding a strike at the Berlin airports. Grateful thanks go to all the German students who made several trips to the airports to collect us all. Old acquaintances were renewed and new ones made during that first day and into the evening at the hotel.
Traditionally the first two days are spent with the senior instructors and students from all over the world training together with the aim of not only improving both individual technique but also gaining knowledge to pass on to students back at their home dojo.
On Wednesday all senior grades were taken out to Sensei Udo Woidacki’s excellent dojo and in accordance with tradition embarked upon 4 ½ hours of solid impact work. For the first 2 hours we concentrated purely on the hands, only bringing the legs in to play for the last half of the day. The dojo was full of karateka all trying to improve on their impact. After the training finished a buffet meal was provided and all returned to the hotel, tired but invigorated!
On Thursday morning we all returned to the dojo for another long session. This time it was hand mitts on and away we went, this time concentrating on sparring timing and techniques. Basic combinations were practised time and time again with the aim of increasing the speed of attacks and effectiveness of defence and counter attacks. 4 ½ hours of training later, interrupted only by the traditional, short break, (which lasts for about as long as it takes to say it), left both young students and the more experienced reflecting on the first two days of hard but extremely enjoyable training. Although it had begun to rain, we all enjoyed a BBQ at the dojo before once again returning to the hotel.
Friday was a rest day and enabled us all to catch a train into central Berlin and walk casually around some of the more historical sites or just relax in general.
Saturday saw the start of the two day training course with the four 8th Dan World Chief Instructors Shihan Daniels (England), Shihan Bressaw (USA), Shihan Thompson (South Africa) and Shihan Marinus (South Africa). All those who had trained for the previous two days were joined by many German students of all grades and ages; white belt children trained next to 5th Dan Internationals, parents with their children. To experience a dojo filled with nearly 250 students all there with one intention, to learn how to improve their karate skills was incredible and a testimony to Soke Kimura’s legacy to us all. Where else in the World of karate is there such an annual gathering of a vast range of experience and skills all enjoying themselves in pursuit of personal improvement and knowledge under the guidance of such experienced Shihans.
Over the Saturday and Sunday each of the four Shihans taught separate 1¼ hour sessions encouraging students to learn from their research into how techniques can be improved using the mechanics of the body to their best ability and on the Sunday Shihan Daniels introduced the course to the kata Sanseru.
On the Saturday evening we were all taken back to Sensei Udo’s dojo and there had the traditional party where we were entertained by Shihan Steve Lunt and his band until the early hours of the morning. Fine food was provided with beer and Saki and it all went to prove that Kimura Shukokai people know how to party hard as well as train hard.
After training finished on the Sunday there was a grading before the four World Chief Instructors and amongst others Sensei Edmund Horn (Germany) was graded 7th Dan and Sensei Mokhtar Chaoui was promoted to 6th Dan.
Monday saw most people returning to all corners of the World bolstered with ideas for future training sessions in their own dojo.
A big “Thank You” goes to Sensei Damon and all his team for the professional way in which the whole week was organised; it was seamless!
Overall for all those who took part in the weeks training it was a great experience and one which consolidates Kimura Shukokai around the World and we all look forward to meeting up again at the KSI World Championships to be held at the Taj Mahal, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA in July 2012.
If you ever get the chance to attend a WCIC, grab it, Next WCIC is in 2013!!