With only six weeks until WSKF-SA annual Dan Grading, karateka from across Gauteng had a final opportunity to receive instruction and guidance from Mike Dukas Shihan, as they entered the last stretch in preparation for the big day… Kime Karate Dojo in Centurion hosted the event. Karateka who arrived early were treated to an extra half-hour of basic training as everyone anticipated the official start of the training. The sage adage “always be early for karate” proved valuable this morning as Mike Dukas Shihan took karateka through the basic, yet complex, components of effective kick execution.
The theme for the morning was Jiyu Ippon Kumite. With a full dojo floor, training got underway with a stern and memorable reminder of the importance of wearing protective gear when given the option, and that refusal thereof was nothing short of reckless self-endangerment. Sparring partners had the opportunity to hone their attacking, defence, and distance-judging skills through various bouts of nominated exercises.
Gohon kumite was employed to evaluate the fitness and perseverance of the grading candidates, in which they faced numerous sparring partners during repeated rounds of high-intensity basic kumite.
During the second part of the session, Mike Dukas Shihan put karatekas through their paces according to the various Dan levels they will attempt to grade for. A selection of kihon elements from Shodan, Nidan, Sandan and Yondan syllabi received attention.
The importance of flexibility was again highlighted, and students were reminded to incorporate stretching and flexibility exercises in all their training sessions.
The benefit of the extended training session afforded students a rare treat in the final session when Mike Dukas Shihan led the group in performing the advanced katas of Hangetsu and Meikyo. All the complexities of these katas could not receive attention in the short session. However, students were able to experience the sequence of movements and be exposed to nuances WSKF teaches in these katas.
In his trademark “lead by example” way, Mike Dukas Shihan led attendees in a closing selection of full-body stretches.
As the session concluded, attendees greeted one another with warm hearts, slightly battered bodies, and a firm realisation that the next encounter would be on the grading floor…
Hitotsu, arayuru mono o karate kaseyo; soko ni myōmi ari
Apply the way of karate to all things. Therein lies its beauty.
Gichin Funakoshi (1938). The Twenty Guiding Principles of Karate. ISBN 978-4-7700-2796-2