One day when one of our instructors was buying sushi at the Japan Centre, he saw an advert for the Hyper Japan Christmas Market, and realised that it would be the perfect chance for SKL to represent karate to enthusiasts of Japanese culture. We were invited to perform at this famous event, so we had several weeks to perfect the art of bunkai: “performing kata against opponents who block and attack specific moves”. It’s great fun to do – practicing falling over dramatically at every punch, and slamming the floor with our hands to make a loud crashing noise…
The day of the performance soon arrived and it was with a lot of excitement and much trepidation that SKL students got through the crowds with our performance passes (free entry was a perk of participating in the event). After some time to explore the stands filled with every form of Japanese pop culture and steaming teriyaki and dumplings, we saw some of the Aikido class. Then we were on! A soundtrack of beating drums started and we ran on for a mini-class of kihon punching, which made the Tobacco Dock resound with our kiais. Next came the part we were waiting for, performing bunkai. As karate is mostly done in large groups altogether, the thought of doing it as performance in front of a large audience was daunting, but all the hard work we’ve put in over the last month for gradings and competitions paid off, and Heidan-Shodan, Heian-Nidan, Heian-Yondan and Bassai Dai katas were displayed to the public in fine form. The audience also got a taste of the different types of sparring that Shotokan Karate teaches, from beginners 5 step and 1 step kumite to the advanced semi free style and free style – the pace and excitement of which got a great reaction of oohs and ahhs from bystanders. To end with the really advanced stuff, we saw Black belt katas Jion and Empi.
For the cherry on top, a raffle had been organised for attendees of Hyper Japan interested in Karate. 10 lucky winners will now be attending a free karate beginner’s course for adults and kids at our Old Street club from now up until the New Year.
The Dojo is a detached Hall
after the 154 lever street – EC1V
For any inquiries about the club,
Please fill in this contact form.
Look up on Citymapper app
for “Shotokan Karate London”