On Sept. 17 the Quail Creek Dojo held a seminar with Shihan Kousaku Yokota at the Undisputed Training Center in Green Valley. On the evening prior to the seminar, the Quail Creek Dojo met at the Quail Creek Grill to enjoy dinner. Our Quail Creek participants at both events were Sensei Stan Herum, Ron Guirreri, Tom Webber, Ken Kelly, Linda Bleisch, Rocco Colicchia, Larry Rowen, and Shari Rodgers. Fellow Shotokan/ASAI participants from Sierra Vista and Phoenix also attended the seminar.
During the seminar, participants learned more in-depth exercises to help decrease injuries and increase flexibility. This included kihon, kumite, and kata, which are the three pillars of karate. While kihon is the basic, or fundamentals, of martial arts moves, kumite involves controlled and safe sparring against an opponent or partner using various martial arts techniques. Kata in Japanese means “form.” The practice of kata, or the correct forms and postures, constitutes an integral part of martial arts training. These are detailed, choreographed patterns of martial arts movements. It is practiced as a way to memorize and perfect the movements being executed.
Shihan Yokota is a 9th Dan (Black Belt) and the founder of Asai Shotokan Association International (ASAI), formed in 2013. ASAI-style karate is unique, as it combines the long-distance fighting method of Shotokan with the short-distance fighting method of White Crane Kung Fu. Yokota Sensei started his martial arts training in 1960 when he was just 13 years old. He began training in judo but switched his martial arts training to karate after two years. He also has published several books: Shotokan Myths, Karatedo Esoteric Wisdom, Shotokan Mysteries, Karatedo Quantum Leap, and Karatedo Paradigm Shift. His articles have been published in major martial arts magazines, including Shotokan Karate Magazine, Masters, Shotokan Way, and Classical Fighting Arts.
It was an honor to learn from Shihan Yokota! Attendees agreed that they gained more insight and skills to understand and perform better karate. At the conclusion of the seminar, all participants received personalized certificates.