We’d like to thank all of the students who trained at the Koji Arimoto Sensei Courses on Wednesday 31st October and Thursday 1st November.
Both courses were well supported and I’m sure you all could appreciate how lucky we are to have been able to host such an extraordinarily talented former WKF Champion. Koji Arimoto Sensei was a pleasure to host and an honour to watch. He delivered two very physically demanding sessions and we hope that you took away some useful training drills and lots of technical information, with which you can use to improve your own karate.
Both courses lasted 1 and half hours with the first 45 minutes being spent practising kihon drills in zenkutsodachi. This is always hard work and exactly how they train at the Hombu in Japan. Kihon is paramount and comes before everything. Arimoto Sensei was in good spirits and on top form, he went around offering correction and joined in much of the kihon section himself. He moves so quickly and can generate unbelievable power. I’m not exaggerating when I say if you blinked, you’ll have missed him he is so fast. He did some demonstrations and encouraged the students to keep up with his lightning-quick pace throughout.
Arimoto Sensei wanted more speed and more effort throughout, he sets himself very high standards and fully expects others to follow suit and rightfully so. If you have aspirations to be as good at karate as Arimoto Sensei is, the hard work, constant repetition and sweat has to be put into every minute of every session. Nothing less will do. If you want to be fast, go faster. If you want to be powerful, try harder and put more physical effort in. If you want to be World Champion – you were in the right place training with one of the very best in the World, in his prime. Listening, watching and learning from him is a good start. Take advantage of every opportunity you have been given.
After a very exhausting Kihon section, Arimoto Sensei opened it out to the students and asked which Kata we would like to work on. Two senior Dan Grade Katas were chosen and both of which you can regularly see Sensei perform at various Championships all over the World – Kankusho and Gankaku.
Both Katas were broken down and worked on in expert detail. If something wasn’t right, the students were shown a mind-blowingly impressive demonstration and asked to try again, and again…… and again! Go back, repeat, last one…..then another last one!
The students on the Thursday evening were also drilled with Kihon for 45 minutes then treated to a masterclass of the Katas Bassai Dai and Empi. More awe-inspiring demonstrations were completed and students were told to be be faster, sharper, stronger, try harder and keep on trying. Repetition is the key. He taught both courses in the same way and produced the same results with both sets of students. Everybody looked to have learned something and improved their Kata just a little bit and I feel his teaching methods were very successful. No wonder he has a full-time job and the number 1 place in Japan for World Champion Karateka – Kagawa Shihan’s JKS Hombu Dojo.
Arimoto Sensei then finished the course with an awesome display of the Kata Gojushiho-Dai. The power and speed this young man can generate literally shook the ground we stood on. The video has been uploaded to our facebook group page but it somehow doesn’t do him justice, you just have to have been there to appreciate his high level of skill and take it all in.
The room fell silent and stayed silent with each and every person watching on with amazement (and perhaps a spot of jealousy in their eyes!). It is a very long Kata, but it somehow didn’t seem to go on long enough. You could literally watch this man all day. He closed the Kata to a massive round of applause from all of the students and parents looking on. You just know when you’ve witnessed something very special and we hope that you can all appreciate just how lucky you were, when you are watching Koji Arimoto Sensei perform for the Japanese Team at the Olympics on your telly in a couple of years time.
He is such a humble and unassuming person too. He was more than happy to sign uniforms, tickets and pose for photographs until everyone had taken their turn. We would hope that he enjoyed visiting us at Manchester and would be pleased to return again in the future (when we’ve all had chance to work on everything he asked us to).
Thanks to Alan Sensei and Wendy Sensei from JKS England and Paul Sensei from JKS Scotland for affording us this great opportunity and to Koji himself for being such a pleasure to work with. Thanks also to Helen Thornham and Mehrad Kanani for visting us from the Leeds Karate Academy and supporting our course.
Without the support of our Instructors and students here at Red Tiger, we wouldn’t be able to run these special events, so thank you all and we hope you had an enjoyable and unforgettable experience.