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Irish Karateka Teaching In Germany

At the invitation of two local Dojo in Ostfriesland, Martin O’Malley travelled over to Germany to present a weekend of Karate and Kobujutsu seminars. The main seminar of the weekend, hosted in the Dojo of Heinz Teßner in Großefehn, got underway on the morning of Saturday 18th.

Students travelled from Berlin and Dusseldorf and from the Netherlands for the seminar which began with a full review of the basic techniques and Kata from Matsubayashi-ryu Karate. Here Martin explained some various technical points which he had learned while practicing in Okinawa.

Next came the pre-arranged partner exercises where the concepts of ‘fear responses’ and how to elicit, deal with and overcome them through partner training drills were investigated.

After lunch, the group looked at how to develop application practices for the various Kata movements, and this brought out some excellent self defence applications from the group. It also provided a chance for Martin to introduce the idea of ‘socially acceptable’ self defence. This, when added to the mix, drew out more excellent drills before the group returned to the solo demonstration practice to end the first day.

The Sunday session in Großefehn, which was only a three hour session, was all about weapons practice with a particular focus on Bo (staff) and Sai (truncheon). Like the day before, basic exercises and Kata demonstration got the day started before moving on to application for self defence situations. Specifically the circumstances which are involved in using a weapon for self defence were looked at by the group.

The seminar ended at 1 pm with a question and answers session and according to seminar host Heinz Teßner, ‘it was an amazing time, which flew by so fast’. Heinz added that the he had received ‘only very positive feedback from the participants’.

On Sunday evening, with the first seminar over, it was on to Emden, the main town of Ostfriesland, for the second. Here at the Osaka Dojo of Jens Fricke, Martin gave a presentation on the application of Kata for self defence. This seminar was only for members of the Dojo, and though a shorter seminar time wise it none-the-less proved enjoyable for the group.

The use of natural movements for self defence, and how they are recorded in the Kata was demonstrated through several partner exercises which showed responses to both striking and grasping type attacks. Jens Fricke felt that the seminar ‘was a great opportunity for everyone to learn about Okinawan Karate, really a fantastic seminar’.

Martin himself felt that the weekend was a success saying that ‘both groups were very welcoming as always. I have been coming to this region for several years, and it is great to see everyone so enthusiastic about their practice and eager to learn and develop their skills’.

Talks are now underway for Martin to return to Germany for a further seminar series later in 2017. His next trip to Germany however will be to present a series of sessions at the Matsubayashi-ryu European Taikai in May. The Taikai will feature the top Matsubayashi-ryu teachers from across the continent presenting on a variety of Karate related topics.