If you have questions, you have to type them in on your key board and wait on the teacher getting back to you. So what is an Interactive Cyber Dojo? A private lesson with a genuine Japanese 8th Dan, author and direct student of Asai 10th Dan himself. My first hiccup was that I did not have a webcam on my PC. No problem, I borrowed my daughters Apple Mac, and we were off.
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If you have questions, you have to type them in on your key board and wait on the teacher getting back to you. So what is an Interactive Cyber Dojo?
A private lesson with a genuine Japanese 8th Dan, author and direct student of Asai 10th Dan himself. My first hiccup was that I did not have a webcam on my PC. No problem, I borrowed my daughters Apple Mac, and we were off.
The lesson was on the kata, Junro Shodan. It is not in other versions of Shotokan, so this was of particular interest to me. Master Asai introduced the Junro series for a couple of reasons. This stance was widely used in Shorin Ryu which was the main forerunner to Shotokan, but has been almost completely replaced in most Shotokan Katas by the longer Kokutsu Dachi Back Stance.
Master Asai felt that we should bring it back as it is a very practical stance from a combat point of view which we have nearly lost due to standardisation of Katas, largely for competition purposes. Master Asai also felt that when it comes to spinning techniques, most Shotokan katas have a heavy bias to only spinning clockwise and wanted to address this imbalance. You can check out the Junro Shodan for yourself below:- Master Asai is considered by many to be the greatest Shotokan teacher and practitioner that ever lived.
Unfortunately many of these people do not have access to a dojo which practices the Asai Ryu version of Shotokan. After a student in New York persuaded Shihan Yokota to try to teach him over Skype from California, Shihan Yokota realised that he could use this method to reach and help many other Shotokan Karateka and other styles if interested from all over the world.
Those interested in learning Asai Ryu Shotokan and the Junro series of katas no longer had to be limited by physical location.
So having made the appointment, Shihan Yokota, he sent me the Youtube link to Junro Shodan above along with a step by step pictorial schematic so that I could prepare myself in advance. For a few hours before my class, I went through the kata, learning it from the video. By the time it came to the class, I was still far from perfect, but more or less had the sequence of movements. Throughout the class, Shihan Yokota corrected my stances and movements and picked up details that I would never have got from following the video alone.
As I reflected afterwards, this was a fantastic way to learn. Had I attended a seminar to learn this kata, firstly I would not have received the link to the video and step by step guide. OK, I could have used my initiative and Googled it, or searched it on Youtube, but you can never be quite sure how truly authentic the version displayed will actually be. Had I gone to a seminar, I might have had to travel for several hours to get there and back.
This time was much better spent pre-learning the kata from Youtube. Furthermore, had I been at a seminar, I would have been one of many, moving at the pace of the rest of the class; rather than having one on one attention for an hour from an 8th Dan and the class moving at the right pace for me and me only.
Being at home, I was a bit limited for space and often had to shuffle around a bit to fit in all the movements. However, I felt that all the other advantages far out-weighed this minor disadvantage.
So how much does this one-on-one with an 8th Dan actually cost? When you consider that sometimes you can pay almost as much to attend seminar and be one of about 50 or more people with no one on one, this is a really good deal.
For many people, this is actually cheaper all round then going to a seminar.
Tag: junro shodan
More than anything else, unlike the majority of other karate websites, this page is primarily dedicated to training itself; that is, Karate-Do as a vehicle for holistic development. Thursday, 21 June Junro kata article Here is another article I originally wrote in This article was later in slightly altered, and featured, in both English and Russian, on the internet. This was not long after Asai Sensei standardised the Junro kata because between and , he typically changed shodan and nidan perhaps half a dozen times!