Kanazawa Hirokazu Kancho, 10th Dan, 2011 Seminar in Malaysia

Group Photo With Kancho & Daizo Sensei from Kacho’s Seminar in Johor 2010.

Kanazawa Kancho will be in Malaysia from the 17th to the 29th of November 2011. For our members who remember his visit to our Dojo in Johor last year, will not want to miss this opportunity. Please contact your instructor if your want to be part of our delegation to the seminar. This year his main seminar will be in Teluk Intan, Perak from the 26th to the 28th of November.

We would like to encourage all members, especially 4th Kyu & above to participate. All members will also have the opportunity to be graded by Kancho (Please check with your instructor for your eligibility to grade). We are hoping to put together a delegation of 30-40 members. Details on accommodations and costing will be posted when ASAP.

The dates of Kancho’s Tour as of to date are :

17th Nov : Kancho & Murakami Sensei arrives in Kuala Lumpur
19th-21st Nov : Kancho’s Seminar in Brunei
22nd-23rd Nov : Kancho’s Seminar in Sabah (Kota Kinabalu)
24th Nov : Police Training Centre PULAPOL (Kuala Lumpur)
25th Nov : Instructor training at Irene Sensei’s personal dojo (Rawang)
26th-28th Nov : Kancho’s Open Seminar & Grading in Teluk Intan, Perak
29th Nov : Kancho and Murakami Sensei depart for Japan.

Shotokan Masterclass 2011

Fortune’s favour is fickle, they say. This year Shotokan Masterclass (SMC2011) programme didn’t quiet turn out as we planned.

But everything turned out for the best.

At the SMC2011, we had seven guests from Australia, six from the Avon Valley Shotokan Karate (Perth) Australia and one from Goshin-ryu Sydney, training alongside our members, and exchanging ideas. We thank Ken Bainbridge sensei (4th Dan), Helen Bainbridge sensei (3rd Dan), Russell Johnson (2nd Dan), Samantha Douglas (2nd Dan), Jordan Turnoch (1st Dan), Andrew Ledge (6th Kyu) & Leo Pintos (2nd Dan) for sharing the your time with us.

From the 2nd of July to the 3rd of the July, the training commenced. The sessions we taken in turn by Azlimmi sensei, Ken Sensei & Helen Sensei, each injecting his/her experience and understanding of shotokan karate into the training sessions.

On the evening of July 3rd, a kyu grading session was conducted for SKA members. 14 SKA members who attended the SCM2011 sat (though there wasn’t much sitting done) for their respective level grading. Ken & Helen sensei graciously accepted the invitation to sit in as guest examiners, and expressed their satisfaction at the level of karate the students showed. The results of the grading are as follows:

3rd Kyu

1. Batrisyia Iman Himzal (SKA Honbu)

4th Kyu

1. Resi Nopiyanti bt. Joni (SKA Pasir Gudang)

2. Megat Amirul Syahmi b. Megat Razman Syah (SKA Honbu)

5th Kyu

1. Aliff Daniel b. Khalid (SKA Pasir Gudang)

2. Megat Amirul Sufi b. Megat Razman Syah (SKA Honbu)

3. Reksi Hidayat b. Joni (SKA Pasir Gudang)

6th Kyu

1. Hadirah Dania Himzal (SKA Honbu)

2. Amira Syahira bt. Mesli (SKA Pasir Gudang)

3. A’rash Amanie b. Khalid (SKA Pasir Gudang)

4. Julita Aisyah bt. Khalid (SKA Pasir Gudang)

7th Kyu

1. Faiz Asraf b. Saparudin (SKA Honbu)

2. Muhd. Darunnafis b. Abd. Halip (SKA Pasir Gudang)

3. Muhd. Izzudin b. Mohd. Effendi (SKA Pasir Gudang)

9th Kyu

1. Yugesh a/l Raj Babu

We congratulate the students on passing the grading.

On the 4th of July, the visitors (Australians) were taken to the Kota Tinggi Waterfalls for some R&R by Azlimmi sensei & family accompanied by Bro. Asmadi Ahmad (SKA Singapore Shibu-cho) & family and Bro. Faiz Asraf. We were treated to some very delicious munchies made by Sister Azrinah Abu Basri (herself a brown belt in Shito-ryu… once upon a time) and had a great time just fooling around for the day. The highlight (for yours truly) was a recording of Ken sensei performing the Tensho-no-kata at the waterfalls…. precious. The video can be watched on Azlimmi’s sensei videocam 🙂 on request. After spending the day at the waterfalls, the group headed back just in time to get some rest before getting ready for the 8.30pm class at the dojo. Again, Ken & Helen sensei with Sammie senpai attended the training and got to meet other SKA members who didn’t make it for the SMC2011.

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photos by Faiz Asraf

Overall, it was a memorable experience. Once again we thank Ken & Helen sensei and their team for sharing this wonderfl time with us.

The following are photos of the SMC2011 by Faiz Asraf on facebook:

Shotokan Masterclass 2011

At the Waterfalls [ALBUM 1] [ALBUM 2]

At the Airport



The Pressures Of Competitions (Part 1)

In the next few days, 19 members of the SKA will be participating in an open tournament. For the few, this is their umpteenth time on the competitive tatami, but for the most of them, this will be their first time.

Competitions (to me a form of test) brings pressure to all involved. For the coaches, it is the pressure of preparing the team. For the team manager, it is the pressure of getting the logistics (& everything else!!) ready. For the seasoned team members, it is the pressre of improving their track record, or moving up to a new category. For the newbies, it is the terror of stepping on an unknown tatami to face an unknown opponent, and last but not least, for the supporters (family members, friends, sponsors, etc)  the pressure of watching their team endure what would normally not be ‘civilised behaviour’ ; attacking an unknown person unprovoked. So you get the picture, pressure cooker all around.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of competitions.

But, it is a necessary evil. Though I do not like to enter competitions (personally, I hate the attention when standing in the middle of the tatami and having tons of people watching…… as an instructor, I hate allocating training time to train the few who are entering competitions , time taken away from training the on how to better use their body (& mind) in perfecting their technique and making each technique as a defensive.. and offensive tool at any scenario), it gives an extra dimension to a students martial art development that dojo training, no matter how intense can provide. We all like to think we give the best training, compared to other dojos, but the reality is, peer to peer ‘fights’ (for lack of a better word) among dojo mates (no matter how competitive) does not give that same edge, that same adrenaline rush we get during a fight (kumite or kata) during a competition. In a dojo session, we worry about hitting our friend too hard, or a kohai (junior) intimidated by a senpai (senior), or reversed, a senpai worry pushing a kohai too much. A smile or a snicker from our dojo opponent will also get us smiling.

This is not lack of discipline, this is human nature.

The dojo is not a battle ground, it is a place of learning, a school.

Then competitions becomes necessary, to test the skills of our modern day weekend samurai. Imagine this, a soldier spends his whole life shooting at targets on the practice range experience a different psychological hurdle when staring at a live human target down the barrel of the same rifle he (or she) has used thousands of times before. Lobbing a live grenade into a practice bunker is different than consciously lobbing a live grenade a group of enemy hostiles. Some handle the transition easier than others. Some, not all.

So there we stand, into the shadow of the valley of death (forgive my moment of dramatisation) either staring at an opponent on the opposite side of the referee, wondering what kind of fighting experience he has (or not), or, as in kata, staring inwardly, focusing all our will and training not to cock up our well rehearsed kata, ignoring the facial, body and verbal language of all those around us, so that we may execute our routine as hoped.

But before we can get there on the tatami, we are at the dojo, training. Competition Training, Squad Training.. whatever you call it. The focus of such training is not only to give your team a fighting chance, but a chance to actually bring back some faux silverware to adore the dojo walls. The majority of the ‘OPEN TOURNAMENTS’ run of the rules defined by the Word Karate Federation (WKF). So preparations are made to give the participants the best chance to win within the rules set by this organisation (the following view is made from a perspective of a Shotokan instructor):

[KATA TRAINING] Heian and Tekki katas for the most are out. Face it, no matter how brilliant your Heian Yondan or Godan, it can’t compare to the like of Seipai & Seinchin (unless your opponent performs them really badly). So you have to do the 4 Shotokan Shitei kata – Kanku-dai, Jion, Empi and Bassai-dai. In a normal dojo (my yardstick for normal dojo is a dojo that follows the JKA/SKIF style training syllabus), it’ll take sometime around a year and a half to two years for a student to have gone through the 8 kyu levels before to start learning the Shotokan Shitei Kata. That is, in this world where time is now measured in nano-seconds,  a long time for someone to stand aside and watch his/her ‘senior’ pack up their gear and travel to kingdoms far far away in search of glory and fame. What option is there left? One, the newbie enters the competition with his exceptional Heian kata and lose. Or in the words of a certain ‘life coach’ (whatever that means); gain experience. Two, the coach/instructor has to teach the relatively new student an ‘advance kata’ do that he has a fighting chance. Either way, they lose. I don’t know about other instructors, but my students, have been pressuring me to teach them an ‘advance kata’ so that they have a chance to win. And these students have still yet to come to grips with basic kata. So, to either keep the student from walking out and joining a dojo that can fulfil their needs, or to satisfy their own inner ego and to stop the losing streak and not be patient while the students gain ‘experience’, we teach them one advance kata. Then it snowballs, two kata, three kata……….. no matter the result, they both lose.  Soon the dojo forgoes the Heian katas altogether and other unpopular kata for having no ‘return value on investment’ and the decline starts. It is wrong to teach a 6th Kyu Bassai-dai or Kanku-sho?? It is wrong if it is meant to bolster the dojo’s competition chances. It is not wrong (my own opinion) if it is used as a tool to show the student the possibilities of kata training (lets face it, the Heians are not the most exciting kata on the Shotokan roster).

Back to today, I had earlier conducted a private training for some students heading out for fame and glory this weekend. 3/4 of the training was on kata (OK.. I’m guilty of favouring kata to kumite… so shoot me). I have a shodan, practicing Kanku-sho, Hangetsu, and Gankaku, a nikyu practicing Bassai-dai, Jion and Kanku-sho, and a rokkyu practicing Kanku-sho, Heian Yondan and Heian Sandan.

My analysis : the shodan has to get over his insecurities on what makes a kata ‘hard’ and just execute (not perform) the kata from the heart and not be too analytical of his kata, the nikyu has to push herself the extra 5% in all her moves, and that kata has to come from good kihon and the rokkyu.. oohhh the adorable six and a half year old rokkyu (didn’t I say that she was only six and a half years old??) has got to stop comparing herself from her brother and sisters and just enjoy herself in whatever she does. But kids just don’t get it when we say, winning doesn’t matter… what matters is that you give 110% when you step on the tatami. The bigger battle is with yourself. If you have done your best, then you have won, medal or no medal…. And children, heed my warning, do not stoop to plastic and robotic kata movements, noisy breathing and body slapping.. you know how much I hate those. Make your kata come to life.. heart and soul… better to crash and burn that to fade away.

Unsu by Yahara Mikio Sensei

I’ve got to stop now, the word count on my typing editor shows 1300 words and counting.. that is more that I wanted to do by a thousand.  Tomorrow I will digress (or ramble) on the effect of competition on kumite training and my analysis of the remainder of the training I had with three wonderful kids earlier today…. or was it yesterday???



Message For Japan

The Seiken Karatenomichi Academy would like to extend our sincerest condolences and deepest sympathy to the victims and families of the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean earthquake. Our deepest respects also goes to all the rescue workers who face the tragedy head-on and greatly applaud the support from overseas, Malaysia included. We hope that Japan will find the path to recovery soonest possible.

The Seiken Karatenomichi Academy would like to express our deepest gratitude to everyone who has sent out words of encouragement to the people living in Japan, especially to our teachers and budo friends, no matter the martial art. I believe our words will help strengthen their resolve in survival this tragedy.

We will witness the people of Japan overcome this tragedy, as they have many times before, and we will support and cooperate closely with the people of Japan and people from all over the world in raising funds and other material needs in order to reconstruct the affected areas, as well as maintain and enhance international cultural exchange and international relationships.

As we say in karate : 7 times down, 8 times up… Ossu!!

Seiken Karatenomichi Academy

1st ShotoCup Tournament Results






5 2





U.T.M. Skudai













KATA : 6th Kyu & Below


Megat Amirul Syahmi b. Megat Razman Syah (SKA Honbu) – Heian Sandan


Julita Aisyah bt. Khaled (Pasir Gudang) – Heian Nidan


Wan Arwa bt. Wan Mohd. Azli (SKA Honbu) – Heian Nidan

KATA : Open


Afdhal b. Asmadi (SKA Honbu) – Hangetsu


Asmadi b. Ahmad (SKA Honbu) – Bassai-dai


Anfaal bt. Asmadi (SKA Honbu) – Jion

GOHON KUMITE : 9TH KYU & BELOW (12 Years Old & Below)


Julita Aisyah bt. Khalid (Pasir Gudang)


Muhd. Afiq b. Yusry (Singapore)


Amirul Mustaqim b. Kamil (Pasir Gudang)

SANBON KUMITE : 6TH KYU & BELOW (12 Years Old & Below)


Megat Amirul Syahmi b. Megat Razman Syah (SKA Honbu)


Wan Muhd. Iqbal b. Wan Mohd. Azli (SKA Honbu)


Megat Amirul Sufi b. Megat Razman Syah (SKA Honbu)

SANBON KUMITE : 6TH KYU & BELOW (17 Years Old & Below)


Resi Nopiyanti bt. Joni (Pasir Gudang)


Wan Arwa bt. Wan Mohd. Azli (SKA Honbu)


Muhd. Alif b. Yusry (SKA Singapore)

OPEN JIYU KUMITE : 12 Years Old & Below


Anfaal bt. Asmadi (SKA Honbu)


Muhd. Afiq b. Yusry (Singapore)


Aliff Daniel b. Khalid (Pasir Gudang)

OPEN JIYU KUMITE : 13 Years Old & Above Male


Mohd. ‘Izzul b. Hafizzudin (UTM)


Asmadi b. Ahmad (SKA Honbu)


Mohd. Alfian b. Mohd Ismail (Singapore)

OPEN JIYU KUMITE : 13 Years Old & Above Female


Aiman bt. Asmadi (SKA Honbu)


Wan Arwa bt. Wan Mohd. Azli (SKA Honbu)


Resi Nopiyanti bt. Joni (Pasir Gudang)

Congatulations to the winners!!!! See you again next year!!!

Photos can be viewed  [ here ]


ShotoCamp 2010

This year the 2nd SKA Annual ShotoCamp will again be hosted by the Honbu Dojo from the 26th to the 28th of November 2010.

This year we have expanded the format by having separate beginners and advance training sessions.

We have also organised the ShotoCup Kyu Grade & Open Karate Championships. The championships will allow beginners to enter a tournament based on their level of expertise and not get thrown in together in one big jiyu-kumite bowl. The kyu grade participants will  compete in Gohon Kumite, Sanbon Kumite & Jiyu-Ippon Kumite. Only 3rd kyu and above are allowed to participate in the ‘Open Championship’ with jiyu-ippon judged on ippon-han rules.

In kata, participants will only be allowed to perform Shotokan katas, and according to their grade.

[ click icon to download forms ]

Please contact us, if you wish to join in this unique event.

New Downloads

Members of the SKA can now download 4 new wallpaper designs and the first of the new SKA ‘One, Commitment’ poster shown below at the Downloads page. The ‘One, Commitment’ concept is based on the Shotokan Dojokun and is pronounced in Japanese as : 一、 公約 (Hitotsu, Koyaku). The wallpapers are available in 4 resolutions : 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 1024, 1024 x 768, 800 x 600.

(Editor’s Note : The kanji above might be wrong due to my translation software error, so please contact me if you can offer a better translation)


Wallpaper 1 Wallpaper 2

Wallpaper3 Wallpaper 4

Poster :

New SKA Poster : One Commitment

Kanazawa Kancho @ Johor

From the 9th to the 10th of July2010, Kanazawa Kancho, accompanied by his son, Daizo Sensei and SKIF Malaysia Representative, Irene Tech Sensei conducted the KANAZAWA SHOTOKAN MASTERCLASS 2010 at the Academy’s Honbu Dojo, the ShotoCentre in Skudai, Johor Bahru.

The masterclass was not only attended by the students of the Academy, but also from karate-ka from Singapore, Philippines, Greece and the Goshin-ryu Johor.  Kancho also conducted a grading session for about 30 students of the Academy.  The highlight of the grading saw Afdhal Asmadi promoted to Shodan-ho, Aiman Asmadi promoted to Nikyu, Asmadi Ahmad and Farihan Zakhiri Promoted to Sankyu. Kancho expressed hope that the young talents in the Academy be developed for the future of Karate-do.

The Academy thanks Irene Teh Sensei for making the MasterClass possible. We are already planning for the next MasterClass in 2011. With the MasterClass, the Academy now represents Kanazawa-ryu Shotokan Karate-do in the State of Johor. Interested parties who wish to join our class or affiliate with Kanazawa-ryu Shotokan may contact Azlimmi Sensei at +6012.712.7743 / +6010.5272.831 or seikenkarate@gmail.com.

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Thanks to the efforts of Asmadi Senpai, the Academy is now looking forward to make it’s presence felt in the Lion City, Singapore. The long awaited inaugural class will be held at the Al Mawaddah Mosque in Sengkang on the 3rd of July 2010 (Saturday) at 8.30pm.

Those interested in joining our karate classes can contact Asmadi at +6019.2865923, Azlimmi Sensei at +6012.7127713 or contact the Mosque directly at +65.6489.0224


KMC2010 Poster

Kanazawa Kancho will be visiting the State of Johor from the 8th to the 10th of July 2010.

The Academy will be hosting a seminar on the 9th (4pm-6pm) and the 10th (10am-12pm) of July. The seminar will be open to all martial artists. Kancho will be assisted by his second son, Kanazawa Daizo Sensei, 5th Dan.



9th July 2010 (4pm – 6pm) / 10th July 2010 (10am – 12pm)


MBJBT Multipurpose Hall Skudai, Johor Bahru


Kanazawa Hirokazu Kancho, 10th Dan & Kanazawa Daizo Sensei, 5th Dan

Price (At the door)

RM150.00 / S$70.00 (2 Days) — RM80.00 / S$40.00 (1 Day)