On May 2 – 4, UK- based Sensei Iain Abernethy returned to Enso Martial Arts to lead another outstanding weekend seminar on kata applications. As a bonus, Sensei Abernethy sat down for a wide ranging video interview sharing fascinating information on his background and teaching.
Karate kata – extracting practical applications
For readers not familiar with karate, a kata is a series of martial techniques performed in a prescribed manner. Kata form the core of traditional karate practice, created by masters in Okinawa and Japan to pass down combative principles, techniques, and applications to students. A main focus of Iain’s teachings, including his 4 karate books, many articles, and extensive instructional DVD collection, is analyzing kata to extract the close-in, practical self-protection techniques contained in kata. From this perspective, karate as a self-protection system is much more than striking and kicking, it incorporates a panoply of combat techniques including grappling throws, joint locks, neck cranks, chokes, strangles, and more. For more on Iain’s teachings, check out www.iainabernethy.com.
Sensei Iain Abernethy at Enso.
A deep dive with kata flow drills
During his weekend at Enso, Sensei Abernethy led us on a deep dive into three core kata in the Shotokan repertoire – Kanku-Dai, Tekki Shodan, and Heian Godan. For each kata, attendees learned “flow drills,” exercises with a partner that involve a flowing sequence of applications that follow the order of the kata. Iain’s flow drills provide an efficient and engaging means to practice techniques, applications, and underlying combative principles. By all accounts, it was a rich training experience, with attendees commenting on how their understanding and skills had grown appreciably during the weekend.
Still smiling after a full Saturday of training.
An Interview with Iain Abernethy
As a bonus, Sensei Abernethy agreed to answer a few questions. During the interview, Iain covered a range of topics, including
- His transition to full-time, professional martial artist
- His four karate books, and his book Mental Strength, a treatise on personal growth and change
- Why he focuses on the practical application of karate
- Some common combative principles across martial arts
- Training considerations for older martial artists
Lots of good information. Click the image below to link to the interview on YouTube.
Thanks again to Sensei Abernethy from Enso for a great karate weekend!
Enso Martial Arts
Tai Chi and Qigong Instructor
Energy Arts Certified