Author Archives: klaudia

Already Such a Big Day

Tuesday- started out with morning training in the park gi pants and t-shirt. Pretty much just preparations for Soke cup with kata and kumite practise and performances, was quite hot and by the end of the hour and a half training, but it was a good atmosphere to train, with a nice breeze every now and then.

We then had a two hour 10:00 -12:00 Kobudo training with Higuchi Sensia, where Sam and I learnt shushi no sho bo kata mainly just remembering the sequence not so much worrying about to much detail at that stage. I found that very helpful and enjoyable just to have time to go through it as many times as we wanted. I am now very confident with shushi no sho, so I can now start looking at detail of my stances, targets ect.

During the day Sensie Sandra took us out to the city centre mostly to show us where shops and things we can go see are, we enjoyed some really yummy crepes that Sam spotted. Then Sensai Sandra took the kids home as Sam and I kept exploring around all the shops. At about 5:50pm Sam and I received a message from Sensai Sandra saying that we are getting picked up from the Sohonbu in an hour to go train in Masuda Sensia’s Dojo. We went to the bus stop to try and get back in time to have showers and eat, when our bus did not arrive, we then had to run!!!! 1.6km to the train station to get back in time, we just made it in time to have a 30 second shower each, jump in the car and go. We feel sorry for the people who has to clean the train as we left quite a bit of a sweat pool for them. 😛 As you could guess after such a big day Sam and I were both very worn out and exhausted, and had another training session ahead of us.

We walk into Mesuda Sensai’s Dojo wearing gi pants a t-shirt and a belt which felt bazar without a gi jacket on. We got introduced luckily, we had a lady who could speak English to help us understand what was going on during the class. We followed along with some basic’s and a few junior kata, we then got to relax and watch the class perform some higher-level kata’s for us, Sam and I then performed Bassai, and Sami and Steven demonstrated shihohai. After that Sensia Sandra, Sam and I had a surprise attack of teaching small groups of students each, which was quite scary as we do not speak their language and they have small differences of technique to us. Such as their blocking is to the side of their body not the centre, small details like that, that their Sensei teaches them. I was put in charge of teaching four young green belt girls. Which one of them spoke a tiny bit of English, but I had to do most of my feedback and comments by demonstrating to them. It was quite difficult as most of the time I just got a blank stare back in my direction and did not really know how to be clear to them to what I was trying to say.

At about 8:30pm adult class started which consisted mostly of black belts only one was a green belt of a class of about elevenish students. They said it would finish at 9:45pm, so late. So Sensei Sandra took the kids home and Sam and I stayed back to train which was a bit scary as Sandra know more Japanese then we do and she was helping us out a lot with understanding instructions and having conversations. It was a great adult session mainly just went through senior kata’s first slowly than normal speed with intensity and intent. Sam got taught how to do rohai dai, and I got some more touch ups on sochin. Which I found very helpful, but the first four directions in that kata they do extremely fast was actually hard to keep up. Another funny thing I found was that a few of the men in that class was getting effected by the heat more than Sam and I were.  I found that amusing as they should be use to training in those conditions. We finished the class with a kumite round between Sam and a boy about 20 that was going to Soke cup for kumite, it was very interesting to watch him fight as he got very low to the ground, and had a good amount of speed.

Masuda Sensei’s adult class

By the end of class I was ready to pass out for a good 9 hours, but by the time we got home it was just past 10:00pm, we had a shower got some food and got into bed by 11:00pm and had an early morning training with Soke Sensei to look forward to.

Such a big day

Japan First Day

Okay so the travelling was obviously the worst part of getting here long flights waiting at airports and delayed flights.  The car drive from Fukuoka to Kumamoto was great, such a beautiful country with lots to look at. The heat here isn’t as bad as I thought it would be but still quite humid and makes you sweat even when you are sitting down having a cool drink.

Sensai Sandra, Sami, Sam and I had our first training this morning from 6:30 – 8:00 am, first 30 minutes was in seiza which at the start was comfortable, about half way through I noticed my feet went fully numb without me realising it, and obviously it got worst to the point where I couldn’t bend my toes underneath my foot as we were meant to be standing up, when I finally got up I looked down and seen my left foot was securely on the ground but felt as though I was looking at someone else’s foot because I could not feel a thing. Was a bit scary cause I’ve never experienced that before.

As we started to train just with basic chudan-zuki in uchi-hachi-datchi, I wasn’t very stabilised as my feet were still coming back to being alive. Then we got into some basic stepping up and down the dojo, it took me a while getting use to training on wooden floors but by the end of it I was getting the hang of it. Having a smoother step transition instead of a bumpy one as my feet kept sticking to the ground.

Seeing as though it was early morning training the heat wasn’t too bad, mainly just the gi sticking to you was making it difficult to train properly. We got into doing all kata from kihon dosa ichi up to the highest kata we know and back down.  I found that a little bit difficult whilst getting used to the heat, and the floors, also didn’t help that my left eye and cheek was swollen up and my eye was hurting for some unknown reason. So I spent 80% of the lesson with my left eye closed, which did not help my balance as I was changing direction. But overall I really enjoyed the first session in the sohonbu dojo with Soke Sensai.

Preparations for Japan

Okay so Sunday the 16th was our last squad training before Sensai Sandra, Sam and myself leave for Japan this coming weekend. It was a great session with Special guest visitors from previous Soka cups, it was very interesting to hear their perspectives and experiences from when they attended their international tournaments in previous years.

During this squad training we experimented on making our presence stand out to others, have a strong, focused, confident and level presence in the way that we present ourselves in the ring while doing not only kata but kumite. Throughout this training I didn’t feel quite at my peak with my energy and concentration. However I feel as though since the start of my journey training for the Soke Cup, my kata and kumite has improve quite a lot, with technique, better understanding of kata and improving my technique using my stance to excel my technique and better, more soft use of my hips.

With my kumite, my fighting style has changed quite a lot from how it was a few months ago, I am using different attacks as in faking an attack pull back then attack again, I am doing more than one or two attacks now I am following through a lot more doing three or more attacks, I feel lighter on my feet and have stretched out my stance so I am more stable and can move quicker while attacking and getting out of the way of an attack.

As a conclusion I am happy with where I am at with my karate technique and spirit. I found this last squad session together very enjoyable and helpful with my preparations for my scholarship to Japan.                                                                                                                

The scholarship


Klaudia Caston, Sam Hunt Selina Strazzari

There are three students at the Sunshine Coast Dojo that have applied for the scholarship to Japan. Myself, Sam Hunt and Selina Strazzari, who ever is chosen to receive this scholarship will get 2 weeks of training with Soke Sensei in Japan in either April or August leading onto the Soke Cup that will be held in Japan this year. This is an amazing opportunity for many reasons, a new challenge, an amazing experience and face to face training with Soke Sensei, will definitely improve your karate skills and will help you propel to the next level.

To apply for this there were a few requirements, you had to be brown belt or above, the two week intensive was compulsory and we had to write up this blog and say how we were coping with things and what we took away from the classes that we attended. What I think they are looking for to choose the candidate for the scholarship: the candidate should be a hard working students, always willing to learn, being respectful in the dojo, being a good leader, being able to pass on skills and knowledge, having goals they would like to achive and work until they have achieved them, being mentally strong and physically never giving up, always pushing till the end, and many other things. I personally think who ever has to choose the candidate has their work cut out for them, I think they will have a hard time choosing. As we all have been working so hard the past 2 weeks, working along side Sam and Selina has been a great experience pushing each other to train harder and faster.

                                                                                                              I think both Sam and Selina would be great candidates for the Japan scholarship.
Sam always trains hard when he comes into class, always focuses and loves learning new things. If Sam got the scholarship i think he would learn a lot and enjoy the experience also he would be good to pass on the skills and knowledge he learnt to others in the Sunshine Coast Dojo.

Selina has put a lot of effort in these past two weeks in the dojo, pushing past her boundaries and working harder so it’s good to see that she’s trying hard to reach her goal, I think she would learn lots in Japan.

Together we have all grown a lot in this intensive, I have seen some personal growth in myself and my techniques and the things I am aiming towards have improved, yes still need lots more work but I am many steps closer to my goal. As I am aiming towards my next levels Nidan and Jun-shidoin, this experience was very helpful and has helped me grow in all different aspects of my karate studies. I have grown mentally and physically stronger, I have reached the peak of my fatigue a couple of times these past two weeks but I had the inner strength to push myself to keep going and push harder. As I am going for my Nidan I am looking to get more connected with how my body moves and gaining that hip movement to power my techniques also to get more of a whip in my techniques, and to have more of a soft touch with my opponents instead of being stiff and using my upper body to throw or disarm my opponents. I was able to have lots of great practise in this area, as in a few classes we got tied up and had to throw our opponents only using our lower body so it was essential to use the hips otherwise the movement would have no effect on weakening their stance.  Also utilising the my pull back to propel my techniques also helping get the whip and vibration.

Another great lesson was getting to learn and repeat the showa as i have always known the showa however i have never fully understood how to pronounce every word. We learnt where we had to breath and what words had to be dragged out and just breaking down the showa a few words at a time and repeating them i am fully confident know when i do the showa my pronunciation has improved a lot this session was very helpful and I enjoyed it very much.

I have also learned that you dont just have to rely on other students in the dojo that are the same rank or higher then you to get feedback, I found that doing the earlier classes, the feed back I got from the karate kids was very helpful as they look at different thing and they sometime see things that I can not and them letting me know about it so i can work on that. So the earlier classes was also very helpful and I learnt a lot,

Congratulations to everyone on there great efforts in the intensive

Hardest day today mentally and semi physically

This morning’s class was probably the hardest morning session we’ve had so far.
Physically: We done speed training again which was good, then done some hectic leg work doing lots and lots of shiko datchi holding it very low while our partner was making their way up and back down the dojo rotating the cement block’s. and then we done shiko datchi in circles while the partner held shiko datchi very low holding a bow out in front of them, there was also more to that. It was an intense let work out but also a great one i felt my legs burning all day i very much enjoyed the work out though.

Mentally: Through the day some personal things happened and it obviously was stuck in my head i thought it would be gone by the time i got to karate but i was wrong. i was very distracted and yes i will admit the standards of my effort wasn’t very good at all to start out with. My mind was much too clouded, but because i was very disappointed that i let my problems lower my efforts i made myself work harder till i had no energy to think about the things that clouded my mind by the last class i was fine, i let the thoughts slip out of my head for a while and trained hard, i was very happy that i could do that so i could focus on my training instead of my problems.

A day of Focusing

Today’s class was very interesting and different.
Firstly we got a surprise visit from Sempi Anthony from the Gold Coast Dojo, it is always great training with him, very uplifting spirit and loves learning more, also brings some educational techniques from what he learns in the Gold Coast Dojo.
We got to focus on our own individual stepping, all step’s in any direction: i was mainly focusing on keeping my heels down and trying to get the whip from my hips. Then we had to add some hand movements, which was easier to work on my hips with, this activity was very helpful for what i want to achieve which is getting more whip into my techniques.                                               We then got to do some Bo work (Shadin) Changing directions and working the hips.

On top of that we got to do some more opponent throwing only using the hips and light arms. which was goo cause i got to work with Sensia Sandra and Anthony, so i go to work with different heights and strengths, which was very helpful as when i done the same throw on both of them i had to alter it so it would work with either their height or strength ect, so i didn’t just get use to doing it that one way. I enjoyed this class very much and i feel as though i have improved with using my hips for the throws instead of just my arms. Also the whip in my hips which i improved a bit in class tonight when the black belt group had to keep repeating Sochin (kata) which is my next grading kata so was good to have time to practise continuously, i focused on the whip in my hips and the pull back for my techniques.


Only Legs

So tonight’s class was a tad different but was a great lesson
The class was a bit more slow and a focus night.                                                                                       I was able to work on my pull back in class not just for my punches but for everything mainly just getting the pull back to initiate the technique instead of focusing on the technique that’s going out, by focusing on the pull back for it will actually give you more reach and more speed and accuracy for the technique, something that i have to work on quite a bit more but was good to have time for it tonight.

Also another interesting yet kinda difficult thing we focused on tonight was our lower body (legs, hips and feet.) Was understanding how important our lower body is to our techniques, to understand this we have to go through all the kata’s with only using our lower body, just with our hands behind our back. It was quite interesting as we usually forget how critical our lower body is because we are usually mainly thinking about what our arms, chest and head are doing. While we was doing this it made us really work on what our legs were doing so without our arms the technique would still work.

Later in class Sensia Sandra had us black belt’s attack each other and we had to step in and pretty much only use our legs to throw them we could only use our arms mainly just to direct where they were falling. and we was allowed to contact them with our hands until we had stepped in and started to feel them more. its actually a bit surprising how difficult it is sometimes not relying on your arms so much. But it was a great lesson to be learnt and i would really like to do more focusing on this in class. Something i found that not just me but a few of us black belts was doing was they weren’t stepping in with their hips as much as they should of been me also, but as we started doing this it was much easier to put the opponent in an unbalanced position so it was then much easier to through them or disable them

Completed the First week – But much more to go

Definitely was a great week of karate I’ve enjoyed every single lesson I’ve attended so far, yes of course its been a struggle with the heat and the cramped muscles but that’s why I’ve loved it. It makes you work harder and there’s nothing better then the feeling of accomplishment right after you’ve done a big high speed activity and you get to the end and your hearts racing and you have sweat streaming down your face. I personalty love it just makes me feel as though I’ve pushed my self to my limit and higher.

I’ve added a few photos and videos to display what we’ve done through this past week. Great effort from everyone that I’ve had the privilege of doing the intensive with, its great to see that everyone has kept up the great work throughout the whole week. Also a thank you for lifting me up in class and helping me push through each class and helping me work harder and faster.

Lots of FUN!

Yes i will admit i’m looking forward to a bit of relaxing time over the weekend,, watching some movies, sleeping more and having some me time. But i am very much looking forward to the week to come. I’m sure there is much more to do that we have not done yet, and i’m looking forward to some more speed training as it will be more then helpful for the student who gets the scholarship to Japan as circumstances with be much more intense over there.

Training for the scholarship great work guys 🙂 All this extra work is great for not only training for the scholarship but helping us learn more and moving towards our next steps and our goals we want to achieve for this year coming.

Ill see everyone bright and early Monday morning, but for now have a good weekend, don’t get to lazy though haha.

Not Giving Up

So, in class tonight we done many things, Conditioning was one of them. We got challenged on how many we could push out in a one time period of 2 minutes, this was for each conditioning activity (push ups, sit ups, squat kicks and then recently added bur-pees.) These are all very critical criteria to work on for stamina, agility and intensity. push up’s are great because they build up the muscles in the arms.  Martial arts include lots of punching,  and so the push ups build up the arm muscles; helping you push out more punches in a shorter time period without your arms tiring. Sit-up’s are great as they work the ab and stomach muscles, no matter what your doing in karate your ab muscles are always contracting, so it is good to build up your stomach muscles. Squat kicks are another good one as they really get in there and are great for the upper leg muscles; you definitely need them strong for kicking and holding certain stances and positions. Also the newly added  bur-pee’s – so today in class we all had 2 minutes on each one, I was actually very happy with my outcome. I completed my 100 sit up’s, 100 squat kicks, and for a person who has never really done bur-pee’s ever, I got up to 62. I am very happy I could push that many out. However for the push up’s yes, I had perfect structure from head to toe and reaching all the way to the ground and all the way back up, but I could only push out 56, so i definitely need to work on them more, specially being a black belt.

Another thing I loved about tonight’s class, we did another lot of high intensive and high speed basics and then kata. We was also challenged to go through all the advanced kata up to the highest one we knew as fast as we could with better form and making our way back down to the lowest advanced kata (shihohi) and see how many times we could get through it. As we was going through all of this, Sensei Sandra was saying that it will be a lot more harder and intense in Japan. I don’t know about anyone else but that made me think, well I have to train harder and faster and push aside the fact that I had a massive stitch in my stomach. All the muscles in my body were throbbing and I made sure I pushed myself harder and faster. I made myself keep up with the fastest person in the group or get ahead of them, which I did and I pushed myself harder even more. I’m sure I`ll get lots more time through-out the rest of the 2 week intensive to get heaps of chances to work more on that and I look forward to more challenges to come.


In this mornings class, we went through some high speed stepping and punches. Asking our self how to get more speed in our stepping and how to get to the finishing position quicker.
Keeping everything to the centre is the answer to get the speed, for example when stepping making sure you have shime keeping those thighs scraping against each other with every step, keeping those elbows in at all times and keeping the head well positioned and not moving around. When i put all that into play i found i had much more speed especially while doing Rin-Tan and Hun-Tan, i also had more stability as i was spinning to get to the end position. I found it very helpful and for a morning class was good for y mind to focus on. I’m looking forward to do some more focusing on that in the 9:30 am class coming up