March 2014

News ニュース

Sobukan closed for April

It has been a memorable month for my growing family: my son was born on 20th February, and Sei turned 6 on the 13th. We are planning to travel to Japan for the month of April for the obligatory visit to present my in-laws with their second grandchild. I will spend the month in Japan training in Kudo and Jujutsu, and hope to come home with a new trick or two to share with you! I apologise for the inconvenience, but this means that Sobukan’s doors will be shut temporarily for the month of April.

I will forward exact dates when decided, but I plan to be here for all of March and May’s classes, but none in April. Student’s paying monthly will not have fees owing for April, and for students paying annually, your membership will be extended for a month. Again, I apologise for the break, but I would like to remind everyone that unlike most clubs, Sobukan does not normally break for public holidays and only for approximately one week over Christmas and New Years’.

Grading – Wednesday 26th March

images-3There are a few students who were unable to make the last grading due to other commitments (particularly those attending Goodwood Primary School) or illness. On Wednesday 26th March we will hold a grading test in place of regular classes. If at all possible, please come to the dojo by 5:30pm. The grading fee is $25 and please bring your grading passport. Opportunities will be available for self-training or training with other senior students for those not attempting to grade this time. Most of the grading criteria for yellow and orange belt candidates is now available on video. If you need a reference for home training, please see me with a USB drive.

Do not train if…

I am stating the obvious really, but if you have a contagious disease or are even slightly affected by alcohol or other substances including medicine, please do not come to the dojo. Our members expect to be happy healthy and safe at the dojo. So please stay home if you have had a drink or are sneezing!



Due to my trip to Japan, it will probably not be possible to participate in the annual Kodomo no Hi Japanese festival this year. However, Sobukan will be featuring in demonstrations at the inaugural Adelaide Sports and Fitness Expo at Wayville showgrounds on the 17th and 18th of May. This will be a huge event, and I hope to have the support of all Sobukan and Karate-bu members.

The demonstration will include several elements of our curriculum including:

  • Kids karate
  • Wheelchair jujutsu demonstration by Matt Shilcock(if available)
  • Tegumi
  • Pad training
  • Kata
  • Knife defence
  • Ground fighting
  • Throws
  • Multiple attacker skit
  • Hakkoryu jujutsu demonstration by Umehara san (if available)
  • Kumite demonstration by Sei

More information about this event is available at:

Sobukan goods  総武館グーズ

You can now purchase Sobukan merchandise! Surely never was there apparel so trendy!

Approximate prices follow. I know there is a way of ordering directly, but for the time being, please email me any orders to save on delivery costs.


Men’s hoodies (women’s available soon) – $80

Kids hoodies $50

Performance T-shirts (quick dry for training) $55

Women’s tracksuits $90

1lt drink bottle $30

Kotowaza 諺

真剣勝負 — shinkenshobu

Shinkenshobu literally means ‘duel with a real sword’ and alludes to a fight to the death. This phrase is used to encourage people to get serious. For example, ‘人生は真剣勝負だ’ means ‘life is not a practice run – so do it well!’.


Technical lesson 技の紹介

回し蹴り              Mawashigeri – roundhouse kick

Although rare in traditional karate, mawashigeri is now one of the more common kicks in competitive fighting, such as kickboxing or MMA. Mawashigeri is the only basic kick that does not travel in a straight line – the trajectory is from outside of the body to the target in a roughly horizontal plane – which makes it difficult to avoid, especially when combined with straight line kicks, punches or takedowns. Mawashigeri is also amongst the most powerful of the kicks, and it is relatively simple to learn how to generate power in the kick.

There are many versions of mawashigeri with varied applications. Some of the most commonly seen variants are due to modification for non-contact competition, including snapping the kick from the knee and making contact with the instep. These sacrifice power and safety in return for speed and distance and are not recommended for self-defence or realistic sparring due to the risk of injury to yourself and ineffectiveness of the kick.

When setting up a right leg mawashigeri, explode of the right toes and slide your left foot forward on an angle outside your opponent’s body. The angle depends on the distance and target. Extend your right hand so that it appears to the attacker that you are trying to punch them in the face. However, bring the hand across the opponent’s body and use it to trap his/her right hand. Swim the right hand across the opponent’s body until your hand is in front of his/her face to obstruct their vision. This swimming motion will help you engage your right hip. Extend the right leg and swing it into the target (usually the leg, ribs or head/neck) using the shin. An essential detail is to spin your body sideways at contact and point the heel of the foundation (left) leg towards your target. If the kick hits the target, use the point of contact to push away and return to your fighting stance. If the kick misses, spin your entire body 360o and return to your stance.


The part of the foot used to kick depends on the target. See the table below for details:

Target Weapon
Calf/Thigh Lower shin
Floating ribs Shin or ball of foot
Head/neck Shin (or instep if wearing sturdy shoes)
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