ASAI Sierra Shotokan

Classes at Sierra Shotokan

Shotokan training for the Karate-ka (one who practices) is usually divided into three distinct yet inter-related parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms) and kumite (sparring). Classes are usually between an hour and fifteen minutes to an hour and a half in length. Instruction is focused on the level of the individual whether they are beginner, intermediate or advanced. Within this context classes may be divided and teaching applications varied. It is suggested that one train at least three times a week, with daily homework added. Often regarded as a hard style, Shotokan techniques are taught in a progressive manner so that the individual develops and builds upon strengths and is always alert to that which must be worked upon the most. Strength and power are demonstrated through the use of hips and legs, body rotation, torque and vibration. Training can be rigorous but is paced to the individual and their progress. The principles of respect, focus and self improvement are primary during training.

Basics or kihon, include the various methods of punching, blocking, striking, and kicking. Besides repetition of motion one is also taught why the technique is used and in what situation it is most useful. 

Kata can be described as a set of predetermined moves and techniques organized to simulate defense and counter to attack(s) from imaginary opponents. These exercises are common in all forms of martial arts.  A typical kata consists of punches, kicks, blocks, strikes and sweeps. Here is where the basics become applied. As one progresses, more katas are learned and required. The forms also become more complex with increased variation in application. There are over 26 kata in Shotokan as formally described by Masatoshi Nakayama and twice that number from the teachings of Tetsuhiko Asai. Bunkai (or application) is also learned with kata to allow the karateka to more deeply comprehend the meanings, timing and nuances of moves.

Sparring or Kumite, is the practical application of Karate to a real opponent or opponents. Beginners first learn through basic one and three step drills with prearranged targets and defenses. As the individual advances, one step sparring becomes more complex and challenging. Basic one step free sparring becomes standard at the Brown Belt level. Free sparring and sparing against multiple opponents is last to be learned and occurs at the Black Belt level.

The principles of self defense and application are woven within all classes and at times classes are devoted only to self defense techniques.

As the individual masters the various levels, formal Belt ranking and grading through ASAI is made available to further promote a sense of progress and accomplishment.

Our dojo is located at Saint Joseph’s Cultural Center, 410 S. Church Street, in Grass Valley California. You will find our dojo by entering the Rose Garden at the Center. Classes are offered on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. All levels are welcome with age ranges from 13 years and up. Please feel free to call (530-906-5299) with any questions, or stop by for a visit (please call first).