Goju Ryu master gives PNGKF members training in competition kata

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(Left – right)PNGKF President Carl Mari, Sensei Mark, Sempai Myles, Sensei Luke Goa and the other participants of the seminar.

Members of the Papua New Guinea Karate-do Federation (PNGKF) were treated to a seminar with Karate master, Sensei Mark Vele, yesterday at the Murray Barracks Gymnasium.

Sensei Mark, a Goju-Ryu master, and his son Sempai Myles, also a Goju Ryu black-belt and former Australian Open Karate Champion took the karatekas through the basics of competition kata (forms). He started off with basic stance drills and then taught them Seipai; a traditional Okinawan form in the two hour session that started at 4pm.

Timing is an important factor in kata performance and it should not be rushed. He said the Seipai kata, although not long, should take around 1:30 minutes to 2 minutes to perform. He also demonstrated bunkai or application of the techniques embedded in the kata giving the karatekas a deeper understanding of the movements.

Bunkai is an important aspect of competition kata.

He also emphasized on a strong stance during performance saying that most judges, in the high level competitions, look at the stances rather than the kihon (or basic techniques). He also said presentation was an important factor when competing.

Sensei Mark pointed out that the judges also notice athelets outside of the tatami (mat) and from the way they conduct themselves, even as they prepare for kata. He said their are “up to 10 criteria used for judging individual and team kata. However, humily and respect off the mat still important and observed by the judges thus it is important that atheletes conduct themselves properly at all times.

He said competition kata is all about “showmanship” incorporating strenght, power and speed as well as grace, rythm and balance.

The seminar ended with a performance of Anan kata by Sensei and Sempai Myles.

Sensei Mark lives and works in Australia, is currently on holidays with his family in the country. He is one of two Papua New Guinean Goju practitioners who have reached the status of Sensei. The other is Luke Goa who works at the University of Technology (UoT) in Lae.

Sensei Mark Vele’s club is located in Logan, Brisbane and trains a number of students including disadvantaged and hadicapped children. Anyone interested in training can contact him on markvele@bigpond.com or at the Salvation Army Life Community, Slacks Creek, Brisbane.

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Bernard Sinai

Editor at PNG Warrior
Bernard is a student of Kyokushin Karate and a blogger. He believes martial arts has the potential to change people for the better.
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