10th Anniversary Course with Sensei Pascal Lecourt in Luxembourg 13.-14.1.2007

Report: Anne Rasimus
Pictures: Dariusz Trzesniowski

The Shotokan Karate EC Luxembourg Club organised the 10th international karate weekend with Sensei Pascal Lecourt in the Beggen dojo. As always, the course took place the second weekend in January. It all started ten years ago, when the club founder Sensei Peter Taylor invited Pascal for the first time to teach the club members, as in the early years the training was mostly dedicated for the club's internal development.

Over the years Sensei Pascal Lecourt's course has grown bigger and more international. Recent years more and more karatekas were arriving to Luxembourg to start off a new year with explosive Kime! This year we had approximately 75 participants from various european countries. There were few kyu grades, from yellow upwards, and a lot of black belts from shodan till 7th dan, thanks to the supportive presence of Sensei Dirk Heene.

Sensei Dirk Heene and the rest of us

There were two training sessions on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Saturday - 1st training session

Sensei Pascal started off the training on Saturday using a strong fumikomi in combination with an attack and/or a block. Sensei Pascal said that the principal idea is to profit from the shock created by fumikomi and transfer the thus created energy into a technique (e.g. soto-uke, age-uke, gedan barai).

Pascal recalled Andorra's course with Sensei Kase in 2003, which was sadly also the last one he gave. Sensei Kase had presented this principal idea there and Pascal had found it very interesting, especially due to its dynamism. We practised fumikomi, in order to improve the energy coming from the floor and to transfer it into the attacks and blocks, first as a kihon exercise and then in various kumite exercises with a partner.

Sensei Pascal demonstrates with Christian Roux
 the power of fumikomi transferred into a technique

Attempting the same impact

2nd training session

The second session we started with the eight Sensei Kase's basic open hand techniques. We repeated the series in order to remember or to learn them properly. Pascal explained that the objective of the work with these basics was to train fluidity of the body, how to use this fluidity and stay relaxed. Like Pascal said, in Sensei Kase's karate we work a lot with power, and power is something very personal that naturally depends on the individual morphology, i.e. body structure. Pascal said that he tries to learn himself and also wants to teach others, how to improve the body strength using the freedom and fluidity of the movement and in order to transfer it into efficiency of the techniques.

We are supposed to work with our entire bodies, e.g. to execute soto-uke maintaining stability and using hips so that we can benefit from the body energy in a technique. Pascal underlined the necessity of trying to liberate our energy and use its dynamism. In practical terms this means not to tension your shoulders or the breathing. Saying it concisely: Body's freedom creates dynamism.

Pascal shows an open hand technique together with Tino Gneipel

According to Pascal strength and dynamism are not the only benefits if you can keep your body free and relaxed. Also the risk of injuries reduces. The more tensioned the body is the bigger the risk of injuries (especially knees and back).

Evening relaxation

In the evening we managed to relax our bodies and minds. A big group of us went to an Italian restaurant Il Cavaliere in Weimershof/Neudorf quarter. This year also our friends from Müllheim led by Sensei Mario Sammarco found the place. We dined and 'wined' and enjoyed a pleasant evening together. We were a mixture of nationalities and, consequently, a mixture of languages. Even though we did not dance on the table, nor did we do any loud singing, Gerhard somehow, somewhere lost his voice. Sunday we could hear some interesting kiais.

Sunday - 3rd & 4th training sessions

Sunday morning we had two further sessions. Both were dedicated to Tekki Oyo created by Sensei Kase. Since there were participants of various levels we started with the mostly known Tekki Shodan and its bunkai. Next, we turned to Tekki Nidan and its bunkai, followed by Tekki Sandan + bunkai. The last phase was to combine the relevant parts of the katas into Tekki Oyo (the order of Oyo: Tekki Shodan -Tekki Sandan-Tekki Nidan-Tekki Shodan). Some may have had a smooth ride but some of us had a bumpier one. The training didn't require only strong leg muscles but also a good concentration.

Pascal demonstrates Tekki Oyo bunkai with Christian Roux

See you next year

At the end of the training it was time to thank all the karatekas for coming. It was very good to see so many old friends, familiar faces, and also new acquaintances. The club gave a special thanks to Pascal for the 10th course. We hope that he will enjoy his 'birthday' present, a calligraphy depicting bamboo. Outside the Mother Nature provided us with a sunny Sunday, with clear blue sky and happily chirping birds. This year was in clear contrast to last year's icy coldness. In this beautiful weather we said goodbyes, wished a safe journey and hoped to see everybody next year again.

Sensei Pascal Lecourt and his 'birthday' present

Anne Rasimus

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