Shotokan Mastery Volume 2
Richard Amos - Hombu Dojo Production
‘Shotokan Mastery Volume Two’ by Richard Amos is the second installation in his series of DVDs designed to help nurture and develop not only the students of the World Traditional Karate Organisation - that which he heads, but also the students of Shotokan all around the world. This DVD however, aimed primarily at 7th-6th Kyu, is more than simply a beginner’s guide to karate.
Richard Amos, who famously lived and trained in Japan whilst becoming the second westerner to ever complete the JKA Instructor Programme, is renowned for his excellent physical ability and vast knowledge. Furthermore, he is considered one of the finest Shotokan technicians and teachers in World, and this DVD series thus far is a clear indication as to why this is.
Volume Two contains the following:
- Koshi no kaiten /hip rotation
- Oi-zuki / stepping punch
- Gyaku-zuki / reverse punch
- Gedan-barai gyaku-zuki / down block reverse punch
- Age-uke gyaku-zuki / rising block reverse punch
- Soto-uke gyaku-zuki / outside block reverse punch
- Uchi-uke gyaku-zuki / inside block reverse punch
- Shuto-uke / knife hand block
- Mae-geri / front kick
- Yoko-geri keage / side snap kick
- Yoko-geri kekomi / side thrust kick
- Mawashi-geri / roundhouse kick
- Gohon-kumite / 5-step pre-arranged sparring.
Jodan, chudan and mae geri
As suggested earlier, this is much more than a beginner’s DVD. Whilst it can be used on a very basic level by beginners who wish to learn the techniques, its real value in my opinion is for the more advanced karateka and instructors. Its meticulous attention to detail will be of use to both beginners and advanced alike, but its delivery is also very much of interest to instructors who wish to expand their own base of knowledge. Within, Richard Amos does so by exploring the relevant technicalities, but also reveals excellent training exercises with partners, which will be of use to everyone especially those who also want to nurture the skills of others.
Everything about this DVD is stylish. The series is putting a classy touch to what can at times be a dull and repetitious market. Its content is both intelligent and crucial and is delivered in Richard Amos’ charismatic manner that draws people all over the world to study under him. At one point, when discussing stepping gyaku-zuki, he states ‘As with oi-zuki, from the moment one decides to hit with gyaku-zuki, the sense of hitting with the legs and hips is dominant, and the punching arm is simply connected to that dominant force’. There’s a certain intellect with his approach that is so appealing, and his in-depth exploration commands the attention of both beginners and advanced karateka, of all grades.
The significant emphasis of this DVD is hip rotation, which is given a full and thorough breadth of study. The DVD opens with a look at the relationship between hanmi and shomen, and the analytical explanation of the role of the rear leg is paramount. From there, the majority of the sequences involve that relationship between the hanmi and shomen. The content of this DVD is a clear step forward from the previous DVD. While certain concepts were touched upon in the first DVD, they are further capitalized upon here in this DVD and will continue forward in future DVDs I am sure.
This DVD, like the first, is another groundbreaking resource that will be valued by all who watch it. From its physical demonstration to its explanation, design and layout to its music, it’s pure class. This is not another run of the mill karate DVD with cheesy music and barely choreographed sequences, this, like Richard Amos and his karate, is quite extraordinary. I for one cannot wait for the next instalment of the series.