Course with Sensei Tony Bewley

Oslo Budokan was set up with the purpose of teaching traditional karate and over the years the club has invited instructors of different backgrounds but with the same focus on practising karate as practical form of self defence as well as a lifelong martial discipline.

Text: Martin Boag - Photo: Runar Storeide

On Sunday 13th of November Oslo Budokan Karate had the pleasure of welcoming Sensei Tony Bewley 6. Dan (front row left) of the Academy of Karate-Do in England to teach a four hour seminar on practical karate and the application of techniques taken from Goju- Ryu/Naha-te kata.

The training consisted of 3 main elements: practical application of karate technique, impact training, and weapon attacks and their influence on the interpretation of kata. The last point was a key theme and we looked at how some of the techniques in the original kata (forms) may have been performed with weapons and were later adapted for empty hand fighting.

One point which Sensei Bewley underlined was the importance of being aware of the fact that an aggressor may be armed and how that possibility should influence the defence response. A weapon may be visible or, more critically, it may be concealed and our response must allow for that possbility. Example – your opponent grabs you with one hand and has a blade of some sort hidden in his other hand. Your defence must not only deal with the grab but neutralise the threat of the weapon. Getting off the attack line, jamming the attacking limb and disrupting the opponent physically and mentally are all elements contained in the strategy of kata and key to self-defence.
Sensei Bewley had the class working on applying even the techniques from the basic kata in attack situations. Here, he shows how hikite (or pulling arm) is important for drawing you opponent off balance and onto a counter technique after blocking the incoming attack.

With partners and on pads the students practised basic punching combinations, elbow strikes, low kicks and knee strikes. Emphasis was placed on using total body power when striking in order to halt the attack and disrupt the opponents physical and mental stability.

When possible, control of the weapon is desirable. A downed attacker can still slash or stab and is not fully defeated until the weapon is secured and he or she is no longer a threat.



Using a leg hook to unfoot an attacker as his head is pushed backwards. Note how control of the weapon arm is maintained.

Good technique is crucial when defending against a determined attacker. Sensei Bewley simultaneously blocks a knife thrust (Rob Kennedy’s face says enough about the strength of the block)

…. … uses a palm strike to the jaw, followed by an eye gouge. This is an application from Seipai kata.

Opponent grounded and control of weapon obtained. Nothing is left to chance.

Demonstrating how dropping body weight can increase the strength of a grip or hold

The kata provide a framework from which we can explore the possibilities for application of techniques. As the karateka becomes more experienced their understanding of the applications and strategies contained in the kata deepens. The analysis of kata technique is called bunkai.
Defence against attack from behind. Arm lock and break. Kururunfa kata.

Trapping opponents leg and getting control of opponent’s head. Technique from Sesan kata.

The «monkey see, monkey do» approach to learning karate is something we try to steer clear of in Oslo Budokan. Students are encouraged to be inquisitive and think about their training. Sensei Bewley invited us to ask questions and exchange ideas and experiences about practical application as we worked on the various techniques he showed us. The participants found this to be very beneficial in understanding the mechanics and function of the various moves.

Oslo Budokan Karate welcomes all who wish to practice traditional karate-do as a serious endeavour and are open to new members throughout the Autumn and Spring semesters.