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CFTS Trip to Train with Minako Yamazaki Sensei

On Friday 13th October, a contingent of dan grades from Brickhill and Kempston clubs made the short trip the JKR Yamazaki Dojo in Haynes West End to train under Sensei Mina Yamazaki. Sensei is the daughter of the late Kaicho Kiyoshi Yamazaki, a direct student of the Shindo Jinen Ryu founder Yasehiro Konishi Soke. Sensei is a well-known competition karate-ka and her achievements include: 

  • USA National Team Member - Kata, Kumite, Team Kata 2012

  •  Pan American Silver Medallist 2014

  •  Pan American Bronze Medallist 2014

  •  North American Cup Bronze Medallist – Kumite 2014

  •  North American Cup Silver Medallist – Kata 2014

  •  USA Team Member at the WKF World Championships

  •  Multiple-time National Champion WKF Ranked athlete

The session was a part of a 3-day tour Mina Sensei was doing across 3 JKR dojos in England.

The lesson was centred on the kata Tomari Bassai, a popular WKF competition kata. Sensei took us through the kata which is not overly different from our own Shotokan version of Bassai Dai. We spent time looking at the finer points of the kata and body mechanics which would enhance our performance of the kata and others. A main difference between Tomari Bassai and our version is the use of neko ashi dachi compared to kokutsu dachi.

Before we knew it, the session was over and a group photo was taken, followed by a chance to get a picture with Sensei. The session was thoroughly enjoyable as evidenced by the smiles and laughs by the whole class, thanks to Sensei’s humour and warmth. A massive thank you Sensei Simon Oliver, with whom Sensei D. Young trains with regularly, for allowing us to come and train with Sensei Mina Yamazaki.

We look forward to training with Sensei Simon in the near future and hopefully on Mina Sensei’s

next trip to the UK.

Seven karate dan grades from the Brickhill and Kempston CFTS dojos together with Minako Yamazaki
CFTS Picture with Sensei Yamazaki. Front row L- R: Senseis Karl Chiodo, Mina Yamazaki, Jen Currie and Ivan Miocinovic; Back row L – R: Senseis Brian Yarr, Steve Young, Dan Young and Roy Currie.

A long line of karate athletes, mostly black belts, standing around a wooden symbol
Whole group photo courtesy of the JKR Yamazaki Dojo


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