On Saturday 27th June, TKF had the privilege of holding an online ‘Special Kumite Course’ with one of England’s finest kumite athletes, Joe Kellaway. Joe taught an enthusiastic group of students from TKF and were joined by other students from other karate clubs from all over the UK including Walsall, Birmingham, and Leeds. Even members of the JKS Wales team joined us.

Joe is a member of the current England Karate Squad and holds many National and British Titles. The European Bronze medallist is also an Olympic Team GB hopeful looking to represent Great Britain at Karate’s Olympic Debut in Tokyo. So it was safe to say that everyone was excited to be training online with Joe.

TKF had over 30 people join online for this course, with people training in their living rooms, kitchen or even their garden. Armed with their kumite mitts and suited up in their karate gis, they eagerly awaited for Joe to sign in to Zoom and the lesson would commence.

The lesson started off with a variation of kumite specific warm ups which was built on from a normal on the spot warm up and stretches before then going on to plyometric movement which involved certain movements to aid mobility and prepare the joints for the strenuous movement. Joe then went on to certain reaction drills to aid agility and speed whilst reacting to his count. One particular exercise, which was a simple but effective exercise, was getting students to dart to either side of them where they had placed their mitts, touch the mitt and then return to the centre. This was then made progressively more challenging whilst adding more movement involving the hands and feet such as adding certain punches and kicks to the reaction drill. The majority of the session was focused around footwork drills, how to move correctly and more efficiently whilst being able to perform sparring techniques. This was done to help both, when you are attacking and when you may need to evade an incoming attack. Towards the end of the session, shadow sparring was introduced and varied in tempo as it progressed from light sparring to fast, quick bursts of attacks. The session was only an hour but the tempo remained high throughout the session, so it was a great workout for everyone involved. Of course, the session wasn’t fully complete without press ups! Joe instructed everyone to finish off with 55 press ups each. A fantastic course and a brilliant experience yet again showing that even during a lockdown, there are some brilliant opportunities out there for every karate student training in their own home.

TKF would firstly like to thank Joe for another great course and it certainly won’t be the last! Secondly, a big thank you to everyone who joined us for the online course both TKF and external students. We hope to see more of you at future TKF courses.