Review after the seminar by one of the attendees:
Most of us, who was at the Kyusho Seminar with Nikolaj Skarbye 5. march 2011, had a very difficult time to imagine what could be expected in accordance to difficulty and subjects of the seminar. Except very few, almost none had any knowledge of Kyusho. Therefor it was a very anticipated and excited bunch of attendes, that came to Vejle Shotokan Karate Do.
The loyal Shotokan clubs from Skanderborg, Odder and Juelsminde, there was also the great pleasure of having attendees from other styles such as: Gojo Ryu, Judo, Ju Jutsu and Amanogawa.
Slaps as warmups!
First preliminary exercises was with the arm swinging and starting the body with a focus on being relaxed. The ability to relax, would later prove to be a prerequisite for practicing most techniques.
The threshold of pain is to be moved before embarking. It is of no use, if you can not take a little pain when training Kyusho. We should simply begin with giving each other some slaps. It was according to Nikolaj be some really good with slap sound. It gave carousing in the cheeks, and while we were all dying of laughter, it actually looks comical with all the red cheeks.
No matter ones opinion on the exercise, the chins were warmed. Good heavy punches to the body ended the warmup. We were to relax, while our partner gave us some. On that way you will avoid the usual flinches, when you are introduced to impacts later in the seminar. Now good to go.
Small stuff – great pain
Kyusho is attacks to nervestructures in the body. They are attacked typically by, they are squezed between muscles and or bones. This is done typically with pressure by hand, punches, strikes or attacks with knee and feet. The subject regarding nervestructure, points and energies in the body is vast, and requires a great deal of experience to grasp the full connection. But almost all attack have the saming thing in common that they do not require much force, to have a huge reaction on the body. I must admit, that in the beginning you doubt alot, if it will work with these relaxed and loose movements. Some of the attendees even had a presumption, that what they have seen on YouTube, where more or less staged between friends. We learned our lesson.
Into the fight
At first we had to find some examples of Kyusho. We did on the hands, wrist and arms. We quickly grew and understanding of what it was all about, with accompanying pain on the touched points. Nikolaj showed some simple techniques, which made it possible for all to follow, no matter their background. We also saw how you remove the pain again, so the training could continue.
We should use our arms, in what i would call a flow drill, that should imitate a combatsituation. When the time was right we should incoorporate a Kyusho technique into the flow drill. This method was good for learning and training and easy to understand
When the technique was learned, we went to a new place. We actually went on a nerveplexa/pressure point safari on the human body. Nikolaj knew how to find the small wonderful places on arms, head, hands, stomach, cheast and legs. Everytime we saw something new, the struggle began and was ended by a Kyusho technique. At the end, we should use all the learned elements in a very free form. It was really great when it flowed freely and gave a good understanding of Kyusho in combat.
Don’t forget karate
Nikolaj Skarbye has a solid Karate background and have been training Shotokan for 9 years. It is definately no disadvantage, because it gets through on the seminar. It definatdly does Kyusho far more effective and usefull for Karate people with this view. During the seminar we actually saw a whole bunch of Karate techniqes, that were integrated or ended with Kyusho. We who have been training karate for quite a while, could actually see the resemblence with alot of Bunkai from our Kata. There is no doubt that this is a quality that is not relevant. You feel yourself more familiar when you can put it into context with something you already know.
Heavy strikes – straight into the Liver!
The seminar with Nikolaj was not just about hitting nervestructure and points. We also went through punches and strikes. Especially the method of striking. We tried to hit “heavy and soft” strikes to the body. Those are strikes that are “lead” or almost “placed” inside the body accompanied with great effect. It was in great contrast to what techniques Karatepeople normally use.
After 4 hours of punches and strikes to the body, you were getting sore. And you could fear how the body would have it a couple of days later. Nikolaj ran therefor a downwarming with loosening of muscles with massage and hits on the body. It was really nice and was a true pleasure for everyone. You should have this mental part with in the daily training.
All the attendees evaluated in the end. Everyone have had a good day and alot of applause for Nikolaj. All agreed upon that the young instructor was, structured in his teaching and full of energy.
Oss Morten Vejle Shotokan Karate Do.”