I was very happy and very moved to receive Sensei Johnny Gence that you may know through his site: Karate-traditional or his forum or on other forums under the pseudo Johnny or simply during his sporting exploits. I received Sensei Johnny Gence from Saturday evening for a country meal. This allowed me to discuss with him some karate and its course ... But I'll talk about it later
Let's talk instead internship at first: I had however done a lot of publicity around this stage, but Langres is a small town and finally we were only few people. It's a shame, but apparently it did not bother me Sensei Johnny Gence (which reassured me, I must say!).
So it's in a very intimate atmosphere that Sensei Gence took the internship in hand with a lot of heart, humility and passion. For the rest of the article, I will call it Johnnybecause I know he does not appreciate being called Sensei. It's all to his credit, but believe me, he deserves to be considered a master.
Johnny is actually a fan who loves what he does and especially who has a huge thirst for retransmitting this knowledge. We did not miss it, we literally drank his words throughout the day.
The theme of the internship was: the basics of body dynamics and its applications in karate.
He taught us that in all techniques you have to stay connected physically, but also mentally and with the ground:
That's what Johnny calls the 3 C :
- Mental connection
- Physical connection
- Connection with the ground
I will try to summarize these principles:
1 - Mental Connection:
Johnny explained to us that the brain "is very stupid" (I have not found a translation ;-)) and if you disconnect your mind from the technique, it loses a lot of efficiency. This is what he calls «Kyo Or imbalance of the mind. This is what we try to do when we pretend an adversary, we disorient him and he finds himself disconnected and therefore vulnerable.
This mental connection must be maintained at all times and it must be match the technique. For example, if you give a Tsuki in a bag, with the idea of stopping your fist on the surface of the bag, it will release much less energy than if you extend your mind through the bag. You want energy to cross the target, your mind must stay connected and cross the target as well.
We did an experiment : you held out your arm as before Choku Zukiyour partner is trying to move your arm and you resist. As long as your mind is not connected, it's very easy for your opponent. Then it was enough to imagine his fist grasping something a few meters away - as if your arm had crossed his target - and staying focused (mental connection) on this idea so your opponent would have a lot more difficulty moving your arm
2 - Physical Connection:
The part there, is much easier to understand because it is more concrete. On the other hand, it is often difficult to feel your own disconnections. But Johnny was there to put his finger (it hurts!) Where it was necessary to make us feel this lack of physical connection.
The body is composed of a center (the hara) on which are attached the various segments for transmitting the energy produced by the center, to the ground and to the point of impact. In order for the energy not to diffuse anywhere and to keep the planned trajectory, it is necessary that the joints remain well connected for the flow of energy to circulate properly.
But Johnny went much further, because for him the connection must remain permanent and not just the impact. From the beginning of the techniques, during the "armed" for example, and during all the phase of transmission of the technique, it is necessary to keep the connections. And believe me it's not always easy to understand. It's very difficult to explain in writing (You absolutely must meet Johnny ;-)).
The joints most prone to disconnections are the hips and shoulders because they are the most mobile, so make sure that the pelvis is always well placed and that the shoulders are always locked.
For example, for the shoulder, when one arms to do Gedan-BaraiJohnny explains that when the fist goes up to the opposite ear (in fact Johnny mounts it only to the shoulder and not to the ear, which is logical, as a result of the reasoning.), The arm remains plated to the body, with the shoulder very low. The elbow does not come off the body because it disconnects the shoulder joint. It is in this phase that he creates a pressure that will be discussed later.
3 - Connection with the ground:
But it's not at all easy to understand, but Johnny made some really bluffing demonstrations: for example, at one point he put himself in the Heisoku Dashi position (with his feet together) and he asked to put some Mawashi in his shoulder. I promise (it's a shame that no one has filmed this passage!) It did not move a millimeter. It was as if I was hitting a pole well anchored in the ground. Amazing!
How to create this connection with the ground? If I understood everything, you have to do a slight (I said light!) Retroversion of the pelvis by pointing the coccyx in the direction of the ground. That's what we call " to enter the dragon's tail 😉 The pelvis must also be pressed downwards by a contraction of the glutes, the hamstrings and the adductors, and by breathing, which consists in breathing with the idea that the air is descending into the pelvis. In fact, we contract the transverse (deep abdominal muscle that surrounds the viscera - it's the one that makes us a flat stomach 😉 - and the pelvic floor.To give you an image, the pressure then exerted on the pelvis corresponds to that which is exerted on the stopper of a tube of toothpaste when pressed.
Johnny did a lot of exercises on this ground connection, to make us understand that for the impact energy to be transmitted optimally to the target, we had to use the principle of the action / reaction with the soil with a vertical thrust in the ground that will retransmit by reaction energy to the body to the target. He gave us the example of a long jumper who, if he does not make a vertical impulse in the ground, will not be able to propel himself. It's a bit the same in our techniques, except that this return of energy will not serve us to take off but will be transmitted through the body, which is well connected physically, to the target.
Here, I hope you have transcribed correctly what Johnny wanted to show us (If this is not the case, I think it will give us clarification in a comment!) In this principle of 3 C.
The internal pressure:
Johnny also to us briefly talk about the principle of internal pressure followed by an explosion during the techniques. That's good that's what I try to work ;-). In fact the pressure is done by the principle of 3 C with in addition to a pressure towards the ground, an internal pressure. A little as if we wanted to reduce the volume of the trunk (contraction of transverse and pelvic floor! We are back!). An increase in the internal pressure is then created. Then, all this energy is let out in a very short time as in an explosion. Then at impact, again internal pressure and on the ground, as seen above to transmit the energy to the target.
I think I could still write for hours as Johnny gave me fabulous work tracks. I love his karate and his principles and I'm going to work quickly to work on this to make progress.
The children were not disappointed no longer by Sensei Gence. They were marvel (It would have been less than that at their age.) By his kindness and the charisma he releases. He captivated them throughout the course with explanations and examples made for them. He did not hesitate to put himself at the height of the smallest and to make them feel the placement of their body to perfect their technique.
The children enjoyed themselves and came out of this internship.
Thank you Johnny for making them blink like that.
An interview of 46 minutes!
I have news that should delight you, at our country meal, I asked Johnny for permission to interview him and he agreed. So I interviewed him in the morning 1 hour before the start of the internship and I was not disappointed:
Johnny really got naked as the saying goes. He spoke to me for 46 minutes. From him since his childhood in Reunion and his health problems (the doctors said condemned!) And confidence in him. He told me about his career Karateka (it's worth it ;-)), what brought him karate for his health, for his balance and in his life.
Throughout the interview, he shares with us his vision of traditional karate and competition, he gives many tips to beginners and Karateka in general.
Short an exciting interview not to be missed.
The exciting interview of Sensei Johnny Gence:
Once again is not custom, there is no training video for this article (it was necessary to come to the stage ;-)) a little special that looks more like a report.
I hope that this article you more than any and that it will have made you want to come to the next internship that will not fail to organize with Johnny Gence Sensei.
Vous pouvez voir photos and videos on the Karate Club de Langres website - Here is the link:
Leave me a comment below and share this article with your friends! Thank you !
See you soon
PS : In 2013, Johnny returned to Langres for a very successful combat-oriented internship. The topics were:
Kata Bunkai et from conventional Kumite to free Kumite, enjoy, this time, I put educational videos of the courses.
"How to succeed your grade passes"