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Kata Bunkai avec Johnny Gence Sensei


Johnny Gence Sensei in méditation - Mokuso

(Video at the end of the article!)

07/04/2013 : For the second time, Johnny Gence Sensei came to do an internship at my club in Langres.

It was a real success, not only thanks to the performance of Johnny, but also thanks to participants who came sometimes from very far away and very motivated.

I have already spoken to you several times about Sensei Johnny Gence, especially during the internship in 2011, where he spoke to us basics of body dynamics and its applications in karate et especially 3 C and internal pressure. If you do not know yet Master Gence, I invite you to read or watch his interview where he tells us very humbly his journey since his childhood and his vision of traditional and competing karate.

For this second meeting at Karate Club of LangresI had asked him to focus his training on the fight, because I had already seen videos of Johnny in action and I was impressed. In addition, the fight is not my specialty, I thought it could only be beneficial to my students. Frankly, I'm not disappointed. I learned so much in a day that I'm not sure I can write everything down.

I'll do my best, but first I'll start at the very beginning, ie the day before:

As Johnny still had 3 hours to come, he preferred to arrive Saturday night to be fit for the course. With my wife, we welcomed her home the day before the course for a small meal very friendly. He was accompanied by his wife and we spent a very nice evening exchanging things and others, but mostly Karate. I think Johnny could talk for hours of karate as his knowledge is great. For once, I did not speak much ;-). Johnny is inexhaustible, just ask him a question to engage in a speech always exciting. We learned, even while eating, it was magic.

The next morning, I left early enough, to make sure everything was ready and to welcome the first arrivals.

Stage by Johnny Gence Sensei à Langres

They were numerous, very motivated, happy to be there and often coming from far away: Some of Dijon, Mulhouse, others of Paris, Orleans, Vosges ... and even of Zurich ... Wow! The internship in Langres is internationally !!!

As much to say that I was delighted, and I thank all these participants (and participants) for making the way to visit us in our small fortified city. Thanks thanks thanks.

All levels were represented from the white belt to the black, so we found ourselves at about 25 on the tatamis (for Langres, it's HUGE!)

Kata - Bunkai:

Since there were beginners, Johnny decided to stay on the Heian, but in his own way. He explained to us again the basic principles he draws from the teaching of Master Nishiyama, Namely 3 connections (mental, body and ground) and internal pressure.

Then we went into the thick of things with bunkai at Heian Shodan and Nidan. I will try to describe them to you:

Bunkai 1: Tout début d'Heian Shodan

1- Tori attack Oizuki Chudan law. You block Gedan Bars Left (Johnny pushes on this Gedan Barai and the rotation, there must be pressure on the ground and internal pressure, the arm does not come to the ear, it's too "volatile", but just presses against the body to keep a good body connection).

Johnny Gence Sensei and Bruno Bandelier in Bunkai on Heian Shodan

2- Then raise your left arm and leave it stretched to the chudan level (1er "shock" with left fist) to advance on right Oizuki (2 th "shock"). Tori steps back (Iki Ashi)

3- Circle Tori's neck with the right arm - at the stroke strikes with the forearm in the carotid (3 shock).

4- Once his neck circled, press Tori against you strongly by bringing your elbow towards you as in the armored Gedan Barai (with the principle of the body connection, seen above ...) (That's what Johnny makes me on the picture (no, no, this was not a hug :-)).

5- Catch Tori's chin then turn to the right as in the kata by pulling back the front leg and swiveling on the back leg and make gedan barai -> projection de Tori

Johnny explains that this kind of exercise, we must not have in the idea of ​​dropping the opponent because we can quickly do anything, but we must stay in the idea of ​​kata and Gedan Barai, the body straight, pressure on the ground, internal pressure and the projection is done alone, without it necessarily seeks to bring down Tori ... If the gesture is well done, it will inevitably fall.

Bunkai 2: End first straight then rotation in Heian Shodan

Johnny Gence Sensei Bunkai sur Heian Shodan1- Tori attacks again Oizuki Chudan law. You block Jodan Age Uke Left (Johnny reminder that the elbow should not be out, and that the shoulder should remain low and well connected to the body.)

2- Right away, you chained with open left hand on Tori's face -> 1er "shock"

3- Then, while controlling Tori's right arm with your left arm, you move forward Ayumi Achi et Age Empi right to the chin -> 2 th "shock"

4- Stay very close to Tori. Lower the right hand to grab his right arm, catch the collar with his left hand (You are in the position of the armed Gedan Barai just before the rotation ... You press always Tori against you.

5- Rotate: Turn to the left to continue the Gedan Barai as in the Kata -> Projection de Tori

As for the first bunkai, do not try to knock Tori, but just make the gesture correctly, with your arms still pressed against the body, and Tori will fall. If you take your arms off the body, you do not control Tori anymore. Always stay ready.

Bunkai 3: Tout début d'Heian Nidan

1- Tori seizes you by the collar and throws Tsuki right jodan. You block with Jodan Morote Haïwan Uke. In fact you block with the left arm and the right arm is used to hit Tori in the face -> 1er Shock.

Johnny Gence Sensei explique internal pression

2- You block Tori's left wrist by pressing your left arm against your body and you hit Tori's elbow with your right arm -> 2 Shock. (Next, how is Tori's elbow turned, one can make an arm lock by blocking the elbow)

3- You finish with Yoko Tsuki left, or Tetsui at face level -> 3 shock

Johnny shows us the principle of internal pressure in this passage of Kata. You must use the body as a spring, between 2 and 3 shock. There is a spin in one direction, then in the other with each time internal pressure at the level of the Hara. Knees must not move.

Bunkai 4: Tout début of Heian Nidan (Même passage que le Bunkai 3)

Johnny Gence Sensei and Bruno Bandelier Bunkai Heian Nidan

Here there is no longer an arm or projection key, it's simple, blockages and an atemi. But on the other hand, each technique prepares the next, one arm blocks while the other prepares to intervene for the next technique.

1- Tori attack OiZuki Jodan right. You make Jodan Morote Haïwan Uke: still blocking with the left arm, but this time the right arm does not come to hit Tori, he stays up in Kamae position to prepare the next technique.

2- Tori chained Gyaku Tsuki Chudan Left, you continue the movement of the kata: Soto Uke right (or Osae Uke) and at the same time the left arm comes against the body in preparation for the following technique.

3- You end with Tetsui Uchi Jodan left, (or Uraken, ou Yoko Tsuki) -> Although final.

And that's all ! Yes, in 1h30, we only saw that, but Johnny goes into so much detail explaining for each technique the application of Internet pressure and connections that we do not see the time pass. We worked kata, but really in application by two, it was a foretaste for the kumite of the afternoon.

Here is a small video montage of this first part with all the Bunkai and in the first part the explanation by Johnny Gence Sensei of mental, body and ground connections. He will also explain what the internal pressure is. You will learn a lot, enjoy!
(The music was given to me by David Stekelorom, musician and Karateka, thank you David!)

>>> Download the video

So, I hope this little video has more and that it will make you want to know a little better Johnny Gence and his pedagogy during these next courses.

Then, in a very friendly atmosphere, we all went to eat at the restaurant, delighted with this first part of the course.

Meals Johnny Gence Sensei's internship in Langres

I'll give you a report for the afternoon internship in a future article.Good, I'll stop there, my keyboard needs rest, and me too.

You will love ! Sensei Johnny Gence made us work on Conventional kumite (but in his own way!) to gently take us to le combat libre.

We had a blast

In the meantime, leave me a comment!

See you soon,

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  1. lampin jean lucien at

    just to say that I watched the video and read the comments everything was said bravo and good luck for the rest to Bruno, the road is long ... a +

  2. Bruno Bandelier I did not say that we should refrain from working internally in Shotokan. I only said that it surprises me to find that it exists in this style. But in reality I am rather pleased to discover this level of internal shotokan. This is a good thing. You really do not have to be shocked. You have understood the opposite of what I wanted to say.

  3. Hello Fabrice, do not get upset like this. There is no quarrel at all, you do a little self ignition. Fabrice Mennechez has probably lacked elegance with his remark not very nice for you but does not ignite like that either, he also has the right to give his opinion.
    By cons you're right you have to debate, and I thank you for doing so. As far as the Shotokan is concerned, what I basically meant is "to refrain" from working on certain techniques on the pretext that it is internal if you shootokan. It shocks me. Personally, I do not care if I shootokan or not, if what Johnny tells me is what I understand (or try to understand) karate, I take.
    I agree that each style must keep its line of faith especially through the kata. But apart from the kata we have the right and even the duty to be open-minded that we are Shotokan, Goju-ryu, Wado-ryu, Taekwondo ...
    Besides, is there a clear definition of what we learn or not in Shotokan? (or another discipline?)
    And as Johnny says, after everyone, from his thoughts and feelings, he will give a personal orientation to his karate.

  4. Obviously I do not have the technical level of Johnny Gence. Besides, I had never heard of the internal pressure at the time of the arming. That will not mean that I do not know anything about karate. I will soon be a teacher of Wado-ryu Karate. And I would never pretend to learn anything from a student. I could have a yellow belt student who is black belt 3 th Dan in another discipline. I might be a teacher of this student in one discipline and his student in another. Humility is a virtue inherent in karate.

  5. Johnny Gence That's right there are even 5 main ones. Besides our wado-ryu Kata we perform our Kata in the manner of Funakoshi's father. But with rectifications of K. Mabuni. The current Shotokan Kata are different from those of Funakoshi's father.

  6. Fabrice Mennechez I have already dealt with karate teachers who are much more competent than me because of their degrees and diplomas. And yet he showed me Kata movements that were wrong. A wado-ryu teacher who taught me the movements of the modern Shotokan Kata. What do I have to follow from his mistakes because he is a teacher?

  7. Fabrice Mennechez Oh yes! I do not really contradict. I only give my opinion. It must be debated otherwise I do not see the value of creating a Facebook group on Karate.

  8. There is, for example, more affinity between Shotokan and Taekwondo than between Shotokan and Uechi-ryu. It should be remembered that Taekwondo was founded by a practitioner from Shotokan. The supposed Taekkyon influences on Taekwondo are unfounded. Go do Taekkyon and tell me what are the points in common with Taekwondo.

  9. fabrice, frankly contradicting 2 sensei of karate such as bruno and johnny at one point it becomes ridiculous ... you better listen to them if you want to move forward ... that said in terms of achieving enlightenment I think you're there come !

  10. Bruno Bandelier Yes, if "Shotokan means something. It is very different in many things compared to other styles. In reality the term "karate" is generic. The only common point of these styles is geographically "the crucible of Okinawa". The problem is when we talk about Karate in Europe we immediately think Shotokan. But only because that's the style is predominant. It is quite valid compared to others I would not say the opposite. But no, the Shotokan is not just karate like karate was.

  11. Johnny Gence Your work of internal pressure during the arming is remarkable indeed. It may be a legacy of Nishiyama I would not say. But I'm not sure that it's typically Shotokan.

  12. I know there is the work of the intern in Goju-ryu and Uechi-ryu. For example with the Kata Sanchin. In general, Okinawa Karate is a form of semi-external mid-internal combat. But as far as the Shotokan so far I have only seen the external. A by maybe Kanazawa with his Tai Chi.

  13. Thank you for this video, it is always important to see other vision, I like the approach of Sensei Johnny Gence and I regret to be well in your area and not being able to participate in the courses.

  14. Hi all,
    once again thank you to Bruno for this exceptional moment with Johnny.
    My son Theo and I are grateful for this day full of lessons, especially for me it was the first participation in an internship of this type.
    We all enjoyed the pedagogy and mastery of Johnny, but what struck me the most is its simplicity and ability to be at the level of everyone (or rather everyone).
    The day was exciting, but too short.
    Thank you Johnny for your availability, and thank you Bruno for allowing us to meet this great gentleman.

    Theo and Aristide.

    • Hello Aristide and hello Theo,

      I hope the return went well.

      Anyway, I'm glad Johnny's pedagogy has you more.

      But as you say, it goes too fast. So I'll give you a break next year.


  15. Thank you again Mr Bruno and I also thank the master Johnny Gence, for posting this video, because I wanted to ask you. In fact, I read your comments Mr Bruno ie the article above, and to tell the truth I did not quite understand all the details, that's why I wanted to ask you to to publish a video would be better, as we can see the movements in detail. Yes, it's true what you said in one of your answers, indeed, there are Internet users who live far away and can not make the trip to come for this internship like me. Moreover, I think that posting a video can not in any way discourage some people from coming to an internship because it's so different between watching a video and practicing oneself.
    Thank you very much and at the next correspondence

  16. Hello Bruno,

    Thank you for these first pictures that ceratainement will help me to improve. For me who had not taken part in the course, I would like you to send them to me in video (preferably as an attached file). It would disturb me to make a comment.

    Once again thank you!

  17. in view of what was done in the course I see techniques in the style of sensei KASE it is rewarding to be able to have another look at karate and techniques I participate a lot in courses of Sensei LAVORATO which offers a lot of movement focused on the rooting of the supports and the speed of execution

    thank you for this report I'm waiting for the next "KUMITE"

  18. Thank you but I am master 72 (1m72) and not Master.
    Here is a short excerpt from the internship

    I really do not know if I'm going to put any more, I'm always a little genius compared to those who make the effort to come to the stage, to pay, to move etc ... and if the others without doing anything we access to the same info or almost, in short, it bothers me.
    I've already done it, to put videos of internship on youtube, but I do not know if it is good or not, re brief, I do not know what to do. At worst if the participants tell me that this does not bother them I would put or allow to put more.
    Thanks again for his compliments but stop with this term of master, I do not master anything at all, just a pationné.

  19. Philippe and Hugo at

    I also confirm, the internship was very interesting,
    Sensei Johnny Gence is an enthusiast who only wants to transmit his knowledge and for our greatest joy he does it wonderfully! My only regret: the day has passed too quickly ... .We will return with pleasure if other courses are organized ...
    See you soon,

    • Hello Philippe and Hello Hugo,

      Indeed, the day is far too short. We would like it to last much longer, so we drink Johnny's words and his teaching.
      I am delighted to have welcomed you and thank you again for having made such a long trip to come to Langres.


  20. Thank you but I am master 72 (1m72) and not Master.
    Here is a short excerpt from the internship

    I really do not know if I'm going to put any more, I'm always a little genius compared to those who make the effort to come to the stage, to pay, to move etc ... and if the others without doing anything we access to the same info or almost, in short, it bothers me.
    I've already done it, to put videos of internship on youtube, but I do not know if it is good or not, re brief, I do not know what to do. At worst if the participants tell me that this does not bother them I would put or allow to put more.
    Thanks again for his compliments but stop with this term of master, I do not master anything at all, just a pationné.

    • Hi Johnny,

      Thank you for your video. I was at the internship

      In any case those who have not come will not have all the information, if only because we have not filmed everything and because they will not have wet the kimono ...

      In addition, as I already told you, the internet is good but suddenly some live on the other side of the planet, they could not come anyway.

      We'll discuss it again later…
      A +

  21. Johnny Gence is really a great master! you expressed your gratitude to the great master Johnny Gence. But I too am grateful to you for trying to tell us all about the course and it's really nice of you. I want to have a sensei like Johnny. And from your writings we clearly feel his skills. As in our Dojo when I tell you what I read in your comrades would have really wanted to meet you. so much they learn!
    My warm thanks !!!!!

  22. Credible is a big word, I'll say shocking you earlier, (that says you've seen that even the classic gb can already hurt,) makes the thing more, in short it's another feeling that I wanted show

    • Hello,

      If, yes, I have a lot of videos, but I have to get in shape and then I ask Sensei Johnny's approval before publishing them.

      But for now I'm trying to sort through my little head to put in writing what I remembered. I hurry before my head bug and make a reset

  23. Hello,
    at first sight the stage looked very interesting, a pity that there is no video. I made the dde to be able to create a video library of your films which are very instructive.
    At 66 years I still go muscu, fitness karate I am very happy to be able to apply with a mini group of friends your recommendations


  24. Thank you again for this great day, I confirm that this course was very interesting and it is promised next time, I put my karate gi
    Benjamin really appreciated Johnny's teaching and his own way of making things feel not always easy to explain in words.

    @ soon
    Marc & Benji

  25. For the Gedan Barai, I did not speak about it because I think it was mainly the pressure you insisted on in this passage. After it is normal GB or hits it does not change anything to this pressure principle, right?
    I would not want to think that there is pressure because the GB is done in striking. I wanted to feel this pressure in a classic GB.
    But if you think it's not good. You tell me and I rectify the article.

  26. Super CR, the first block in the bunkai of H1, the gedan had to be done in striking, we swept with the weapon and one strikes with the gedan, if not super, I hate to read more

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