We were proud and delighted to welcome Sensei Vebo for the annual course in Oxford, held at Radley College. Senior karatekas came from England, Scotland, Wales, Portugal, Sweden, Greece and Switzerland making it a true international affair. There was a strong spirit and atmosphere for the three days of training.
Sensei concentrated on the true elements of Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu, ibuki breathing, grounding, stability and fluid movement.
Here are some feedback we have received from attendees:
Mark – Lincolnshire:
“I just wanted to thank you for an extraordinary weekend; I don’t know if it was the generosity shown by you as hosts, the general generosity of spirit shown by all delegates, the quality of instruction or the simply fact this was the first course I have attended as a Dan Grade (I suspect a combination of all four); but it was the best weekend of training I have experienced. Despite only just achieving my Black Belt I am not unaccustomed to courses having trained with what I would consider some of Europe’s finest instructors such as Sensei Dirk Heene, Pascal LeCourt, Jim Martin, Julian Mead and Slater William’s and a couple of Japanese Sensei Saito and Akita. However I felt that there was some more to Sensei Dimitrijevic, it is plain that he is technically excellent, but more than this he has a passion for his teaching.
He spent years training with Sensei Kase, struggled to understand what made him so great. Vebo seems to hold that message inside of him burning to get out and it is this passion that makes him a special teacher.
Sensei works on the fundamentals of training, nothing technically difficult or taxing on the brain but focuses on a good rooted stance, fluid movement from this stance and breathing. I started the weekend feeling I was coming down with a virus and drinking lemsip but by the end felt better. This is rather unheard of for me as due to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome I have to watch myself as physical exercise has been known to knock me off my feet. However all talk of Ki energy has been a little too mystical for me in the past but something happened over this weekend I cannot fully rationalise. I suspect deep breathing provided more oxygen to my blood and so this weekend’s training was aerobic rather my usual anaerobic sessions followed by breathless recovery. But after a long (3 hour) session followed by two more I would normally be exhausted but in fact after this weekend I feel more energised.
Beyond this Sensei went around every student and spent time ensuring they understood what they should be doing and were doing it correctly; down to checking if the correct muscles where being engaged in stance. Further to this he made himself available to questions after training and throughout the weekend. I saw no bias from him to higher grades, if you are interested and work to your ability he will have time for you. I can only guess that this is why so many people attended the course from all over Europe and you really couldn’t meet a nicer crowd.”
Richard – Wales:
“Recently I attended a weekend seminar in Abingdon from 12th to 14th October organised by friends from the Oxford Kase Ha Shotokan Club. The instructor was Sensei Velibor Vebo Dimitrijevic who was one of the closest assistants to the late Taiji Kase Sensei.
Over the course of the weekend the primary points covered included the way that power is generated, with the Budo approach emphasising the flow of Ki energy. I am in my 35th year of practising Shotokan Karate and up until my recent move to the Vebodo system, the power I generated came from muscle contraction, reliance on the hips and what I would call producing power externally. For the first time my eyes have been opened to a deeper understanding of Budo karate and power generation.
Sensei Dimitrijevic covered the use of Fudo Dachi and connection to the ground, the linking of the heel, pelvis and breathing to produce power and good technique. He explains the “why” and “how” instead of the usual where students blindly accept and follow instructions. He explained and demonstrated what he wanted us to do, and would then lead the class by training alongside us.
The importance of breathing from the tanden was covered in particular during the practice of kata. Kase Ha covers kata in four ways; omote (normal way), ura (opposite), go (backwards) and go-no-ura (opposite backwards). Practising a kata these ways opens the practitioner’s eyes to a whole new world. If you think you know a kata then please try and practice it these alternative ways.
This was not what I would call a course in the normal sense. Although we practised Kihon, Kata and Kumite, it was used to reinforce our understanding of the use of Fudo Dachi, Hanmi Dachi and breathing from the tanden, in order to create devastating power in technique.
This was a course led by a very experienced Karateka who truly understands Budo Karate and is able to convey that knowledge to his students. This is my second course with Sensei Dimitrijevic and it has seriously changed my outlook of Shotokan and Budo.