Yamamichi is Japanese and means the word mountain trail (yama = mountain, michi = trail, path). To become skilled in martial arts is like climbing a mountain. You can reach the top of a mountain by choosing multiple different trails. Some people prefer to choose a gentle path to walk, while others prefer to take a steep slope to climb. How long it will take to reach the top of the mountain will be different for each person, and you may need to change the planned path along your journey. When you have reached the top of one mountain, who stops you from pursuing higher and more challenging mountain tops?!
We at Yamamichi Karate Club are open-minded towards different road maps to the mountain top. Our "main path" is karate. We do not practice any specific karate style, but our techniques and forms resemble most closely Shito-Ryu style. We embrace influences from different karate styles and other martial arts.
We practice karate in order to develop ourselves physically and mentally. We do not train for competitions. Our main focus is on self-defence, which we consider as more general concept than just overcoming a thug. We do learn how to deal with these kinds of unfortunate scenarios, but more importantly, we learn how to maintain one's own boundaries in a constructive way in everyday life for example at school or at work.
We train hard while maintaining a positive attitude. After training, we leave with a sweaty karate gi and a smile on our faces. Our club is open-minded and friendly, and we accept all regardless of age, background or experience. We do not accept any form of violence.
In our junior classes we take into consideration the age and development of a child. Most importantly, we want to spark the joy of exercise in children and maintain it. Techniques of karate, motoric skills, respecting of other people and working with a group are skills that are being taught and developed along the way.
Our karate training consists of the traditional parts of karate, which are kihon, kata and kumite.
Kihon means the training of the basic techniques, and it sets up the basis for all further karate training. Basic techniques include for example different stances, punches, kicks, and simple combinations of these techniques.
Kata means a form that is performed alone. Good and precise kata performance requires solid basic technique. Katas are the heart of karate, and they are kind of a library for self-defence scenarios and techniques. In the beginning of the karate training, katas that are learned are short and contain a handful of moves. When the training years increase, selection of katas increases and becomes increasingly more diverse.
Kumite means sparring with a partner, and kumite requires the skills learned in kihon and katas. There are different kinds of sparring methods. Beginners start with a simple sparring with a light contact where a certain attack is dealt with a certain way. As the skills and training years increase, sparring becomes gradually more and more free.
Yamamichi Karate Club Turku is part of the World Combat Association (WCA). We follow the principles of Peter Consterdine and Iain Abernethy: we encourage our club members to train different martial arts open-mindedly, and we want to practice karate in friendly and helpful environment. WCA supports their members to practical training of martial arts that is applicable in real life. According to the WCA's principles, we do not force our members to any specific direction or style. Rather, we want to encourage every person to find interesting training methods also outside our organisation.
Our instructors attend regularly seminars in Europe given by WCA top-level instructors in order to maintain our own skills and develop them further. We also visit other martial arts seminars in Finland, and we love to meet and connect with other martial arts practitioners in Finland and abroad.
At the moment, there are two WCA-affiliated karate clubs in Finland:
Timo Oehlandt, 4th dan
Marja Heiskanen, 3rd dan
Jani Heiskanen, 3rd dan
Nelli Hyvärinen, 1st dan
Ida Penttinen, 1st dan
Alisa Salmivalli, 1st dan