Report – Shikukai Spring Course, Portland Dorset.

Little did we know when we held our Spring Course in Portland in May 2019 that it would be the last one until 2022. It was therefore especially rewarding to welcome Sensei, instructors and students back to The Osprey to train together once more, including a contingent from Norway with their Instructor Bob Wymer Sensei and Andrew Genery and his student Paul, from Kishin Karate Academy, Doncaster.

Friday evening’s session began with a short warm up by Pam Rawson Sensei then moved on to basics with Steve Rawson Sensei leading the session and Sensei Sugasawa, Steve Chamberlain Sensei and Pam Rawson keeping a close eye on students’ technique. Sensei stressed the importance of “Okori Taru Tokoro” – the origin of the movement. The second hour was devoted to simple kumite based drills, lead by Steve & Pam, incorporating basic Wado principles. Steve Chamberlain was on hand with his “Bokken” to ensure the seniors were moving correctly. Everyone was then invited to take the short stroll along the Marina for light refreshment at “The Boat that Rocks.”

Saturday saw the biggest numbers with around 40 people training. Sensei Sugasawa began the session by leading a minute’s silence (Mokuto) in memory of Suzanne Genery, Andrew’s sister, who sadly passed away ten years ago to the day. He then presented Dan Certificates to those who had been successful over the past two years.

Tim Shaw Sensei took the warm up then the class was split into grades. Steve Chamberlain and Tim took the Seniors for Kihon, working on Junzuki and Junzuki No Tsukkomi. Steve & Pam took the white & green belts focussing on the transition between Junzuki and Gyakuzuki. After an hour, the groups changed with Tim and Sensei leading the Senior grades for Bassai Kata. Tim explained the comparison with working on a classic car – ie it is ever so easy to work on the chassis and bodywork, but the real work is what happens under the bonnet. Steve Rawson took the 1st – 3rd Dans for Jion while Pam took the 3rd – 1st Kyus for Nai Hanchi and Kushanku. Steve Chamberlain took the Green belts for Pinan Sandan. Richard Barham Sensei worked with the White belts, focussing on Kihon Kata and developing into Pinan Nidan. He worked through fundamental aspects such as stance and structure as well as explaining Mudana Ugoki relating to the turns into Gedan Harai Uke. His students then took advantage of the matted area to practise their chosen competition kata. After a short break Pairworks were covered, with Steve & Pam taking the seniors for Kihon Gumite 6,7 and 8. Tim took the brown belts and 1st Dans for Kihon Gumite Ipponme, with Steve Chamberlain working with the Green belts and Carol Chatterton Sensei taking the white belts through their syllabus pairwork.

Saturday night we were back at The Gurkha Restaurant which gave everyone the chance to mingle and meet friends and family.

Sunday’s warm up was taken by Steve Rawson, then the group was again split into grades. This time the seniors were taken by Steve & Pam, again focussing on the transition between Junzuki and Gyakuzuki but this time incorporating Keri. Sensei stressed the importance of correct weight on the back foot. The Junior grades were taken by Tim and Steve Chamberlain.

The senior Kata session this time was led by Sensei and Steve Chamberlain who worked on Ni Sei Shi Kata. Pam lead the 1st – 3rd Dans with Chinto, while Steve Rawson covered Rohai for the Brown belts and Tim did Pinan Shodan with the Junior Grades. After the break Tim and Steve Rawson took the 2nd Dans and above to the matted area where they practised some Tanto Dori and Kumite Gata. Steve Chamberlain took the 3rd Kyu – 1st Dan group with Richard & Rob Selby Sensei working with the Junior grades, emphasising the importance of distance and timing as well as correct defensive action involving Uke Nagashi, Harai and Sogu to avoid direct impact with the opponent’s attack. This evolved into Kumite Kata type movement, attacking and defending from Hanmi Gamae and applying the same defensive actions from Nihon Gumite (Gaiwan Uke). San Mi Ittai was also introduced.

Monday’s warm up was taken by Steve Chamberlain who had prewarned everyone to bring towels as we were going to be lying on the cold floor for some time! The Senior Kihon session was taken by Tim and Steve Chamberlain, focussing on detailed aspects of Renketsu Dosa from the early part of the syllabus. Carol & Richard were then able to concentrate on grading work for those taking a grade later in the morning, including coverage of Pinan Shodan and Yondan.

After a short break, the final session was taken by Steve & Pam who revisited the Kumite drills from Friday night, taking them further with defences and practising them in pairs.

The Kyu Grading examination was held within the session and taken by Tim and Richard.

The following students were successful:

Brian Glover (Mushin Jyuku) 1st Kyu

Andrew Skelton (Kiku Wa Jyuku) 2nd Kyu

Lewis Selby (Mushin Jyuku) 3rd Kyu

Will Doble (Shouwa Jyuku) 8th Kyu

All too soon, the four days had come to an end. Sensei thanked everyone for attending and hoped they had all taken something away to further their training.

Next year’s Spring Course will be held at the same venue, but revert back to the second May Bank Holiday – Friday 26th/Saturday 27th/Sunday 28th/Monday 29th May 2023.

6th May 2022

Pam Rawson 7th Dan

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