Report – Robin Eaton’s 80th Birthday Training Theme: Wado Through Time.

On the 15th of April 2023, Sensei Carol Chatterton 6th Dan and Kiku Wa Jyuku hosted a special training session to celebrate the 80th birthday of one of its club members, Robin Eaton. Overseen by Sugasawa Sensei, the training was led by Steve Rawson, Sensei 7th Dan and Pamela Rawson, Sensei 7th Dan. Although the course was only for one afternoon, it was well attended with representatives from Shouwa Jyuku, Ken Bu Jyuku, and Mushin Jyuku alongside those from Chippenham.

The session began with Sugasawa Sensei welcoming everyone and then congratulating Robin on his long serving dedication to the practice of Wado Karate before presenting him with his 4th Dan. After this Sugasawa Sensei handed over to Senseis Pam and Steve Rawson and the training began. As Senseis Pam and Steve Rawson explained, we would be exploring how Wado has developed in the UK over the many years Robin has been training, from the early years of UKKW, through the Wado Academy and then onto Shikukai Karate-do International.

After a quick warm-up, Senseis Pam and Steve took us through how Wado has progressed over the years. This was achieved by focussing first on 5th Kyu, and then on 1st Kyu. Beginning with the UKKW syllabus, it became clear that the focus in the beginning was on learning individual techniques with very little explanation on each element. As Sensei Steve commented, the maxim was ‘Do it, do it again, do it harder!’ As the session continued you could see the variations which were introduced in the Wado Academy syllabus incorporating more lateral movement, and finally Sensei Sugasawa’s influence on the techniques in the current Shikukai syllabus. The session finished with pair work from the three syllabi, with both Senseis encouraging people to practice with students from other clubs. Finally, Sugasawa Sensei thanked everyone for attending.

After the training, the day ended with a meal at a local restaurant. It was a great opportunity for people to catch up and reflect on the day’s experiences. Finally, the evening ended with everyone congratulating Robin and some enthusiastic singing of ‘Happy Birthday’ whilst he blew the candle on his cake out!

Andrew Skelton

2nd Kyu

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