2017 Winter Course report

18 – 22 FEBRUARY 2017


By Sensei Robert Howells MBE

“Ten-I; Ten-Tai; Ten-Gi – San-I Ittai”

The attendance at this year’s Wado Ryu Karate-do Academy winter course, held at the Spectrum Leisure Centre, Guildford, was very strong. Over 190 students took part during the 5 day course with Academy members from: USA, Australia, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Italy, France, Hungary, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland and the home countries all taking part. Our Chief Instructor, M. Shiomitsu Hanshi Shihan was very impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of everyone who took part. In turn everyone enjoyed his daily visits to the course, and his encouragement to train with purpose and focus.

As in previous years Arthur Meek Sensei led the instruction on the course, ably assisted by Peter Hill Sensei with additional support from Tran-Hieu Minh Sensei and Graham Tuckey Sensei The focus of the course was to move with the centre of one’s body and to apply this principle to both defence and attack as summarised in the tenet: “Ten-I; Ten-Tai, Ten-Gi; San-I Ittai” (change position; with your body; with technique; then apply all of these together).

Arthur Meek Sensei started the course with the traditional mokuso (kneeling meditation) followed by training in basic techniques such as Junzuki and Gyakuzuki. After the break, the class was split into 2 groups with Peter Hill Sensei taking all Dan grades through Seishan kata and Arthur Meek Sensei taking all Kyu grades through Pinan Yodan, Tobikomizuki and Nagashizuki. At the end of the day’s training the following individuals received their Dan grade certificates from Shiomitsu Sensei:

Peter Hill – 7th Dan, England
Karl-Heinz Steif – 7th Dan, Germany
Nils Petter Wold – 6th Dan, Norway
Pietro Bellanova – 4th Dan, Switzerland
Noriko Mitsuhashi – 3rd Dan, England
Antti Syrja – 3rd Dan, Finland
Gary Moore – 3rd Dan, England
James Bolton – 2nd Dan, England
Lisbeth Heen – 1st Dan, Sweden
Michael Jacques – 1st Dan, England
Will Major – 1st Dan, England

In addition to this, a special presentation was made to Len Jay 6th Dan, Sensei in celebration of his 50 years of karate training, which is quite a milestone in anyone’s life.

The second day of the course saw the highest attendance of Academy members with 169 taking part. The first session saw Peter Hill Sensei taking everyone through Neko Ashi Dachi in detail. In addition to this, everyone also practised Ippon Gumite, Ropponme. In the second session, Arthur Meek Sensei explained fundamental ways of moving using okuri ashi, tsugi ashi and ayumi ashi and how the basic techniques of Junkuki andGyakuzuki are applied in fighting. This was followed by pair work, where Gumite Gata, Ipponme and Dan grade combinations were practised as pair work.

On Monday Tran-Hieu Minh Sensei took the first session with an exceptional demonstration of Tai Sabaki. Students were encouraged to move in a relaxed and fluid way and to apply this when doing Kihon Gumite: Ipponme and Ropponme. Students were again split into 2 for the second session of the day, with Arthur Meek Sensei taking 1st Kyus and above through Chinto kata and its applications and Peter Hill Sensei taking the rest through an explanation of Ma, Maai and Kumite Gata: Ipponme and Sabonme.

On the penultimate day of the course Graham Tuckey Sensei, continued the theme of the day before by taking students through the use of body movement. He also demonstrated a number of remedial exercises during the warm up for those who needed to strengthen their core muscles as this was of great importance when moving with the centre of the body. In the second session, Arthur Meek Sensei took all those who hoped to take a Dan grading this year through the current Dan grade syllabus while Peter Hill Sensei took the rest through Kihon Gumite Nihonme and Ropponme in detail, to everyone’s benefit.

On the final day, all students under the direction of Arthur Meek Sensei went through applications derived from various kata, which he combined with insights into floor work. He then got everyone to practice Idori.

The course then came to an end with an address from Mrs Maya Shiomitsu who on behalf of Shiomitsu Sensei, thanked everyone for coming to the course and to the instructors for making it such a success. She also thanked Ms Akiyo Shiomitsu for her sound administrative skills, which were in evidence throughout.

A Dan grading was then held. The Dan Grade Panel consisted of: Arthur Meek 7th Dan Kyoshi, Tran-Hieu Minh 7th Dan Sensei, Nick Quillam 7th Dan Sensei, Peter Hill 7th Dan Sensei and Robert Howells MBE 6th Dan, Sensei. The following students were successful in taking their grading and they are to be congratulated for their efforts:

Pascal Joly 1st Dan, Belgium

Ella Daisey O’Doherty 1st Dan, England

Judit Stangova 1st Dan, England

Paul Weaver 1st Dan, England