2019 Summer Course Report


Summer Course Report 2019

R. Howells MBE


M.Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi

This year saw the Summer course being held in a new location: The Priory Community School in Weston-super-Mare. It proved to be an excellent choice;  a pleasant venue, easily accessible by both road and rail with first class local amenities. A total of 96 students took part in training over the 5 days with individuals coming from: England, Scotland, Wales, N. Ireland, Germany, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and The Netherlands.

As tradition dictates training was split for the majority of the course into four parts. The first event was the early morning exercise, which started at 6.30 a.m. and lasted for an hour. It was held at Sand Bay. As this was a new location, there was some confusion, on the first day, as to which car park everyone was to meet at. Inevitably, half of this dedicated band were in one car park and the other half were in another at the opposite end of Sand Bay Road. The solution was obvious run towards each other and meet in the middle. However, once this was achieved everyone then had to run to the car park where the Assistant Chief Instructor had parked his car. His mission was obvious to ensure everyone knew where to meet next time and to give those who obviously got it wrong, some extra running experience so that they would not make the same mistake again! On the Tuesday morning “the Heavens Opened” and the rain lashed down but luckily the now well known car park, backed onto a hilly wooded area and so everyone  got the opportunity to practice hill runs while being protected from the worst of the rain by the trees, as the picture below shows. As M. Shiomitsu 9th Dan, Hanshi, the Wado Academy’s Chief Instructor is always keen to stress when training:



The rest of the training took on the normal pattern of a 10 o’clock start with Mokuso for twenty minutes followed by a warm up session which naturally led into training until 12 noon. With a short break training then continued until 2 p.m., after which everyone could go and explore the delights of this seaside town.

Instruction for this course was led by the Assistant Chief Instructor of the Wado-Ryu Karate-do Academy, A . Meek 7th Dan, Renshi with help from P. Hill 7th Dan, Sensei. In addition, to this  G Tuckey 6th Dan, Sensei and R. Vickerman 6th Dan, Sensei were also invited to take sessions during this course.

The main themes of this course were to emphasise the need for smooth relaxed movement, with correct posture and how the practice of good basic techniques will allow these  principles to transfer to free fighting and self-defence.  Kata was also practiced with Pinan Sandan being looked at in depth alongwith Rohai and both the European and Japanese versions of Niseishi. With the study of this latter kata our Assistant Chief Instructor was keen to emphasise that a student needs to keep his or her mind flexible and to practice, practice and practice again until moves become natural and require no conscious thought to perform.

On the Sunday of the course, the opportunity was given to run a squad training session for those who were interested in this. The aim of this session was to give people an opportunity to prepare for the Wado Academy International Competition, which is to be held in Italy on 27th October 2019. The session was taken by Matthew Soanes 5th Dan, Sensei and Riaz Ahmed 4th Dan, Sensei. At the end there were 3 demonstration bouts organised to show all those on the course what it is like to fight at international level.

On the Sunday evening and informal get together was arranged for all course members at the Commodore Hotel, Sand Bay. It was a very relaxed event and it gave everyone the opportunity to get to know each other better and exchange views on the martial arts and any other subject which came to mind.  

During the course the Assistant Chief Instructor confirmed that the Dan grade syllabus, would continue to be used for a further year, so that all Dan gradings in 2020 would follow the current syllabus.

During the course the following individuals received Dan grade certificates:

Gemma Shanahan 1st Dan – Budo Juku
Heidi Prosser 3rd Dan – WKA

On the last day the Dan grading was held with 8 students taking his or her Dan grade. The Dan grade panel consisted of: A. Meek 7th Dan, Renshi; N. Quillam 7th Dan, Renshi; P. Hill 7th Dan, Sensei and R. Howells MBE 7th Dan, Sensei.  The following students were successful at the grading and are to be congratulated on his or her achievement.

First Dan

Sabella McPake – DWR
Connor Meek – WKA
Tim Tucker – Budo Juku

Fourth Dan

Thomas Knobl – Germany