2019 Winter Course Report

“Datsu Ryoku, Ryu Sui, Hado”

M. Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi

The Winter course was held as in previous years at the Spectrum Leisure Centre, Guildford. This year over 170 students took part in the five-day course, with individuals coming from: England, Scotland, Germany, Italy, France, Norway, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, Portugal and Madagascar.

As tradition dictates the course was split into three parts each day. The first part was practicing Mokuso for twenty minutes followed by a warm up session which naturally led into the first training period of the day until 12 noon. After a short break the students, on the second through to fifth days of the course, were split into three separate cohorts: Third Dan and above; First and Second Dans and finally Kyu grades.

On the first day, however, both the first session and second sessions were taken by A. Meek 7th Dan, Renshi the Academy’s Assistant Chief Instructor. During his instruction, he developed the themes of the course, which our Chief Instructor had sought to teach all Academy students over his many years of instruction, namely the concepts of: Datsu Ryoku, Ryu Sui and Hado. Taken together these principles emphasized the need to have relaxed flowing movement which incorporated an understanding of wave motion designed to capitalise on the human body’s natural physiology to produce penetrating power to achieve a devastating effect.

On the second day of the course not only was the opportunity taken to take a group photograph but also our Chief Instructor, M. Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi, paid a brief visit to the course to see how things were going, present Dan grade certificates and attend the Senior Instructor, Heads of Association and Country Representatives’ meeting, which was held at the end of the day’s training.

The following individuals received Dan grade certificates:
Neve Champion 1st Dan
Rolf Blakkestad 1st Dan
Ben Vernon 1st Dan
Daisy Grundy 1st Dan
Bryan Smith 1st Dan
Gabriel Beck 1st Dan
Geir Vinje 1st Dan

Ethan Champion 2nd Dan
Mark Vallei 2nd Dan

Christopher Grundy 3rd Dan
Craig Hill 3rd Dan
Russell Ovey 3rd Dan

Daniel Bevan 4th Dan
Andy Kilby 4th Dan
Corin Pegden 4th Dan
Arne Larsen 4th Dan

Marit Alise Scheie 5th Dan

Throughout the course instruction was also given by Tran Hieu Minh 7th Dan, Renshi and P. Hill 7th Dan, Sensei. Each of these instructors brought their unique insights into the sessions they took. For example, Tran Hieu Minh, Sensei emphasised the need to relax when completing any Wado-Ryu technique, the art of which he demonstrated flawlessly every time he demonstrated Kihon, Kata and Kumite. While P. Hill, Sensei brought an analytic focus to each technique he demonstrated, breaking it down into its constituent parts so that the student could more easily understand what he or she is trying to achieve. He also emphasised the importance of being serious in training and insisted on several occasions that pair work was undertaken in silence so that the individual could give his or her full focus to what was being practiced.

On the last day the Dan grading was held with 9 students taking his or her Dan grade. The Dan grade panel consisted of: A. Meek 7th Dan, Renshi; Tran Hieu Minh 7th Dan, Renshi; N. Quillam 7th Dan, Sensei; 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
Lauren Webb – Stroud
Kevin Cleaver – Ren-Bu-Kan (Wiltshire)
Paul Hemmings – Chubu

Second Dan
Philip Tasker – Coventry

Third Dan
Vittorio Cecchet – Italy

Fourth Dan
Mike Stengel – Germany

Finally, a heartfelt thank you to Ms Akiyo Shiomitsu for her administrative support throughout the course. Her administrative skills, as always, were first rate and ensured the week passed without a hitch.