2020 Winter Course Report

“Get Sweat”

M.Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi

The Spectrum Leisure Centre complex in Guildford was again the venue for this year’s winter course. Also, this year marked the biennial visit to the UK of the third Grand Master of Wado-Ryu Karate-Do, H. Otsuka III. During the course he was ably assisted in his instruction by the Assistant Chief Instructor of the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy: A Meek 8th Dan Renshi, Tran Hieu Minh 7th Dan Renshi and P Hill 7th Dan Sensei. Over 240 students took part in training over the 5 days with individuals coming from: England, Scotland, Wales, Australia , Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Finland, Hungary, Belgium and The Netherlands.

Each day the lessons began with a period of Mokuso followed by a two hour session from the Grand Master on the fundamental principles of Wado-Ryu. He emphasised the importance of using the deep internal muscles of the body in harmony to create the correct posture and effect. The reliance on external muscles was to be avoided and one should try to focus on what is necessary to achieve the most efficient and effective movement. He stressed the need to be aware of one’s own body and the practicality of engaging the core muscles and the need to train hard to make this a natural response to the technique being employed. Only by continuous active practice in these techniques could a student ensure that the core muscles are engaged at the right time and in the right way.

In trying to illustrate this the Grand Master broke down basic techniques, such as: Junzuki, Gyakuzuki, Gyakuzuki no Tsukkomi, Tobikomizuki and Nagashizuki demonstrating how muscle groups are to be engaged in the delivery of these techniques. He also introduced new pair work to course students: Ura no Kumite Ni Ju Yohon. There are 24 of these techniques taken from the writings of the original Grand Master and which the third Grand Master was keen to introduce to the Wado family.

The Third Grand Master of Wado-Ryu Karate-Do H. Otsuka III

The second session of the day was then broken down into 4 groups with our Assistant Chief Instructor A. Meek Sensei teaching the Dan grade syllabus to those who aspired to take a Dan grading either on this course or in the future. The Grand Master took third Dans and above in more fundamental study of Wado-Ryu techniques, while Tran Hieu Minh Sensei took the remaining black belts and P. Hill Sensei took the Kyu grades.

Assistant Chief Instructor of the Wado Academy A. Meek 8th Dan Renshi

Also, on the first day our Chief Instructor M. Shiomitsu 9th Dan Hanshi visited the course and presented Dan grade certificates and honorary titles to the following individuals:

Dan Grades

A Meek 8th Dan – Budo Juku, UK
O Rossen 5th Dan – Germany
M Stengel 4th Dan – Germany
T Knöbl 4th Dan – Germany
K Túsz 3rd Dan – Hungary
I Csiki 2nd Dan – Hungary
M Blegeberg 1st Dan – Norway
V Cecchet 3rd Dan – Italy
K Cleaver 1st Dan – Ren Bu Kan (Wiltshire), UK
E Eriksson 1st Dan – Sweden
P Hemming 1st Dan – Chubu, UK
T S Johansen 1st Dan – Norway
M Kristiansen 1st Dan – Norway
S McPake 1st Dan – DWR, UK
C Meek 1st Dan –  Budo Juku, UK

Honorary Titles

R Vickerman 6th Dan Renshi – Chubu, UK
G Tuckey 6th Dan Renshi – Coventry, UK
P Bellanova 4th Dan Shido-In – Switzerland

The instruction for the next three days of the course followed a similar pattern to the first, with Dan grading instruction also being taken by P. Hill Sensei, Kyu grade instruction by Tran Hieu Minh Sensei and the remaining Dan grades being taught by A. Meek Sensei. However, in addition to this, our Assistant Chief Instructor thanked the senior overseas instructors present on the course for all their efforts in looking after the Wado Academy’s interests abroad and there was an international instructors’, country representatives’ and heads of associations meeting as well. On Day 4 for UK based instructors, there was a brief on the Wado Academy’s child protection and safe guarding policies by Gillian MacKenzie DWR, the Wado Academy’s child protection and safeguarding officer and this was supplemented by pointers from Corin Pegden Sensei.

Tran Hieu Minh 7th Dan Renshi

P. Hill 7th Dan Sensei

On the last day the Dan grading was held with  students taking his or her Dan grade. The Dan grade panel consisted of: H. Otsuka III Grand Master Wado-Ryu, A. Meek 8th Dan Renshi; N. Quillam 7th Dan Renshi; Tran Hieu Minh 7th Dan Renshi; P. Hill 7th Dan Sensei and R. Howells MBE 7th Dan, Sensei.  

Twelve students took their Dan grading and the following were successful at the grading and are to be congratulated on his or her achievement.

First Dan

L Casagrande – Italy
K Lalla – Germany

Second Dan

M Preece – DWR, UK
J Stangova – Ohku Kai, UK
D Valli – France

Fifth Dan

E Biais – France
J Pousset – France