Monday, 20 July 2009

Stoke Seminar and Grading Roundup

It was a small contingent from Liverpool that made it down to 'the Potteries' in Stoke for the annual seminar and grading. The seminar on the Saturday focused a great deal on seme and how to get your opponent to do what you wanted to do. Sensei John Howell's likened it to a chess game. The afternoon was taken up with shimpan practice. Mike Carter called a particularly good kote, it was a shame the other judges missed it. This was then followed by a detailed look at oji-waza.

The grading on the Sunday was a particularly long and hard affair. There were 25 ikkyu grading, 12 shodan, 8 nidan and 15 sandan. Everyone performed their shinai grading before any kata's were taken. Sadly both Mike and Oscar did not get through to the kata stage for sandan. In particular Oscar's trademark kaeshi-do's drew a few gasps of appreciation from the spectator's but it was not to be.

Dave Weston managed to make it second time lucky and defied the odd's to achieve nidan. If there was any indication of how tough the grading was the fact there was a 75% failure rate in the nidan section is evidence enough. A tense moment followed the kata as Dave was pulled aside to be instructed on the correct grip for waki-gamae, and then it was all done.

Also of note was occasional visitors from Do-Shin-Ken-Yu-Kai York, Mark Welsh who passed his ikkyu and also the help and support of Kobudokan's Andy Fisher who was paired with Dave for kata practice on the Sunday. Congratulations and thanks to them.

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