The club hosted the Shoto Budo organisation for a course at Bellahouston Sports Centre over the weekend of 10th and 11th September. It was my first course for some time and given my fitness level has been good, I was really looking forward to this.
We had a good turn out on Saturday and rather surprisingly, I was asked to take the warm up. I started with a few runs around the hall, some kicks to loosen off and then went into some sport-inspired moves, such as basketball throws (imagine squatting down to pick up a ball), hurdle jumps and American football stances. I got these from the (aptly named) Insanity workout and always found it gets the body moving. That seemed to be the case here and I choose to take statements like "that was hard" and "I'm knackered" as compliments...
It was then on to Eric to take the course and he focused on parrying. We started with some slow paced parrying with a partner and along the way adding some sticky hands and leg parrying. I did feel we could have used some more instruction on the techniques Eric was looking for. In our club, we've been working on leg and close parrying for several months but it was apparent that some others had never seen these moves so I think they would have benefited from a bit more explanation.
Somewhere in all of this, I hurt my back. It felt like a pulled muscle so when I went to get my gloves from my bag, I struggled to get back up. Not good. I sat out the next few practices and tried to stretch out.
The last hour or so was a change, with each of the third Dans present taking small groups to instruct them. All very different, and I particularly liked Chris Foley's demonstration of looking for space and Alexis Reid's chair based defence. The day finished with each group giving a demonstration of the skills just learned. It was interesting to see that the seven different third Dans had all taken different approaches. Good variety! I was taking part sporadically at this point as my back was getting worse.
Unfortunately my back really stiffened up overnight so I was not able to go on Sunday. A few days later and it's still pretty sore but I'm at least moving better. I am absolutely gutted to get injured now after such a good year of training, both in martial arts and running and I really hope this is only a minor setback. The timing is rubbish, with a half marathon only three weeks away and the next national course in eight weeks time so I am worried that my fitness will not be good enough for one or both of these events. I did some light training on Tuesday and Wednesday, mostly doing kata, some locks and hand strikes on pads and felt okay so hopefully I won't lose too much momentum in training.
Despite the injury, it was a good course and I enjoyed the different instruction from different black belts. One thing I did miss on Sunday was our very own Diana Flynn's successfully grading to green belt. Congratulations Diana!
Scott has been training in Shoto Budo since 2007 and is a 1st Dan Black Belt. He is working towards his 2nd Dan grading.