At the end of September, we headed to Dumbarton for a course, once again taken by Hugh. A healthy attendance of 30 martial artists, including 14 from BMAC, descended on the Concord Centre for a course built on the previous outing in Newcastle, utilising close-in kata as a means of staying safe and creating space from an opponent.
The course began with several runs through the kata Heian Yodan which formed the basis of the weekend’s practice. We had quite a wide array of grades at the course so for some this a chance to learn a new kata before getting to the grips of practical application.
Hugh guided us through the stages of the kata and how they can be used to create space in a close in situation, for example the opening two moves leading to a nice shoulder lock. As the course progressed and we trained with different people it was good to see where the kata helped against bigger and stronger opponents. Throughout the afternoon, we came back to the kata to reinforce the moves and think how they would be applied. It was a very warm day, the training was intense, but the three hours passed in a flash.
On Sunday, we trained in t-shirts rather than our gi jackets and worked through similar moves of the kata as the day before. The t-shirts change the practice, no longer do you have a handy jacket to grab in order to control an opponent. I had a particularly good session with Liam from Dumbarton Shoto Budo in trying to get control and move. Liam is a 4th dan black belt, very skilled and strong so this was a good test of where I am.
Sunday morning also saw a grading, with eight people taking to the mats. We had four members of BMAC sitting their first grading, with Willie and Julian achieving red belt whilst Angela and Rachel jumped to yellow belt. Very well deserved as it was a hard grading for our former white belts, and they all performed tremendously. Congratulations all round.
So, another great course, building on the skills we have been working on over the last few months. There was a really good vibe throughout the weekend and clearly everyone at the course enjoyed it. Thanks Hugh and to Liam and Jimmy from Dumbarton Shoto Budo for organising. Next up for courses is the Adult National in November.
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The BMAC blog began in 2013 to chart one member's journey to black belt.