With the Easter school holidays closing both of our regular venues, a few of us took the chance to train with our friends from Kaizen Shoto Budo at Springburn Academy. It's always interesting to visit other clubs and train with different people for many reasons.
Firstly, there are different instructors. Although Hugh was there, the class was taken by Pauline Walmsley, 8th Dan and head instructor of Kaizen. Pauline was actually the first senior grade other than Hugh that I trained with, way back at my first course in 2008 and I have always really enjoyed her approach to coaching.
I like how a class will start with a particular skill and build on it throughout the session, gradually adding more and more elements. By the end of the session, I come away with a genuine sense of development and maybe the light bulb is illuminated with how the various components of a practice are connected. In this particular class, we spent time parrying and striking whilst on the ground which tied in nicely with some of the standing, parrying and deflection practices that Hugh has been working on over the last few weeks. Slowly but surely, I am seeing how the skills I am learning can be applied in varying situations.
The next benefit is you get to train with different people, which I find is a good way of both measuring my own progress and developing new skills as it definitely is a step outside the comfort zone of familiar training partners. It was great to train with Pauline Sharp (6th Dan) and Chris Foley (3rd Dan) for the first time in a couple of years and get some tips from both.
The third benefit, and perhaps the best reason of all, it is a lot of fun!
So a very enjoyable night's training ahead of our return to our regular venues for the next few weeks. I am looking forward to the next visit already!
The BMAC blog began in 2013 to chart one member's journey to black belt.