The club hit the road in May for a course hosted by our friends from Newcastle Shoto Budo. Nine of us made the trip for what turned out to be a very fun weekend of socialising and training.
After dinner and drinks on Friday night, we had a leisurely start on Saturday with training starting at 1pm. Well, technically it started at 1:15pm due to some horrendous traffic between our hotel and the course venue, caused by a driver running out of fuel. I won’t repeat some of more descriptive phrases used about said driver.
Hugh was leading the course, using some of the techniques we have been working on for a while around movement and staying safe. He built up from some our pummelling drill practice, into moving an opponent and then into some strikes. This was a good practice, with some good learning for me. At one point I was training with Adam from Newcastle, who’s a lot bigger than I am but I found ways that I could still move him and retain control. It’s good to have a lightbulb moment.
Come Sunday and we started in a similar vein, only this time wearing shorts and t-shirts rather than the traditional gi. This is always interesting as the control points on your opponent can change when you don’t have a handy white karate suit to cling onto. We moved to 2-on-1, with one opponent grappling and the other holding a pad that you need to try and strike. It’s always an interesting practice, to find a balance point to deliver a strike without opening yourself to be moved. One thing I learned is not to always try to “win” and go for the pad if it doesn’t present itself
We then added in hip throws, and then a shrimping movement as a means of staying safe when you land. This was followed by adding a tripod sweep, and after a few weeks in the club plus the course, this simple but effective take-down is really starting to flow.
Finally, Hugh called pairs of us to demonstrate everything put together. I was paired up with Michael and after some grappling and movement, he took me down with an excellent single leg. Admittedly not what we had been doing over the weekend, but it was very good!
Sunday morning also saw a grading for three adults, Andy and Hannah from Newcastle both did well, and our very own Morag moved up to green belt. She did an excellent job and I’m sure she’ll appreciate the photos of her looking exhausted by the end. Well done everyone on your richly deserved new belts.
So, an excellent weekend all round. On a personal note, I enjoyed it immensely and was delighted to be able to train for all six hours without any ill effects. The recovery continues! There was great training and information provided by Hugh and you could see how much everyone enjoyed the course by the laughter and big smiles throughout the weekend. Lots of thanks to Newcastle Shoto Budo for hosting the course and their hospitality and to Hugh for putting together the practices. Looking forward to the next one!
Scott has been training in Shoto Budo since 2007 and is a 1st Dan Black Belt. He is working towards his 2nd Dan grading.