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Monday, April 20, 2009

Kato Sensei's Kata Course

What a weekend for Josh to attend his first Black and Brown belt course at Whitchurch at the home of Kato Sensei! As a teenage 2nd kyu it is daunting enough turning up at Sensei's on a Friday night, it is so different from anybody elses home that you would walk into. As Rebecca put it there is always so much to look at, items from all other the world.

Training started at 10.30 on Saturday when Sensei announced " No Kihon, No Kumit, just Kata this weekend, we must all work hard to remember Asai Sensei kata....this weekend Junro kata, Shodan... Nidan... Sandan... Yondan... Godan, also Joko Kata, Issei... Nisei... Sansei... Yonsei... and Gosei" My maths skills have always been ok but I wasn't sure but I thought Sensei had just told us that we would be practicing ten Asai Ryu kata over the coming two days?

What a baptism of fire for young Josh. I have always been a bit slow to pick up kata so I was glad that although I don't regularly train in any of the ten that Sensei had just mentioned I had a least seen / tried at least six or seven of them. At Shodan I am still trying to concentrate mainly on the core Shotokan kata, although I do enjoy dabbling in Asai ryu kata.

Saturday was a long day starting at the Whitchurch school and after lunch continuing in Sensei's garden until a little after 17.00hrs. The session had concluded with Sensei Peter Custance teaching Joko Gosei. After training Thomas, Josh, Dom and myself ran few the kata that we had been taught during the day while some karateka retired to the sauna and some to the bar for a well deserved pint.

I also used the time in the early evening to practice some of the Asai kata that we were not practising that weekend. I was very grateful to Sensei Brian Toomey from Ireland of his corrections to my performances of Kashu and Meikyo Nidan. I aslo went through Rantai with Simon from Haxby and again Sensei Brian was kind enough to gave us a few pointers.

Sunday started with about ninety minutes of Joko Gosei bunkai. I am never failed to be amazed at Sensei's bunkai of kata. For each sequence he would demonstrate multiple applications depending on technique used for attack. We would then practice that sequence of moves and then partner up and practice the bunkai.

Over the weekend Sensei also announced a number of Dan grading results. Quite a few IJKA Dan grades had been undertaking examinations for period of up to eighteen months and only got their results at the weekend. Our congratulations go to Sensei Dr Jonathan Lyons - 5th Dan, Lisa Woods - 4th Dan, Frances Kenny - 3rd Dan, Steve Cameron - 3rd Dan, Sunil Agalgatti - 2nd Dan and Steve Crowe - 2nd Dan. Claire was also taking Sensei Stacey's 2nd Dan certificate back to Ireland for her. Also recently promoted in 2009 Sensei Mike Kotowski - 5th Dan and Dave Sanderson 4th Dan. Late on Sunday Sensei also completed the final stages of Sensei Milena Galabova grading and promoted her to 3rd Dan. Sensei-ni-rei, Osu!

Well back to Josh, what a weekend, I was very proud to be your Sempai, Thomas, Dom and Josh all were perfect ambassadors for our club.

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