A tale of two Sensei - (Hazard & Kato)
We travelled down from North Yorkshire to London to stay with Rebecca's great aunt in Enfield on Friday. After a few hours to catch up, an Italian meal and a couple of ends of bowls we were ready to get our heads down for an early start on Saturday morning. (Don't anyone mention the bowls to Rebecca, definitely not good for her image.)
We were visiting Sensei Paul Herbert's dojo at Dartford to train with Hazard Shihan, I had not managed to train there since 2006, but as always there was a warm welcome.
Herbert Sensei and Hazard Shihan were both Kohai of the late Enoeda Shihan. Dave Hazard's first karate session was in 1969 when he walked into Blackfriars dojo, the class was being taught by Enoeda Sensei and he was assisted by Kato Sensei. To learn more of their introduction I suggest you read Dave Hazard's book "Born fighter".
The session was a mix of the three K's, but all required zanshin. We worked on breathing, the correct course of the block to ensure they are effective. Kumite combinations and a short but great session on Jion, both kata for grading and kata with attitude that "would do the business". I related this to Paul Herbert interview in this months Shotokan magazine where he talks about "allowing training to become a little edgy and ugly" (another good read).
After training we travelled to my brothers on the Surrey / Hampshire board for another family evening including some food and wine.
This morning we were up early to travel to Dr Jonathan's dojo in Buckinghamshire to train with Kato Shihan. Guess what the 3 K's again. With a hall 3/4 full of dan grades, Sensei focus was correct Kihon. Sensei has a way to break down a technique and building it up again to deepen the understanding of the class. The session finished with Kata Mekiyo Sandan. I was pleased because I missed out a couple of Weeks ago when Sensei was at our dojo, I was assisting Gullen Shihan with gradings.
I think we had managed to drive 300km south , circumnavigate the whole of the M25 around London, before heading off North back to Yorkshire. We drove straight to the Barlby dojo arriving with 20 minutes to spare before tonights training session.
In the last 10 minutes of training tonight we even got the chance to run through Meikyo Sandan another few times.
Many thanks to Herbert and Lyons Sensei for hosting Hazard and Kato Shiahan "Sensei-Ne-Rei!"and for the opportunity to train in budo forms of Shotokan Karate, "Shihan-Ne-Rei, Osu!"