by Stephen Stanway, Branchmaster Cardiff
On the 6th July 2013 there was a gathering of kenshi, some local, some from far and wide, to mark the 700th class of the Cardiff club. Mizuno Sensei was leading the session, with Yasue Sensei also. There was a great treat with Will and Ben showing their skills with shakujos, the sequence prepared for the Hyper Japan event. A big “Thank You” to everyone who came to join us for this celebration. We had a great day!
As part of the schedule we planned a more in depth look at how Mizuno Sensei makes people fall over otherwise known as a Juho Masterclass, or throwing the Cardiff instructor around for a few minutes, which he really enjoyed from the look on his face! The key pointers were keeping an upright posture all the time, moving quickly as soon as your attacker grabs, and listening very carefully to whatever your attacker is doing and working with it. Interestingly this was mostly balance, more than wrist pain. Another aspect was thinking about the nuki or escape technique when executing a throw – there is much similarity in how a throw is initiated. Finally everything happens from the centre-line.
The sparring at the end of the class was also very memorable and instructive. After watching for a couple of minutes, Mizuno Sensei basically said you don’t want to do it like that, you want to do it like this. Moving simultaneously with the attacker every action was countered before it was completed, not block, then counter.
“This is the first subject you must study”. Again everything happens from the centre-line.
After the session
Apparently, you are not supposed to drink hot sake down in one go, did you know that? Following a quick trip to the pub, we adjourned to the restaurant for a food and a little to drink. And so on.
Please keep a look out for “The Welsh Experiment”. Planning has begun for a more meditative type of Kempo Retreat to take place in the summer next year. Either by the beach, or in the mountains, with plenty of zazen, lots of the more mental / spiritual aspects and involving bo staff training, camping and healthy fresh air.
It was a very informative day technically, and inspiring too, one to remember for some time. Thanks once again to all involved, and to those who helped out, and travelled a long way to join us. Especially thank you to Mizuno Sensei and Yasue Sensei for the long drive and time they gave to us, and their kind words of support and appreciation.