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2023 Course - Photos

Updated: Oct 6, 2023

CFTS Course – Saturday 15 July 2023

The senior instructors of CFTS were not sure if there would be an appetite for bringing everyone together for a course; it used to happen three times a year back before the pandemic, but things have changed a lot since then. How would people feel training in a large group again like we used to years ago? We decided we would never know if we did not try, and we are certainly glad we did!!

On a warm, blustery and showery Saturday in July, CFTS held a course for the first time since before the pandemic when more than 100 students came together, many for the first time since they started their training, to enjoy an afternoon of training with senior instructors of CFTS. Stamping licences certainly showed how long it has been since the last course – many were blank!!

There is nothing quite like training in a large group of like-minded people. It is a different experience and challenge for both students and instructors alike. For students they are going to be doing something new and different, in a different dojo with different people, and it is a longer session than they are probably used to. For the instructor(s) it is a different set of challenges, is the course content going to be enjoyed and aimed at the right level, can everyone see and hear, does everyone get it, are they enjoying it, did I remember to bring all the equipment and am I keeping to time, to name a few!! All of that though is half the fun and the atmosphere and energy that is created really can’t be beaten!

For this course students were split into 3 groups with each being taught by a different pair of instructors for 50 minutes.

Sensei Wilson and Wilson took senior students through a Shito-ryu based kata called Matsukaze, similar to one of our own Shotokan kata. As no-one had seen or done it before, it certainly was a challenge! The middle group was treated to a focussed session on Sochin and the lower grade group to variances on a theme of Taikyoku-Shodan.

Sensei Young and Young treated all groups to a variety of bunkai for kata. Some of this was more practical based which gave a different perspective. Groups were also introduced to doing bunkai from the floor! This was new to some and proved equally enjoying, challenging and tiring – especially those over a certain age having to get up off the floor after being repeatedly ‘dumped’ on it!!! If the grunts and groans were anything indication, fun was being had!

Sensei McMahon and McMahon treated all groups to sessions on Escrima (also known as Kali or Arnis and is the national martial art of the Philippines). Again, this was new to many and involved learning how to hand the ‘stick’ before moving on to drills with a partner. Two groups used single ‘stick’, but the senior group were introduced to using two ‘sticks’. If the amount of ‘clacking’ and ‘thwacking’ coming from that end of the dojo was anything to go by much fun was had!!

Overall, everyone seemed to enjoy it and the feedback received on the day and afterwards, captured online via a feedback form, would seem to agree. Most people asked when the next one was…... well, when the instructors have recovered from this one, we will have to wait and see!!

It does take a lot of time and effort planning, designing and delivering an effective and enjoyable course. I am sure all those who attended will join me in offering considerable thanks to the instructors on the day, and to those who helped and supported in any way in putting on the course, including of course Mr Chiodo for the photographs!! I am also sure the instructors join me in thanking you all for attending and helping to make it such a success!

If you enjoyed this course, we hope to see you at the next one; if you missed out this time fingers crossed you are available for the next one!! Until then, keep up your training and remember to support your instructor and club wherever and however you can!

Yours in karate-do

Sensei James Saunders

CFTS Secretary

Here are some images of the day.....

The day was split into three sections: Bunkai, Escrima and Kata.

The kata was something new to CFTS and the bunkai session was varied

The escrima portion of the course was led by Sensei McMahon, ably assisted by Sensei McMahon!

Well done to everyone who participated, and thank you again to those senior grades who organised the course.


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