Sadly too few CFTS students met up on a warm July afternoon at the Bunyan Sports Centre in Bedford for a much anticipated bunkai course to be taken by Sensei Andi Kidd. It was his first visit to us, although some students had been to visit him on a couple of occasions.
Students relaxed as he introduced himself and the course content because of his warmth, humour and the ease with which he talked. He briefly told those in attendance of his martial arts history, both positives and negatives, with a few light hearted anecdotes along the way.
He explained that he began his journey to learn self protection but struggled to make sense of what he was being taught. Andi Kidd has trained under many different instructors and pieced together the bits he thought worthwhile into an effective defensive style based upon Shotokan.
The course began with the first sequence of Heian Nidan. Those who thought such a basic kata may be too simple were in for a rude awakening. The students were encouraged to go away in pairs and train in a relaxed way with good control and explore what Sensei Kidd had demonstrated.
They were also allowed to let their imagination and instinct take over and not to adhere to rigorously to the kata. Students were told to relax and enjoy what they were practicing and as Renshi has said so many times to train with sincerity and diligence.
After the majority of Heian Nidan had been covered we stopped for a short break. Selected moves from Bassai Dai were demonstrated before students were once again allowed to go away and practice some of the bunkai. The most fun was had when doing groundwork bunkai which was a new concept to some of the lower grades.
Again confirming something CFTS students have heard many times, sensei explained that kata is the single most important aspect of one’s training. It is here you find out a lot about yourself and discover how Shotokan as a fighting system works.
Sadly the end of the course came around too soon. We had a couple of photographs taken with sensei who then thanked those there for their efforts and open-mindedness.
The legacy of the afternoon should be to diligently practice one’s kata. Then one must get to know the bunkai which is the main reason for learning kata. It is then a students’ responsibility to practice it with realism so if called upon to use it, it will be both instinctive, and effective.
Thank you to Sensei Kidd for an enjoyable, informative and fun afternoon’s tuition. Here’s to your next visit!