Sensei Bob Spour Course - February 2007

The course on Saturday 24th February by Sensei Bob Spour was slick, informative, witty, and very easy to understand. The interjector of actual events and the ‘what to do if this happens’ helped give us an understanding of why we were doing the techniques, as well as how to do them.

Now, what was it you called me earlier? Go on, call me it again!

Rather than maim or damage our own Sensei Kidby (as we need him intact for further lessons), a ‘volunteer’ was selected for the demonstrations of the techniques carried out by Sensei Spour. Not one to shrink away from confrontation, Sensei Craig Finch was on hand to assist with the demo, but I wonder if at times he wished he hadn’t ‘volunteered’?! Starting with an attacker pushing and goading you, very like that experienced by bullying, we were shown how to deal with this with teisho and empi techniques. No weapons were necessary to deflect your attacker, we were just shown how to use your own techniques effectively.

‘Beware! An attack by Sensei Kidby with a wooden knife’ – deftly dealt with by Sensei McClagish

Whether you used a teisho to the side of the face, or a sweeping down (not Mawashi) empi, the effect was the same, you were able to deal with the attacker quickly and without fuss. Then we went on to knife threat defences. Of course the younger members in attendance couldn’t wait to attack each other with the wooden tantos – as we didn’t want to use real knives! (Thankfully, as there were no paramedics on hand).

Having said that, all the senior grades were chomping at the bit to have a go at each other. The first technique was how to disarm from a stationary threat, with a simple crossing of the hands at the wrist holding the tanto, followed swiftly by a diagonally sweeping empi attack to the jaw.

Other techniques included allowing an attacker who was attempting to slash you with a knife to ‘walk’ onto your elbow (age empi) as you step in, wrap your arm over the attackers knife arm trapping it close to you, teisho to the chest moving your hand up to the throat which helps them to spin to the floor as you take your leg back. When they are on the floor you ‘pummel their head with teishos!

Sensei Finch about to demonstrate a Bunny Hop to Sensei Spour (you had to be there on the day to appreciate and understand that one). What a good sport Sensei Finch was.

All the techniques were demonstrated in easy to follow stages (yes, even I could keep up) so that you could string them all together and then deliver the whole technique effectively. The commentary delivered by Sensei Spour was thought-provoking, serious, and yet humorous at the same time. These combined had us waiting eagerly in anticipation for more words of wisdom, from a person with his experiences of the good and bad aspects of human nature and what life can throw at us, he didn’t let us down.

I have it on good authority from my ex-Army son that SAS stands for Saturdays and Sundays, so I’m sure Sensei Bob Spoor is very busy at weekends? Let’s hope he can find a free weekend to fit us in again next year. Thanks to Sensei Spour for an enjoyable, informative and thoroughly entertaining afternoon. Bravo!


Thanks to Sensei Finch for allowing his body and integrity to be used for these purposes.


Thanks to Sensei Kidby for arranging the event and kindly stepping aside so Sensei Finch could take part :-)


Thanks to all the students who turned up to support the course.