Sensei Randall Course - April 2007

A sunny Saturday afternoon and we are off to a karate course. Some might prefer to be in the garden or washing the car, but around 60 dedicated Karate-ka headed for Kempston and an afternoon of instruction under the expert guidance of Sensei Randall.


Unfortunately, due to a bad back, sustained whilst trying to lower my husband to the floor (during a karate lesson of course!) I am a spectator today. So along with a few parents and an assortment of the wounded I lurk at the sidelines, snapping photos to replace the memories of the course I can’t take part in.


Sensei Randall is a regular visitor to C.F.T.S and always provides an entertaining afternoon. The session began with some Gohon Kumite or five attack sparring but with Sensei’s own added ‘twist’. This involved various wrist blocks for each step, warming up the mind as well as the body.


The afternoon continued with a combination for two attackers and one defender. From my point of view this looked great fun. Different enough from normal combinations to make it fresh and tricky enough to make people have to think! A few of the youngest members found it rather challenging to master but Sensei Kidby and Sensei McClagish were on hand to offer support to those who needed it.


There were further combinations for pairs and groups of 3 before a short well-earned break for water.

If you thought any of the combinations were difficult, you were now in for a shock! Sensei Randall’s favourite kata, Gojushiho–sho (sometimes known as dai) was next, which is quite long and has some unusual moves in it. This is one I am struggling to master – but merely watching was not much help - I’m definitely a kinaesthetic learner.

There was much glancing around and several blank faces to begin with, but after a couple of times through, people seemed to be picking up the pattern and tackling the moves far more confidently.


Sensei Randall always offers a marvellous afternoon's training and this was no exception. He is a great Karate-ka and one of the nicest, most unassuming gentleman you could ever meet. Next time I’ll just drop my husband on the floor!