Sensei Sahota Course - November 2007

On Saturday the 17th November the young (and not so young!) gathered for the much anticipated Sensei Sahota course. The course was well-attended, with students ranging from beginner to senior Dan grades.


Sensei Sahota began training over thirty years ago, and has gained a lot of experience, including a great deal of success in numerous kata and kumite competitions. One of the most important events in Sensei Sahota’s career was his visit to Japan to train under Shihan Hirokazu Kanazawa. Sensei Kidby announced on Saturday that Sensei had just been awarded 7th Dan!


The afternoon began with Sensei running through some Kihon with us, starting with simple basics and progressing through to the more advanced.


Then Sensei went on to some Kumite combinations. These defences focused on Kaeshi Ippon defences, which help to practise reaction time. They involved a few unusual techniques such as a jumping Mawashi-geri (roundhouse kick), a technique that some found easier then others! Unfortunately we didn’t get time to have a go at some of the defences that were demonstrated, such as an interesting scooping and sweeping defence to a Kekomi (thrust kick), which I’m sure many people will be practising in their personal training!


Sensei is a well renowned Jiyu Kumite (free-fighting) exponent and started to show some of his training methods. These included the use of your belt to mark out certain shapes that we then had to manoeuvre round! A tricky and tiring exercise that will definitely aid students to improve their agility, and demonstrate another use of the martial artist’s belt!


After a five minute breather, Sensei started to go through Gojushiho Dai, which translates to 54 steps, one of the longest and most senior Kata in Shotokan Karate. The Kata is very difficult to get the pattern of as it is very similar to another Shotokan Kata. The degree of precision that Sensei broke the Kata down to was incredible, as I’m sure the higher grades will all agree!


Sensei finished the afternoon off by demonstrating a different way to demonstrate Bunkai (applications) of a Kata. He didn’t rotate in different directions like we normally do when demonstrating Bunkai, but remained facing the front at all times; another test of how well you know a Kata. Let’s hope Sensei didn’t get any ideas of introducing that at gradings!!

In all, the afternoon was a very enjoyable course, delivered with a good sense of humour throughout; as I’m sure everyone who attended will agree. I’m also sure everyone will have got something out of it, especially Sensei’s approach of looking forward to difficult things?!


By Sensei Chris Toms (Kempston club)

P.S sorry the report has been a long time coming, there have been a few technical problems. Keep up the hard training. Oss.