On Saturday 11th November, students from across the Bedford area had the opportunity to train under Sensei Simon Oliver, 7th Dan, JKR-UK chief instructor. Sensei is well known to Sensei Dan Young and other black belts from Brickhill and Kempston clubs.
The day started badly with Sensei Oliver breaking down on the way to the dojo but, Sensei Steve Young went to the rescue and towed Sensei to Brickhill Community Centre. The first lesson covered bunkai, oyo, henka to the first half of Heian Nidan. We paused at 11 to do our 2 minutes silence before resuming the fun! This session covered defence to habitual acts of violence and the concept of irimi (entry).
The second session for green belts and above covered the Shotokan version of Bassai Dai. Sensei explained the history of the kata and took us through the same pattern of bunkai, oyo, henka. This session had added takedowns as well as posture/balance disruption - a’un to kuzushi.
The third and final session was on the bo kata Sunakake No Kon. This is the first bo kata taught in Sensei Oliver’s syllabus and is traditionally an oar kata given the translation of sand scooping. We went through the kata, which a few Kempston students had done previously, before some drills for the kata covering striking and some mobility exercises with a bo.
All in all, an excellent day's training was had judging by the smiles on people’s faces or that might have been seeing me as uke for Sensei! A great deal was learnt and the comments from Sensei Oliver and students were glowing. A big thank you to Sensei for coming to take us for 6 hours, we are already looking forward to your next visit which you’ve already agreed to next year.
Sensei Dan Young