On Saturday 4th February 2017, Shihan Elena Floris made a welcome return visit to Kempston to provide another excellent course, this time covering the area of kumite.
Shihan Floris began by taking the students through some very basic kihon, emphasising keeping the knee high when executing a front snap kick (Mae Geri). She also demonstrated an alternative way of performing a kekomi kick, which was quick and probably well suited to freestyle.
Gohon and Sanbon kumite followed, with Shihon Floris taking the class through a sequence of blocks and counters and demonstrating the importance of using the hips and dropping when blocking, engaging the whole body, rather than just part of it.
The session ended with pair work with students putting the sequence into a kumite setting, building up to high speed.
One of the threads running through the afternoon was the concept of 'zanshin' or maintaining concentration, which has been a theme in Renshi Kidby's dojos in recent weeks. Shihan Floris used the analogy of guarding a bar of chocolate to help the younger students grasp the idea.
The afternoon was highly enjoyable and was aimed at all grades. It was essentially a very basic course but I believe everyone who attended would have learned something invaluable which will enhance their future training.
Shihan Floris was carrying an injury that afternoon but that did not prevent her from demonstrating the techniques with expert speed and precision. In her words, "When I put on a gi, I forget the injury". Those are the words of a true karateka and it is always an honour to attend her courses.