Once again there was a unanimous request for Shihan Holmes to come back and give us another self-defence course. Shihan Holmes brought a few helpers to assist in teaching & demonstrations.
After a surprisingly quick warm up (frequent attendees of Shihan Holmes courses will understand this reference!) we were introduced to a method of heightening/increasing our awareness. This training method is used by NASA on a daily basis and involves a series of eye movements and verbal commentary that you perform sequentially; additional stimuli are introduced to make it more difficult (surprisingly doing the set eye movements was not easy) such as mental arithmetic and physical pushes. Karate ka experienced different feelings based on the process - including heightened awareness of surroundings.
Next we were treated to a series of self-defence techniques targeted at different grabs from an attacker. Most resulted in locks and multiple strikes to disable the attacker.
During our break a series of martial arts discussions ensued between Shihan Holmes and our Dan grades, that resulted in Shihan Holmes giving us a demonstration of how he harnessed his attacker’s force/Chi and redistributed around his body to reduce or nullify the blow. His very graphical demonstration by one of students kicking him in the groin and it not affecting him in the slightest was both impressive and painful to watch!
After the break we were given more complex counters to attackers, which highlighted his style of multiple attacks to a single point on the attacker’s body. This contrasts our Shotokan Karate style of attacking different targets as usually presented by the "equal and opposite" reactions of our techniques (i.e. we strike the stomach, which doubles the attacker over, presenting the attackers head for the next attacker, which throws the attacker head back, presenting the stomach, etc). Shihan Holmes showed how his style will attack the same target 3 or more times in quick succession. The first attack stimulating the nerves etc, setting up the point for the next attacks to do successively do more damage/cause more pain with each strike.
We also got to "play" around with a few throws on our attackers and the infamous and very painful "ear lift" technique.
As usual everyone seemed to really enjoy the course. Thanks to all that supported the event, thanks to Sensei Kidby for organising it and Shihan Holmes for teaching!