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Shihan Sahota Course - July 2012

On a very warm and humid July 7th, a good few CFTS members attended the Bunyan Sports Centre in Bedford for a traditional Shotokan course to be instructed by 7th Dan Gursharan Sahota. He has been a long-standing friend, work colleague and fellow student of karate of Sensei Kidby for almost 40 years. The course was also attended by many other of their long-standing friends who attended by special invitation.

The course began with Sensei Kidby introducing them to the course delegates. Mrs King, Mr Walker, Mr Barker, Mr Hazelwood, and Mr Slue all received warm welcomes from the CFTS students, as did the federation Chairman, Mr McClagish and secretary Mr O’Reilly.

As they all were presented to the course delegates Sensei Kidby and Shihan Sahota jointly awarded 6th Dan to Sensei Slue. He was presented with a unique diploma which had both CFTS and TISKA logos on it, jointly signed by both chief instructors. Sensei Slue, a little lost for words and overcome, attempted to make a speech. The message of what he said was of humble gratitude and comments of how far he had come. He also spoke of the training colleagues in attendance, of memories of previous training and competitions and also of how far he still had go along his journey and what still there is left to achieve.

Sensei Kidby than said a few words about Sensei Sahota, about how they first met and how their friendship both in and out of the dojo, had stood the test of time. He then went on to take thorough warm ups before handing over to Sensei Sahota.

The course was promoted as traditional Shotokan and the students were not disappointed. He began teaching simple yet at the same time physically demanding basic combinations. Additional techniques which were more demanding were included for the black belts which made it both more physically and mentally challenging. The course moved on apace, flitting between basics, freestyle combinations, and sparring, then back again. Much of the content was based loosely or otherwise on the senior grade kata, Gankaku. We broke for a comfort break and a quick drink before resuming with a sweeping routine involving two partners. This had even the most senior dan-grades pulling their hair out amongst much hilarity. Sensei Sahota then took us back to more combinations which then could be practiced on partners as Kumite sparring.

After another short break we resumed the final session with Sahota Sensei taking senior grades through Gankaku and selected bunkai whilst Kidby Sensei took those of Brown belt and below through Sochin.

The course finished a little over time, yet much too quickly, with a photographic session and much applause and gratitude expressed to Sahota Sensei for such an enjoyable afternoons’ tuition. Our thanks must go to him and to the CFTS technical committee for inviting him to take a course for us.

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