Friday, 20 April 2012

‘Furious 5’ International Seminar, Bolton 2012

I have been lucky enough in my short time in the arts to have trained with some of the best instructors around and I have also taught at many small courses / seminars all over the UK but when I was invited by Sensei Andrew Wilshaw, head of the Nippon Traditional Kobudo Association, to teach at the annual seminar I was slightly nervous but honoured to do so. Last year the event brought well over 250 participants to the dojo with instructors from all over the world teaching many different arts and this year looked like it would be just as good.

There would be two Grand Masters teaching this year. Grand Master Jack Hogan 10th Dan of Hogan Karate Association USA, teaching Kyusho and Grand Master Joe Hess 10th Dan from the USA, who would be teaching the ‘Joe Hess Back-Up System’. Unfortunately Joe could not make the trip due to unforeseen circumstances but Grand Master Bill Thurston 10th Dan of the Dark Star Martial Arts System Canada would take his place and be teaching ‘Knife defences’ from the Pilipino systems. Also on the bill would be Master Joao Fernande 6th Dan from the Algarve who would be teaching Traditional and Brazilian Ju-Jitsu. Master Jorge Remidgo also could not make the seminar so Sensei Pedro Braz kindly took his place teaching Brazilian Ju-Jitsu, also myself teaching Traditional Okinawan Kobudo.

Due to the size of the course it would be run over two days, Saturday being for cadets and Sunday for adults. Each day would be 4 hours with the groups being split up into smaller groups of 20/25 and working with one instructor before changing. On Saturday the seminar would be held at ‘Bolton School’ in a large sports hall with photo and signature opportunities for the cadets. Grand Master Hogan was teaching the pressure points of the lower arm while Grand Master Thurston was working on multiple punching. There was a matted area for both Master Fernande and Sensei Braz to teach Ju-Jitsu with myself teaching the basics of handling the Jo, working with Kihon (basics) and simple defences from ‘Shomen Uchi’ (head strikes).

After training on Saturday we had been invited to a meal, kindly donated by Ian Harrison at ‘The Crown Inn’, just outside Bolton. It was an 8 course meal spread over the night and gave everyone from the seminar some social time to meet with other members.

Sunday was the day for the adults and was held at ‘Bolton Arena’. This gave the instructors time to show off their talents and step up the tuition. Grand Master Hogan was teaching Kyusho points to the head and arms, Grand Master Thurston was teaching ‘Street Fighting’ using rapid punches and knife defences, Master Fernande and Sensei Braz were teaching many locks and strangles / chokes on the mats and I was teaching more advanced Jo, concentrating on the finer details including hand position on the weapon and ‘Maai’ (distance) to an attacker with reference to ’Uchi and Ukes’ (Strike and blocks).

The day went down really well with many good comments from all who trained and taught. We finished the day off with a display of knock outs and revivals with Grand Master Hogan demonstration a ‘No Touch Knock Out’. Something, which will be discussed for many years to come I’m sure!

It was a great weekend’s training, something that I could recommend to everyone to try for the experience but I know unfortunately these days there are not many chances to train with so many artists on one day, and with people from all over the world but I loved every minute and look forward to the next one.

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