TORBAY 2015 ARTICLE BY WAYNE LOTTERING.......
Chelmsford SKC had, by far, the biggest contingent of Karateka from any club attending the week long training course (we had 23 students training) plus the many family and friends who also traveled to Devon to support the club. We were also joined by “honorary” CSKC student, Adam Willsmore.
The first few days
The week began at 8 a.m. sharp on the Monday with a huge number of Karateka from KUGB clubs all over the country lining up for a group warm-up with Sensei Brennan. After which the students were split into classes - the largest group was for the senior grades (second Dan’s and above), another for first Dan’s, one for Brown Belts and then one for Beginner through to Purple Belts. Each class is then rotated through the senior instructors to have the opportunity (at least once) of training under these legendary champions (hence, the name of the course – 'Train with Champions').
Photograph: Chelmsford SKC members with Sensei Sherry and Sensei Brennan at the 'Train with the Champions' Spring Course 2015
The schedule for the week is busy – in addition to the two sessions a day during which the Senior Instructors provide detailed training on Kihon, Kata and Kumite there are extra sessions under Sensei’s Sherry and Brennan for those planning to grade in the near future including those for first or second Dan on the final day of the course. In addition, there are Bo Classes during the week for beginners through to advanced students, talks on important aspects of Karate, an Instructor’s Course plus assessment and then two of the highlights of week – a Kata competition and the grading examination.
Photograph: KUGB Seniors lead the class in a team Gyakuzuki - Photo courtesy of the KUGB
Photograph: Pictured centre Sensei Jane Naylor-Jones
Photograph: White belt Beth Gilbert (Right) being coached by Sensei Billy Higgins
Photograph: Romilly Pope (left) kicking Jodan
Photograph: Sparring (L-R) Wayne Lottering and Andy Crozier
Photograph: Anya Dunbar
Photograph: Connor Payne
Photograph: Megan Naylor-Jones
Most days, with so many training sessions available, it feels as if you are in your Gi all day. Plus, for Chelmsford SKC, there are lots of social events going on (not all of which are for our younger students) such as crazy golf, swimming, cinema trips, relaxing in the local Costa (which was very popular with some people) and, of course, the now legendary visit to a local fish and chip restaurant, Squires. This year, we invited our friends from Milverton Red Dragon SKC so, together with all the students and families from Chelmsford SKC, we were such a large party that they closed the restaurant just for us.
Photograph: Some of our Chelmsford youngsters taking time to relax
Each year there is a very competitive kata competition for karateka of all ages and grades. This year, the number of competitors was high, with the adults and younger students competing against each other in three categories – Kyu grades, Brown belts and Black belts.
As usual, a number of Chelmsford SKC students took the opportunity to test themselves against students from other clubs and entered this competition.
Everyone who entered the competition did themselves and the club proud by performing strongly. In the Brown Belt category, Alexander Lockett sailed through to the final. Jamie Lottering also made it to the final in the Black belt category after beating some strong opposition, including a member of the KUGB Welsh team.
It was a clean sweep for our two Chelmsford SKC finalists, with Alexander performing a strong Bassai Dai in his final to win the Brown Belt category and Jamie winning the Black Belt category after an excellent Gojushiho Sho.
Photograph: Winners - (L-R) Alexander Lockett, Sensei Andy Sherry and Jamie Lottering
The last session
The last session of the week is the toughest. We had all been working extra hard to impress Sensei Brennan as we went through a number of katas - some we went through ‘move-by-move’ a number of times before doing it all the way through and some Katas Sensei instructed us to do immediately all the way through full power.
My mind was telling my body to keep going through each kata as strong and correct as I could and with a strong attitude, but my body was just not listening as I was tiring. At times when Sensei announced to do the kata again – my immediate reaction was ‘oh no’ but then I quickly refocused my mind to perform the kata.
Well, I did manage to finish the session and then all too quickly another week of training at Torbay with the KUGB’s most senior instructors (Senseis Sherry, Poynton, Rhodes, Higgins and Brennan) was over and it seems like the week has just flown by. But what a fantastic week it was; pushing yourself further than you think you can and also learning so much whilst trying not to be overwhelmed by the opportunity to train with these very senior KUGB instructors.
Photograph: Jamie Lottering (left) kicking
Photograph: (L-R) Rosie Caddy and Jessica Steadman
Photograph: (L-R) Eddie Pickwick and Joseph Dunbar coached by Sensei Frank Brennan
Photograph: Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones
Black belt grading
For me the week was over but there was still a Black belt grading for those permitted to grade to either first or second Dan. CSKC had one student grading – Alexander Lockett for his first Dan.
I took the opportunity to watch the grading from the balcony, Alexander did extremely well and passed his first Dan with flying colours. Even to the untrained eye, it was clear that he was well prepared, had a very strong attitude and wanted to impress both Sensei Sherry and Sensei Brennan.
Photograph: Passed Shodan! (L-R) Sensei Frank Brennan, Alexander Lockett and Sensei Sherry
Whilst it’s always feels a bit flat to leave after a week’s intense training and some lovely evenings out, I am already looking forward to next year and meeting up with the many students from the various KUGB clubs who attended and, of course, another legendary fish and chip dinner.
Photograph: Article Author Wayne Lottering