14th Annual Shochu Geiko Cross Training Weekend
3rd & 4th October 2015

14th Annual Seminar

14th Annual Seminar

And so another Shochu Geiko is over – broken bones, a few stitches and a plethora of bruises and most importantly 100 happy students!

The international Seminar hosted by Kevin Pell Sensei every year has now concluded its 14th year.

Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu’s Chief Instructor, Kevin Pell Sensei who founded his School in 1990, decided that the best way to expand ones learning was to try everything, which is why we find ourselves, every October, welcoming a number of very talented martial arts instructors from other arts to the Thetford sports centre for two days of martial arts cross training at its very best.



Every year sees a multitude of top class instructors come together to share their knowledge, and this year was no exception. Such is the standard of instructing on the course that students travel from overseas to join in the fun! This year we hosted visitors from Switzerland, Germany, Hungary and Portugal. Not to mention the Welsh contingent who make the trip every year.

As is tradition the course commenced with a full line up before a 10 minute warm up by the infamous Shihan Mac Robertson (more on this bone breaker later!) then straight into classes in an art of your choice. This year’s line-up included Judo, Kyokoshin  Karate, Escrima, Iaido, Sport Nunchaku, Aikido, kick boxing, MMA, Brazilian Ju Jitsu and various schools of Ju Jitsu.

This year we would like to thank the following instructors for their fabulous instruction in a whole array of Martial disciplines:

David Wilson Hanshi
Paddy Swallow Kyoshi
Tom Starling Sensei
Mac Robertson Shihan
Miguel Camacho Sensei
Martin Folan Sensei
Nikolas Efreme Renshi
Steve Iles Sensei
Master Martin Sillitoe
Joao Santos Sensei
Richard Smith Sensei

Miggy teaching MMA

Miggy teaching MMA

Everyone threw themselves (quite literally) into the training and fun was had by all. A few hours in Sensei Tom Garvin arrived (having been teaching in London) with his partner Victoria Pell – yes, PELL! He is insane enough to date the bosses daughter! However, I don’t mention them turning up because of who they are, I mention them because they drove up to Norfolk to take part in this course despite picking up keys to their new house the night before! Dedicated or what!

Also on Saturday evening unbeknown to all of us – until the news was made public on Sunday- a lovely couple from Wales James Thomas and Rosemary John became engaged. James decided the most appropriate time and place (for two enthusiastic martial artists)  for a proposal would be over the weekend of this cracking seminar, so CONGRATULATIONS to James and Rosie.



Sunday morning started with the first ever CQC challenge, this was a military style challenge organised and run by Sensei’s Paul Rudd and Jim Harker from the Military Dojos. Teams of six were made to complete a number of physical tasks including casualty drags and carries followed by some hand to hand combat and weapon disarms. A fantastic effort by all teams participating (especially Kate PARSONS from Wales who was cajoled into it on Sunday morning!) each team had to pay a £30 entry with all the money going to our chosen charity “Hounds for Heroes” additionally Sensei Jim and Sensei Andy T matched the entry team prices for the first 4 teams entered adding another £160 to the pot – Well done and thanks.

After much screaming of support and a minor injury with a weapon (a few stitches and he was fine!!) Borehamwood stomped home with the trophies, well done Borehamwood and commiserations to Honbu Dojo who came in second.  I would like to say well deserved to the Borehamwood lads……. But I’m from Honbu!! No, seriously, great competition and well done to the winners. Sensei Tom, Sempai Sam, Sempai Jack, Lee Swain, Jake Rider and Harvey Cousins.

CQC Challenge

CQC Challenge

As soon as the matts were cleared of weapons and debris it was straight into the Judo competition, organised by Kyoshi Paddy Swallow.

This is always a great competition, especially as the Ishin Ryu students have no real practice at Judo and the rules are basically learnt throughout the competition with Kyoshi shouting at us as we break the rules! (what do you mean no punching!)

Winners in the under 70k :-
GOLD Rhys SANDFORD Kanazawa Judo Club, SILVER Jack O’BRIEN Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu, BRONZE Kate PARSONS ……..  Judo Club

Winners in the under 80K:-
GOLD Andy HERBERT Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu, SILVER Sam GLADDY Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu, BRONZE James HAWKEY Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu

Winners in the over 80K:-
GOLD Jon FITZGERALD Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu, SILVER Lee SWAIN Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu, BRONZE Jake RIDER Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu

The Judo was followed by the Nicklestick Escrima competition. Organised and run by Master Martin Sillitoe. This competition commenced with a contact kata by master Martin on a topless Simon Fletcher- ouch… these sticks can hurt through padding, so to go bare chested is a testament to Simons strength (or stupidity) once again, participants were asked to pay a small entry fee (for the charity) and Simon Fletcher offered to pay more if he could fight in his underwear!! And so another record was broken, Master Martin has never umpired a match conducted in underwear before – and will probably never do so again! However the pain must have spurred Simon on as he came a well-respected second, beaten only by James Thomas.

Simon Fletcher and Master Martin Sillitoe

Simon Fletcher and Master Martin Sillitoe

During this event, the Sport Nunchaku competition took place. New to the Shochu Geiko the Nunchaku slotted nicely into the Ishin Ryu mentality of hitting stuff hard! I couldn’t even start to explain the rules but in a nutshell, the winners of hitting each other with Nunchaku was GOLD Jake RIDER Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu, SILVER James HAWKEY Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu, BRONZE Ian Reynolds and the winner of the ladies category was awarded to Rosie.

Well done everyone.

And finally was the eagerly awaited Ishin Ryu Knockdown competition, refereed and organised by Miggy Camacho. This is always a high intensity competition with noisy support in every corner and this year did not disappoint. As usual Miggy explained the rules (or the lack of them) and the fights were underway. Everyone put in maximum effort. A special mention to Lee Swain who, despite breaking a few toes in the judo competition still participated in the knockdown – although he didn’t do a lot of kicking!

This is not weight dependant and everybody was in the same category, so I’m sure Sensei Del Shannon was delighted to be crowned the winner as one of the smaller competitors! SILVER and GOLD were awarded to Sam GLADDY and Patrick DAVIS respectively and all winners were Ishin Ryu students (let’s get some affiliates stepping up next year)

Whilst all of these activities were unfolding the masseuse that is  Shihan Mac was making even more money for the cause by offering sports massages to the masses. With very few breaks Shihan massaged broken bodies for 3 solid hours. Good Effort Shihan, you could probably do with a massage yourself after that lot!

And so the 14th annual International Course drew to an end, rounded of nicely with a hearty rendition of Happy Birthday to Sensei Pell, Kyoshi Paddy and Victoria Pell. Everyone hugged, said farewell (hugged again) and went on their merry way, buzzing from the great atmosphere.

After a full days training (we started at 10 and finished at 6) everyone had a quick freshen up before we moved through to the bar area for a buffet and Karaoke. Anyone who knows me will know just how much love I have for the Japanese phenomenon that is so popular amongst wanabe pop stars!! So anyway, there was a party, there was food and there was some singing (and there was some screeching and wailing too)

For those of you who left early, you missed the delight of the understated Simon Fletcher entering the bar in full riot gear (with shield and baton) whilst blowing a large horn. For those of you who met Simon for the first time this weekend – Well, consider it part of the experience!!

Happy students

Happy students

That leaves me just to say a well done and Thankyou to Kevin Pell Sensei  for organising such a fabulous weekend yet again!!! You have created a legend of a seminar and everyone is already looking forward to this year’s cross training weekend incorporating the  2016 Ishin Ryu Ju Jitsu Combat Games to be held on the 8th & 9th of October 2016 in Thetford, Norfolk, England.

1 Comment on 14th Annual Shochu Geiko Cross Training Weekend
3rd & 4th October 2015

  1. sempai Lou // June 21, 2016 at 1:35 am // Reply

    As always a great weekend meeting friends old and new – thanks for the report Sensei Sheila.

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