The day began with the senior grades arriving at the Honbu Dojo about 1030am. What followed were the usual formal greetings, informal light hearted banter (that is often common place between the senior grades), changing into GI’s, handing in their licences / attendance books / training cards and drinking tea while waiting in anticipation for what the day may hold.
“I do often think we should check the passports of the southern visitors as we don’t want to let just anyone across the Norfolk / Suffolk borders”
And so at 11am (Ishin Ryu time) the day began with a general discussion on the up and coming SHODAN HO Grading. This was to ensure that all candidates were compliant with the minimal required training / attendance stamps, first aid certificate, CRB check etc and to mutually agree a date to carry out said abuse (oops I mean grading). The day of sacrifice was agreed to be Sunday 11th May.
With this finally confirmed (and on the wall planner) the day continued.
At some point food and more tea was consumed (with further banter and retold stories of old) but at which point in the day is immaterial as we were destined for the usual mix of technical training and bone crunching, sweat drenched general training and conditioning work, commonly referred to by the senior grades as ‘Fun’. And to keep us on our toes and to ensure we didn’t get cold (how thoughtful) extra phys was thrown in between the technical parts of the grading syllabus.
The first part of the Technical session concentrated on how best to approach our new standard front break fall / picking a hand gun up into the Israeli gun stance (previously we used the Weaver stance). This took a little bit of open discussion on the pros and cons of how to best teach it etc. It was decided that standing and kneeling would be integrated and that prone would remain the same (although I still want to see Harvey demonstrate an Israeli style prone position OUCH!!). Once that was complete we moved on through various syllabus techniques (again with extra phys).
Then it was time for Soke to go through techniques from the ‘early days’ which incorporated more Kempo style strike techniques. This was received well by all of the senior students and I’m sure that there are plenty more techniques in Soke’s bag of tricks for us to experience at a later stage.
Once we had our whistles wet with new techniques it was time to clear the decks and change up a gear. This resulted in a mixture of stand-up Randori, bag work, fireman carries, casualty drags etc etc etc to further test our physical and mental strengths.
At 6pm the training day was drawn to a close with the usual array of clapping hands, formal bows, handshakes and cuddles. Then it was a swift shower / change and off to the old faithful (Wagon & Horses pub) for some well-deserved food and beverages before disbanding into the night.