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JUST WHAT THE DOCTOR ORDERED
28 June 2021 1:22 pm
Matt Sensei watches on as Academy members and guests are put through their paces.
With the last 15 months weighing heavy, it was a delight to have the opportunity to welcome guest instructor and JKS England national squad coach Matt Price Sensei back to Bristol Karate Academy. With that in mind, it's no surprise that the event was a sell-out, at a reduced, COVID-compliant capacity.
While some restrictions were still in place - in particular for adults - Academy members had been missing the opportunities that external seminars bring. Members from across the Academy got together for the first time in around seven months, with one member overheard commenting to another, "I've only ever seen you online before - never actually face-to-face!" This was a reminder of how things should be.
Former ESKA European Champion Matt Sensei was on great form. Members were put through their paces, with the junior grades focussing primarily on the requirements for the gradings that they were about to take. The senior grade class focussed on total body karate for maximum power generation, which was then explored through the katas Junro Shodan and Bassai Dai.
The kata work was followed by some distanced, reaction sparring, making use of swimming pool noodles to stay COVID compliant. After so long without being able to spar, this kind of partner work lifted the mood and gave everyone a taste for what we can all look forward to in (hopefully) as little as three weeks' time.
As this was the first major seminar since Bristol Karate Academy joined JKS England we were delighted that long-time friend of the dojo Matt Sensei was the first guest instructor to hold a grading examination for us.
In all, 20 members graded, with Matt Sensei delighted with the standard on show - particularly given the context of a global pandemic when so much training had to be taken through online classes. A huge congratulations to everyone that passed! We look forward to showing Sensei how we can improve even further when restrictions ease and we get back to full training under no restrictions.
Thank you to all the members and guests that supported the event, as well as to the many helpers that made sure the day ran without a hitch. A special thank you goes to Matt Sensei, who - as always - received some great feedback from everyone that trained. We look forward to your next visit and to the return of more of your excellent kumite drills!