On Friday 19th July we were joined by two Candaian visitors, Doug and Lucy, who practice Seibukan Shorin Ryu Karate, under the tutelage of Sensei Dan Smith and Hanshi Zempo Shimabukuro from Chatan, Okinawa.
We first met Doug and Lucy on Okinawa back in 2014 and we have kept in contact ever since. They are wonderful people, true budo-ka and it was fantastic that they kindly took a couple of days out from their U.K holiday to travel up to Cumbria in order to spend some time with us. They participated in Jenny's Thursday evening Enduro-Strike class, enjoyed some Cumbria fell walking and a trip to Keswick on Friday and then we finished off with a special karate session on Naihanchi Kata application before a nice meal together in the evening.
It was especially interesting to compare the Seibukan version of Naihanchi Kata with ours and to explore the differences of their performance in a pragmatic way. This helped to enrich everyone's understanding of the kata and indeed, some of the core principles found in karate, regardless of style.
We'd like to thank Doug and Lucy for taking the time to visit us, to our members for making them feel so welcome and to St Benedict's School staff for the use of their wonderful facility.
Over the weekend we were very privileged to host Paul and Michelle Enfield from California to conduct some exclusive seminars for our dojo members!
Paul and Michelle are true living examples of Budo and have a wealth of experience between them. Their lineage is second to none and were inspiring to be around. I don't think it's any understatement to say that every single participant gained something positive from the experience. And despite being from different styles of karate, I think the event successfully proved that if you can look deep enough, you'll find that all karate-ka are but one family.
After a brief tour of Whitehaven harbour in the afternoon, Friday evening was the advanced group, where we looked at Tensho kata concepts, Saturday was an hour long children’s class in the morning, followed by two adult sessions where we covered a number of connector drills, Gekisai Dai ichi kata, in addition to revisiting Tensho kata and associated two person flow drills. Following the seminar, we enjoyed a nice meal together at Whitehaven Golf Club before Paul and Michelle headed back home.
We were honoured to have had the opportunity to share time with such skilled, humble and inspiring martial artists. It was wonderful to exchange ideas from our two styles and in finding so many connections, enhance our holistic understanding of karate further.
Big thanks to Michelle and Paul for their friendship and support!
Over the weekend, we held our special 15th Anniversary Training Camp at the wonderful 4* Crown Hotel in Wetheral.
The event ran from Friday to Sunday, with an extra night added this year to celebrate with a barbecue and some live music. A total of 25 participants successfully secured a place and were treated to a wide range of sessions that included...
During breaks, participants enjoyed the hotel grounds and leisure facilities (swimming pool, steam room, gym, sauna and jacuzzi). The post-event party of Sunday evening included a tasty barbecue, some live acoustic music and plenty of laughs! It was a great end to a great weekend.
Big thanks to everyone who made this training camp possible - all the instructors, participants and of course, the wonderful staff at The Crown...
...Here's to the next 15 years!