The June Black and Brown belt session was held in Nottingham on the 3rd and saw a busy, very sweaty session take place at the Djanogly City Academy. Instructed by Alan Campbell Sensei 7th Dan Head of JKS England, it started at a fast pace with a healthy serving of squats to follow the welcome and warm up.
Alan Sensei ushered students to maintain correct posture and keep consistent when practicing exercises in repetition, with this running as a theme for the day. Many parts of the body and different techniques were utilised, with students focusing hard to keep to the count. Progressing to add kicks after the squats, the hips were quickly loosened to allow punching and other kicking combinations to be covered at a steady rate. With only minimal respite, the start of the lesson flew by. Those in attendance soon found themselves working their core with a mixture of abdominal exercises, including variations on sit ups and leg raises and then finishing with hand to shoulder movements after adopting the press up position.
To build on this opening, students were partnered together to practice some of the combinations with a target. Using hands as a cue to react to and now closing distance with the legs many repetitions were completed by all. Students engaged with the rhythm and relaxation needed to help establish the good habits which Alan Sensei had explicitly mentioned or alluded to beforehand. Using kizami-tsuki gyaku-tsuki and front and back leg mawashi-geri, students swapped partners and then moved to strike the opponents body to employ control with the punches. The class was given enough time on each to challenge the fatigue which was often quickly experienced, but provided a very rewarding and intensive morning of training. A short break and some water was well earned!
The last part of the session saw the class split into two. Students were given the choice between two katas; Nijushiho taught by Alan Campbell Sensei or Jion taught by Mike Gude Sensei 6th Dan JKS. Both instructors covered key points in the katas in the detail which they deserve. Specific sections were broken down to enable clear explanation of the techniques, bunkai applications and relevant training points. This also formed the basis for practicing the katas, where students were encouraged to concentrate on certain parts of the katas where the movements should flow together. Other variations from associations or style were also commented on with all students also provided with the JKS standard with which to aspire to.
Geoff Dixon Sensei 5th Dan JKS then ran a course following the training session, continuing to improve the knowledge and skill of those who are part of the JKS Judges and Referees Programme. Please remember that these courses are vital to appreciate all aspects of competition for those on and off the mat. They benefit instructors, coaches and competitors where knowledge of the rules and an understanding of their application are essential to successful performance.