On Sunday 24th July the Cambridge dojo hosted a 3 hour karate course open to all styles and grades. The theme of the day was hojo undo (equipment training) and kakie (push hands) with self defence. The start time was fairly early to allow everyone to make the most of the afternoon to relax. Despite having the furthest to travel, a group from Essex and London arrived a good half hour before the class was due to start. The chosen venue was Impington Sports Centre, a few miles to the North of Cambridge. Situated just off the A14 it was easy to find and the training hall was large and filled with light.
As to the training, we started off with traditional junbi undo warm up as a group, including ten tsuki (heaven strike). The 13 students then split almost equally into 2 groups of yudansha and kyu grades. Sensei Dave Amber concentrated on kakie, considering self defence techniques against attacks directed at head, stomach and groin levels. Sensei Malcolm Howlett introduced kettle bells to the groups, something new to many people. Whilst kettle bells are not part of traditional Okinawan hojo undo they fit very well alongside them, focusing the concentration on good use of core muscles and squats. Sensei Martin Stockley provided instruction on the many uses of the chi-ishi, covering 12 exercises in all; this was followed by a padwork session with Sensei Louise Stockley.
The session finished with a group photo with everyone smiling after a good course, many people commenting that they couldn’t believe the 3 hours was over so quickly.
Thank you to everyone that helped made the day a success, including Laura Amber for assisting with the photography.
Chief Instructor OTGKA