Monthly Update – September 2021

Welcome to September!!


There is enough in the news about COVID for me not to touch on it this month.  What is important to us is that restrictions no longer limit our ability to train, but we still want to ensure our training practices keep people safe especially as we start to train indoors.  Therefore, when attending please continue to use the following precautions:

  1. Do not attend if you are unwell, this includes any illness but specifically if you have any of the known covid symptoms
  2. Wash hands before entering the dojo
  3. Use the sanitiser to clean any equipment used
  4. One partner or group of 3/4 per session
  5. Limit close social interaction within the dojo
  6. Notify me immediately should you test positive within 7 days of attending a session 

Alex, Joe, Dessi and I will continue to use our judgement to decide whether temperature checks are needed at the start of each session, keeping you at a reasonable distance, cleaning touch points (you really shouldn’t need to be touching anything in the dojo anyway) and looking out for any members who are coughing/sneezing or showing any other signs of ill health. If we are notified of any members testing positive we will notify all members on the WhatsApp group stating the sessions that the individual has attended (we will not reveal the identity of the individual).  Additionally, we would request that people perform regular lateral flow tests, but we are not at liberty to either demand this is done or see results.

Return to a new normal…

So with this return to a new level of normality there will be some changes to your experience at the dojo.  Firstly, we start our full timetable this week.  You have all been made aware of the times and sessions as I had requested that you complete the Doodle Poll, but please ensure you have checked our website to ensure you are planning on attending the appropriate sessions.  

Secondly, we will be training indoors.  Not all of the time but when daylight fails us, the weather is not in our favour or the session content works better… we will be inside the gym.  Please continue to access via the playground, but we will be providing entry to the building via the corridor to the right hand side of the gym.  A reminder to all that shoes and socks must be neatly placed outside the dojo door, before you bow and enter.  You will need to bring appropriate equipment for both indoor and outdoor training to all sessions.

Due to capacity limits associated with training indoors we will need to turn people away if we reach this.  Should this situation arise, any who could/should be training in another session will be asked to vacate the session to make space for those who only have that option.  If training outside is an option and a senior grade is available to teach, then we may split the session.  Those who arrive late, even if it is just 2 minutes, if we have begun the session and already performed our initial bowing sequence, you will not be allowed to join in.  There are a number of reasons for the hard line on this, not least the display of respect to your dojo.

In the same vein, we will also be back to full dojo rules.  Therefore:

  • you must bring your bag (with appropriate equipment and most importantly any medication) to every session, 
  • you must wear your gi if you have one (with the updated rule that you may wear one of our club t-shirts if you prefer, plus if you are training outside you may wear one of our club hoodies), 
  • no jewellery (including smart watches) to be worn, 
  • only approved footwear to be worn inside, 
  • Bring water in a safe bottle
  • Bow upon entry/exit of the dojo

For most of you, this is all what you were used to in the years up to 2020, but for those who have joined since, please feel free to contact me outside of this group if you have any questions.

Finally, the training will be changing.  Our new syllabus is very simple and we are now permitted to train in kumite, pad-work and floor-work.  Therefore we will be back to sharing and exploring all sides of the art, along with applying aspects of our body movement to self defence aspects.  I get a lot of questions about the syllabus and when it will be published.  Unfortunately the writing and editing phase is taking longer than expected as its a revolutionary approach that we are now taking to (ironically) align with a more traditional way of training.  Bear with me and in time, the training plan will be made available to you all free of charge.  

For now, the summary of the training plan is:

  • Kihon

All single techniques, combinations and stances are appropriate at all grades, based upon personal capability.  There are no limits set by me or fixed expectations, so join in with what you can and experiment as you see fit and enjoy.

  • Kumite

Basic kumite aligned to the Yanagi Kata is appropriate for all.  Jiyu Ippon is appropriate for Brown Belt and above.  All other variations of Ippon, Sanbon and Gohon kumite will be taught in a way for all to participate, aligned with specific session themes.

  • Jiyu Kumite 

All levels will partake in sparring, but with close attention to safety and appropriate use of technique, speed and control

  • Kata 

  1. All should learn Ippon Kata, Stance (Tornado) Kata and Yanagi Kata.
  2. 9th kyu onwards should be working upon Kanku Dai 
  3. 3rd kyu – Tekki Shodan + Specialist Kata
  4. 2nd Kyu – Tekki Nidan + Specialist Kata
  5. 1st kyu – Tekki Sandan + Specialist Kata
  6. Shodan – Bassai Dai  + Specialist Kata

Grade Promotions

I am very happy to announce the following grade promotions, effective 1st September 2021:

  • Isaac Furr – 12th kyu white belt
  • Daniel Maidment – 12th kyu white belt
  • Jackson Summers – 9th kyu orange belt
  • Holly Cowan – 7th kyu yellow belt
  • Dylan Musson – 3rd Kyu brown belt

I would also like to congratulate the following members on completing their apprentice black belt year (which all under 18s must complete) and moving on to full 1st Dan Black Belt status:

  • Senpai Jasper Walsh having put in over 800 hours training since joining in September 2016
  • Senpai Adam Graham having put in over 1,000 hours training since joining in September 2011

Both of these new yudansha members have been committed members of our dojo, but a specific mention of Adi who has trained with us through different syllabi, locations and era’s of our dojo making this promotion long overdue.  His patience, perceverence  and desire to train regardless of belt should set an example to all of our members, therefore making him the ideal role model for all white, coloured and brown belts.

Thank you to all for your continued support and reading through a rather long message.

Kind regards