Exam time…

For those following randomly the Gibshot blog, yes I must write more but I am hoping a student will pick up and run with it. Anyway to carry on you may remember back in September last year I passed my Yondan exam, Sensei Dewey might say “scraped thru” I tell the story it was with flying colours!

Well Gibshot is not a place to bubble along as this past week myself and Paul Crudgington went through to Portsmouth, the spiritual home of GibShot karate under the Shotokan of England Karate Union. It is the place back in 1991 I started Karate for the second time. After Paul arrived on the Thursday from Gibraltar we gathered our gi’s and headed to Portsmouth honbu for the training session. The session was particularly tough as this focussed mainly on kumite (fighting) both pre planned attacks and freestyle as well as Sensei’s usual basic training sessions which barely leave you time to gather breath. 90 minutes later we were off for the post training debrief at the Jolly Taxpayer a local pub.

The Friday saw us again collecting our gi’s having washed and ironed them for training at Lovedean dojo under the critical eye of their instructor Brian Smith 7th dan. He is also No2 Instructor at SEKU after Sensei Dewey. Again with the pace constantly keeping you looking for a breath we focussed on combinations particularly kicking and punching some 8/9 or even 10 moves one after the other slowly, quicker then with full speed and power required. It makes your head spin. The class finished with what we call “ren-geri” a combination where 4 kicks are performed with the same leg before placing the foot on the ground. This is repeated several times on each leg and requires balance as well as technique and strength. With thanks to Sensei Brian and his students we headed to Sensei Dewey’s local pub near Portsdown Hill called the George Inn. An old staging post of an inn with no TV, no juke box and a large selection of ales, perfect.

Saturday with gi’s washed again we prepared for our final training session. This time I was given a reprieve just before we left and told I would be training today. We headed again the Lovedean dojo where Paul was taken through his paces under the scrutiny of Senseis Brian Smith and Allan Lewis (both 7th dan). The small class was taken by Sensei Mick Dewey 8th dan and Paul was again under the kosh. Combining a lot of what he had already been put through plus 12 different katas some of which required bunkai. Bunkai are the practical application of kata techniques turning what look like simple moves into blocks, punches and even throws.

Finally when all was done Paul went to get changed with the 3 Senseis discussed his performance of the 3 days. The discussion culminated in Paul being awarded his second dan. Sweet and deserved after 3 years of work getting to this point. Well done And congratulations to him.