York Shotokan Karate Club

Sensei John Holdsworth 6th Dan & Sensei Julie Nicholson 6th Dan

On Sunday 11th March 2012 we hosted a technical seminar/ training course for senior grades at the York Elite Dojo. This course was attended by over 20 black belts and nearly as many 1st Kyus (brown & double white) belts as well. The course was open to all and a number of other clubs in the area sent some of their students along. The course was split over the two floors and the first session saw Sensei John Holdsworth instruct the Black Belts downstairs while Sensei Julie Nicholson taught the Brown belts upstairs. In the second session both Senseis switched round to teach the other classes.

The first half of the session was devoted to technical details within stances working on foot and knee position and why this made techniques faster (or slower) and/ or stronger(or weaker). This detail was then brought through to the second half of the course where the Black Belts studied Gojushiho Dai and the Brown Belts studied Jion). With the focus still being on correct stance detail in the knee and foot it was not long before the black belts felt a build up of lactic acid in their left legs as this kata is famed for the “neiko-ashai dachi” (cat stance) on the left leg demanding a lot of strength throughout the form. Meanwhile the Brown Belts up stairs were also treated to a similar build up of pain in the legs as they went through the kata Jion in great technical detail.

The course was very much enjoyed by all with the visiting members from the other clubs saying that they were very impressed by not only the level of instruction but the friendly manner in the dojo, not at all intimidating. So much so they claimed they would be back at our next course with some of their friends as well – we look forward to seeing them again.

This course was then followed up by a similar course for all those grading (ie from novice to 2nd Kyu) in which there were over 40 people training. This again was split over two floors and had a similar focus to the advanced course looking at technical details in the basics but being slanted more specifically to the grading that was to follow.

After a short interlude the Grading began for 39 of the students that trained in the second class. We are very pleased to say that all 39 people passed with some notable comments; specifically to Nick??? And Millie Bonaris (?) from ??? (the afterschool clubs) and Carly Pringle and Brian Woods from York Elite on some very strong gradings. The highlight of the day was Dean Sparrow who attained his 1st Kyu and is now ready to take black belt exam in six months – well done Dean!

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