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Summer School – 20th Anniversary

4 days, 6 training hours per day, lots of training buddies and a very special occasion with three nana-dan instructors. What else could an aikidoka want?

The shudokan school of Aikido in the UK at it’s Nottingham dojo arranged what was their 20th anniversary of the event known as summer school. The event has been growing year on year, hosting international instructors for at least 7 years now, and teaching a good variety of techniques from the basic Kihon, to the advanced Goshin jitsu (variation technique or self-defense). This year, as has been customary for the last few the visiting instructors were Robert Mustard sensei & Joe Thambu sensei, the host being Ken Robson sensei head of the Shudokan Aikido.

As with every year the training was intense, dynamic and robust. This year we looked at a great variety of techniques, form the basic Ikkajo to the more advanced Koshinage and uchiro Jyuwaza to self defense based on Aikido principles.

Approximately 100 person on the mat, there was the usual black belt grading at the end of day one, yes at the end of the day –its all about showing that martial spirit even when you are tired after 6 hours of training. All the candidates passed and we on good form.

At fairly short notice I was asked to be a grading partner for one of the students, a task I dreaded because I wasn’t at my fittest, but it went well, so I’m actually glad I took part.

Best part of the training convention is the sense of comradery one gets from training with friends from all over the country on regular courses and seminars, an opportunity to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones. Evening dinners after training sees the exchange of stories and anecdotes more often than not all about training.

I had a brilliant time, it is amazing the sort of energy one gets form such training conventions, I’m still buzzing and it’s been a week already. The best thing about such gatherings is that you get to test your year’s work and assess your skill. It prepares you for the work you need to do next year and sets the standard.

Such good fun…