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Sugasawa Sensei Course

Sugasawa

(Photo borrowed from the Leeds Wadokai facebook page)

Saturday 27th June 2015

Over the weekend several members (Beth, Roy, Lewis, Carl) of Hartlepool Wadokai were able to train with Sugasawa Sensei, one of the original students of the late Wado Ryu founder Ohtsuka Sensei. The course was planned to only include a small number of students to ensure maximum opportunities for feedback from Sensei. I would like to particularly thank Mark Gallagher for arranging and hosting the course, and of course for the invite, it’s always nice to have (relatively) local events, especially with the Wado greats.

Sugasawa Sensei explains Wado principles in detail and links even the most basic of warm up exercises to the art. It’s also interesting to see the differences and similarities of Wado-Kai and Wado-Ryu, despite having the same origin. I always come away from training with him feeling humbled, but massively enthusiastic at how much there is still to learn and how we often just scratch the surface of Wado in our general training.

Tip of the Iceberg --- Image by © Ralph A. Clevenger/CORBIS

Tip of the Iceberg — Image by © Ralph A. Clevenger/CORBIS

As always when training with Sugasawa Sensei, I had a few ‘lightbulb’ moments when elements of my own private training and study linked perfectly with what was discussed or demonstrated.

“Don’t waste your training” (Ohtsuka Sensei)

It was a shame that we couldn’t stay over for the full weekend course but our club has such a busy calendar that there are always clashes. It was good to have chance to grab a coffee and have a chat before we headed back to the far North. I think the Hartlepool Youth (Beth, Roy, Lewis) were dazed and confused about some of the Wado history discussion taking place, but I really could have stayed and chatted all night. Very interesting stuff.

Sensei Keith Walker also brought along some old UKKW newsletters, most were older than I am! There were some really interesting articles about ‘best practise’, correct warm-ups and possibly the first ever article on Karate fight analysis – exactly the same as what I wrote my Dissertation on, if only I’d known about the article then.

 Looking forward to the next one now…

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