For me the weekend started when I collected a fifteen seater minibus from North London to transport the bulk of those training from London to the Forest of Dean. For the majority of those travelling with me the weekend seems to fully start on the M4 when the Ishinryu style dancing began to “Ain’t no stopping us now” up and down the bus aisle much to the amusement of other motorway users. I can also now confirm that if your minibus passengers perform the full side to side “Ooops up side your head” rowing and clapping routine, a distinct sway can be felt at any speed above 60mph.
Once in Wales the serious side of our weekend started with traditional karate at 6am in a pitch black, cold and muddy field. The darkness meant you were far less worried about whether what you’re standing in was actually mud or a gift from the local livestock, but as the light came up fully around 7.30 your worst fears were often realised.
On separate sessions guest instructors took over to give everyone an insight in the worlds of Ju-Jitsu and Choi Kwang Do (CKD). Vanessa Graves took us through many aspects of CKD techniques and principles plus some very enjoyable hard attack drills on focus mitts and kick/strike shields. Sensei Mike Reay gave a full session on Ju-Jitsu throws, escapes and ground grappling (not only an extremely good method of self defence but also an amazingly efficient way of converting a nice white gi into a brown muddy mess as the Welsh fields get churned up) which was both insightful and enjoyed by all.
The dew and mist rising up through the trees gave our training within the forest an eerie feeling. At the same time the echoes from the enthusiastic kias sounded amazing as they bounced back through the light drizzle of Welsh rain which helped wash away the sweat as everyone gave their all to the techniques and combinations.
The following are random quotes (taken out of context for an extra comedy factor) from the weekend to help those who attended remember the fun time had by all.
1. “Yeah, you can borrow my magazine, but don’t w**k on the pictures”
2. “I thought I could hear someone in the apartment… and it sounded like they were taking the p*ss”
3. “I think I might be sick in a minute… No, I’m alright again”
4. “Argh! Jesus wept!!!”
5. “Smell my fingers... come on, smell my stinky stuff you muther”
6. “I’ve never been the same since you put that make-up on me… I now dress up as a woman every Saturday morning!”
7. “I can’t believe it!! You made me stick butter on my Hovis… I never put butter on my Hovis!! It’s unprecedented… it must be the stress”
8. “Can you pass the vinegar please… and that butt plug”
9. “I’m gonna tell a joke now… if I forget the punch line please forgive me”
10. “I’m not bothered… do I look like I’m bothered?... I’m not bothered… do I look like I’m bothered?”
11. “Oh no! I’ve spilt the beer and wet my knickers!!... It’s all in my bum!”
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