Many thanks to everyone who attended this year’s Westminster Ishinryu Winter Course in the Forest of Dean.

It was cold this year. Still not cold enough for snow or ice but the cutting wind was able to lower your body temperature (especially around your back and neck) quite rapidly whenever we slowed down. But Sensei Prasad’s answer to this was simple… “keep up the pace until they are too tired to notice that it’s cold”

Most people appeared to enjoy themselves both during the many hours of training and also off the field. I’ve finally managed to find a way of avoiding stopping at every service station along the M4 by installing (somewhat crude) en-suite facilities on the mini-bus. Although I will need to improve the capacity for future years if Sainsbury’s keep the two for one offer going on Stella Artois.

In total we had five independent training sessions during the weekend. Three were hosted by Sensei Prasad in the field and covered many elements of traditional karate training, kata and kumite. A big thanks goes out to Sensei Prasad who was suffering from a bad cold but still stood outside in the freezing conditions to run 90% of the classes.

The Saturday midday session was handed to Sensei Mike Reay who once again took great delight in finding the muddiest area possible for us to practise front break falls into the Welsh slime. Sensei Mike gave us a glimpse of his Jiu-Jitsu knowledge using partner work and kata to demonstrate the effectiveness and pain giving potential of the Yawari (small stick).

For the final session Sensei Prasad guided us onto the narrow paths of the forest for our now tradition test of stamina and endurance amongst the trees.

I’d also like to thank Jim for attending the course despite being injured and taking up the (almost) voluntary role of course photographer.

I’ve often heard it said that what happens in the dojo stays in the dojo… but then again we were in a big muddy field so I once again have tried to record the event for history by sneakily noting peoples (sometimes very private) conversations and comments, both on and off the field. In my usual tradition I have taken quotes out of contexts or made minor “improvements” to satisfy my own sick version of humour.

1.     “All you need for this course are underpants, beer and very low standards in hygiene… anything else is just a luxury”

2.     “Quick! Someone hold this while I do my pants back up”

3.     “When you touch it right it makes a world of difference... I never knew where to find it before”

4.     “I couldn't do it, in case there was cctv out there”

5.     “So are you able to keep feeling it while you’re sleeping?”

6.     “Don’t switch off yet, I’m not going to bed until I’ve seen one of them start chewing”

7.     “Isn’t the back of the car near the boot?”

8.     “I’m not just going to end up flat on my back again am I?”

9.     “All we have in shops up North is Chocolate and Lard, that’s it, Chocolate, Lard, Lard, Chocolate, Chocolate Lard and more Lard”

Many thanks to all those who attended for training hard and also for making it a good time
Karl Green

P.S. Next years Winter course is 27th-29th November 2009

Quotes revealed:
1.Karl. - 2.Darren. – 3.Susan. – 4.Colin. – 5.Allan. - 6.John. – 7.Jim. – 8.Salina. – 9.Mike.

Karl Green can easily be contacted with any complaints that you have been annoyed, taken offence or caused embarrassment by these quotes, you will however be completely ignored and you can rest assured that there are absolutely “NO REFUNDS”