Iaido Summer Seminar and Gradings - Brighton 2010

Another summer, another jaunt down to Brighton for the annual seminar. This year led by Morita Sensei (8dan Kyoshi) and Oshita Sensei (8dan kyoshi) who were ably assisted by a plethora of European 7dans.

Bill Davison traipsed down early (and by himself) so that the Japanese Sensei had someone to drive them to various locations. Bill can speak a smattering of Japanese so this was a good opportunity to practice his language skills.

He was followed down by Jon Meikle and Owen Wilson from Budokan and Martin Chambers, John Burn, Paul Maddison from Ojika Dojo. The idea was a simple one; if you were grading - pass, if not grading; do well in the taikai on the last day.

The good news is that Martin - who had been practicing with us in Durham to polish his skills -passed his Godan - bloody great news mate and Owen passed his Shodan. Spoke to Owen after the grading and he said it was the scariest thing ever!!! But maybe he is just a big girl's blouse!!! Alas Paul didn't pass his Yondan.

But whilst the above enjoyed grading success, Bill, Jon and John were training with Oshita Sensei and Peter West Sensei on koryu practice. And learn loads, Bill was so confident after this practice he was ready to fight the world.

Which was good because it was taikai the next day and he was up against the current British champion in the Godan division. Unfortunately he lost 3-0 but he did get the 'Fighting Spirit' award - his first gong - so that was nice. Jon Meikle did well in 2dan division getting to the final but there it went a bit wrong and ended up with 'silver' - a great result though. In the 4dan section Martin went out in the first round but as he had just gained his 5dan he didn't care. But John Burn got into the final in this section, alas losing to the current European champion 3-0. Silver is a bloody great achievement though. Paul just dipped out on a medal getting through to the quarters. Meanwhile Owen had a crash course in koryu - a whole hour to learn 3 forms - and he tumbled out at the first round. But at least he had a go.

So, all in all a great long weekend for the Northern Alliance; 1x new Godan, 1x new Shodan, 2x Silver medals, 1x Fighting Spirit.

That'll do nicely thank you.