Gateshead 2011.

Well now, where to begin. Ah Yes; Friday night.

Martin Chambers had agreed to organise this years MJER event in Gateshead and had managed to secure the hall on Friday evening for a few hours. This meant that me, Martin, Big Phil and John Burn had the pleasure of being taught by both Peter West and Fay Goodman exclusively for a few hours. And what delights did we learn? Omori Mae. Yep...a whole kata. But boy was it good. Real insights to help take us (hopefully) from godan to rokudan and from yondan to godan.

So on to Saturday.

The Northern Alliance holds strong and several bods from Katsumushi dojo in Lancs and Leeds turned up as well as all the dubious suspects from Budokan and Ojika (Stuart cracking the whip again???). Anna Stone also turned up all the way from London to help with teaching.

The day was devoted to the Omori Ryu and was at first demonstrated by Peter and Fay until Peter decided that Anna, me, Martin, Big Phil and John B should take a turn at demonstrating. I got to show Ushiro with Martin explaining how to do it. John Burn and Big Phil got to do Yae gaki. Well they said it was Yae gaki!!! (Joking, they were pretty good).

And talking of good; the people learning were immense. I cant remember seeing a group of iai students try so hard to put in all the new stuff they were learning. I know from talking to Mark and Eddie that they felt puzzled and knackered after one days training. Yeah, I know it looks Mark and Malcolm could only spend the day as they had other commitments on Sunday but they both did very well and came on leaps and bounds. ( I think they were both on a promise but they mumbled something about stuff to do).

Sophie was really good and picking up all the new stuff with ease. Jonathon was looking more dynamic. Poor Owen was getting frustrated with his cutting. Danni was getting better and better (especially her cutting when she stopped thinking about cutting), Malcolmís forms started to get more bite, Markís forms get more relaxed and Eddie sweated buckets (but from this started to use less power and thus improve his iai). And all this is good.

Budokanís adopted son, Big Willy, was a bit frustrated as he does only standing forms so he kept being given stuff that was like Omori ....but not!!! But he did well.

Ojikaís John Burn spent all his time helping female students!!!!! I might have mentioned this to him once or twice.

Saturday night and we hit an Italian (not in the face Ė that would be just rude). Not sure if I have mentioned this before but.. me and Italian food don't get on*. But the company would be good and the very lovely Martin had arranged it so I was sure I would find something nice to eat. Alas I was sat next to Danni and Owen Ė I felt a bit redundant as they seem glued to each other. Not physically but verbally. Fay got a little tipsy and did an impressions routine Ė the Groucho Marx impression was a particular favourite!!! Will she remember? God yes...I will remind her at every opportunity.

Sunday. Ah Jonathon!

Drove 30 miles then realised he had forgotten his hakama!! hmmm Letís not mock him too much shall we! Oh alright then; letís!

Sunday finished off the Omori Ryu and we moved on to some of the Eishin ryu before lunch. Ahh the delights of sitting in Tate Hiza repeatedly!!

We went through the first three forms all together but then we hit the tricksy ones.

Peter split the groups into those who could do Eishin and those who could not. WTF was Jonathon doing in the group that could?? hahahah Only joking!

Fay and Anna took those that could not do them through Uke Gumo whilst Peter went through that form and Oroshi as well. He then went on to show ( and get everyone to do) haya nuki katate waze (all the forms learned but only using one hand to make the cuts). Yee hah!

Lunch and the opportunity for us all to watch Oshita Sensei strut his stuff at The Hakone Taikai on Peterís I-pad. Eddie and Sophie were well impressed I think. They said he was even better than me; high praise for the fellow indeed (LOL)

After lunch we went through Oku tachi waza. Big Willy much happier to be doing stuff he can do for real.

I got to show Sodome. I wanted to write that John Burn wanted to show that one but that would be mean of me so I wonít!! (whoops) and Martin got to show Uke Nagashi (rather him than me).

And then to the pub. Where I got to explain why I had fallen out with various Bu execs yet again so that Peter could go and build bridges for me (again LOL).

All in all. Another great seminar.

 I don't know about anyone else but I do so love the MJER events. Three done and counting; Iím really proud that Budokan dojo (and the Northern Alliance) attend them all.