Okehampton -November 2010
Oh God! Why did I agree to drive all the way down to Okehampton! To make things worse, we were joined by those two scoundrels from Genbukan Dojo in Edinburgh, David Maclean and David Hickey. David H decided to move to Okehampton! No not really, but he brought so much crap with him I thought he might have been. For the record Sausage Boy, my car is huge but it don't say Eddie Stobarts on the side!! So, the two Davids, Bill, Phil H and I made the trip to the edge of the earth!
After a bloody long drive down we get to Okehampton and get to the afternoon session. It is always good to see Oshita Sensei, and he was his usual jolly self (well more often than not he was). He got 5dan's and up to help teach which meant much humility training! Oh yes. Demonstrating a kata in front of him is pretty nerve wracking. Bill got off pretty lightly with having to show Ushiro; I got Uke Nagashi. AAAAAAARRRGH! Amazingly he only corrected a couple of points on my kata; poor Bill got a bit more attention - but then he should as he does have a 6dan grading this year!!!
Andy Watson was there as translator and was also helping the couple of Shinden bods who had also turned up.
For those who have never been to Okehampton, it is immense. But the 6am starts, in a freezing cold dojo, are real character builders! The food is always plentiful, the company is always great, the beer is a bit suspect (but then I am from Gods country so my standards are ridiculously high!!) but the training is superb. And that's what we go for. Lots and lots and lots of training.
By the time we had back home on Sunday afternoon we are all knackered yet happy.
And I didn't even mention the awful weather!