Northern Alliance In St Evenage (Summer Seminar 2011)


Well, well, well, here we go again! The Northern Alliance march southwards once again.

But first....the preamble.

Preamble 1. The pub

Imagine the scene! Northern pub; loads of yahoos sat round drinking, talking about the impending seminar. “ I know” says Sophiekins “ lets all go as ...” and we spent the next few hours laughing at various silly ideas for fancy dress nights. Perhaps the best was going as Jesus. All dressed up in bathrobes, fake beards and a crown of thorns on our heads. Except for Hansell who would go as likkle Babee Jeezuz in only a nappy and a crown of thorns. Well it made us laugh.

Preamble 2 The Estate Agent

Call from Bill to Lee. “ I've left my kit bag in the hall” ....stunned silence...” I’m in Stevenage”......stunned silence.............”wifes in Plymouth” ....stunned silence.........”I’m selling the house so only the Estate Agents have the key”............ HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I don’t do subtle very well!

Anyhoo, to cut this story short I went round to Bill’s Estate agents, the day before the seminar to get his kit bag so he could train. ( but he did get some beers in at the Chinese so he is forgiven for being such a GTB – more later on this three letter acronym).

Amble (well actually, stuff about the seminar).

So the big day arrives and everyone from Budokan (except Bill who was in Stevenage sans kit) meets in my back garden. Danni had a bounce on the trampoline which was a foretaste of things to come.

 Cars were organised by Owen; Danni and Sophie were in his car cos they were girls and he would get Jack cos he is young. So he left all us old farts in the other car. Uhuh! That’s how it’s going to be is it?

A long journey down to Stevenage was broken up by a pitstop at a Little Chef where Big Phil sated his appetite for a ton of cake (that belly don’t maintain itself y’know)

So, first night in Stevenage and we hit the old town for a curry joined by our Northern Alliance chums from Ojika. The highlight of this night? Well, good reader take your pick from; 

1: Ojika John explaining to Danni about where the concept for Pi came from. Boring? Yep. But wait till I tell you the rest. Danni leant forward revealing rather too much cleavage. Everyone stared at little miss FB’s chasmic cleavage except for.................. John who was engrossed in working out Pi to the Nth degree. And yes, even the girls had a gawp.

This reconstruction is played by actors and by no means have anything to do with the crime in question. (Except the one on the right :-p)

2: In a pub we played “ I have never”. Wowee. Eddie is the dark horse. Boy oh boy has his wife had a good time!!!! Hansell tried to keep up but we all knew he was fibbing at times just to look ‘well ‘ard’.

3: Danni evolving into ‘Little Miss FB’ on the bridge. Want to  know what FB means? Want to know what she did? Well, I will tell you...........(encrypted). Sorry, If you are not a member of Budokan or Ojika you have to register £1m to find out (yes it is THAT good)

Next day is training day and iaido is with Oshita Sensei and Morita Sensei in an overflow hall. Jack is asked to be Oshita Sensei's translator (you should have seen his big daft grin) and we get to do lots of stuff. Sophiekins is with Morita Sensei behind the screen (ooer missus) and gets a lot of help from him!!! Iaido help you oddballs! Bad news was me and my broken shoulder- (I cannot do seitei 8 and 10 very well because of it)...... guess which forms Oshita Sensei asked me to demonstrate? ...sigh....yeah, yeah, yeah, you’re all clairvoyants!

The afternoon was the official opening of the Iaido seminar we were split into graders and non graders so we could so that those grading could get the attention they needed....bye bye Owen, Eddie, Danni, Jack, Ojika Andy and Ojika Jayne

The following day is taikai day. OOOOOOOH!

So, lots of koryu practice and we get Oshita Sensei again (bliss)..but there is about 60 of us in the MJER group so we only get a few goes each. Sophie however is now monopolising Morita Sensei as she is in a group with only another 8 people. He told Bill that she was very very good. Cue penguin impression from Sophie.

Me and Bill and Phil don't get through to the finals and alas neither do Sophie and Eddie (were the Judges blind). Fellow casualties are Martin and Sean from Ojika but... result for the following who all got through to the finals;

Jack, Jon, Owen, Danni, Ojika Jayne, Ojika Andy and Ojika John.

But gets even better....somehow John Burn got silver in the yondan division.....but lordy wait again...what;s that....Jack got gold in the nidan section. Blimey o-reilly

Happy Happy happy.

Soo that evening we hit a cheap and cheerful Chinese with all the sensei. Danni HAD to speak Japanese because I got Jack to tell everyone she could ( and she did bloody well). I got embarrassed by Oshita Sensei in front of Ishido Sensei (thanks for that boss), Phil threw beer over Otake Sensei. And Jon Meikle said he was ‘honoured’ to be invited by me to be a Budokan teacher (soft

Last day, grading day.

Ojika Sean got an eye infection whilst Hansel got stung by a Wabbie. I helped Judy sort out the grading stuff because the best laid plans never go right do they? Eddie eased through his grading without a drama whilst Jack mesmerised the panel with his virtuoso performance for sandan ( jack paid me more for this comment!!!!!). Owen, Danni, Ojika Jayne and Ojika Andy waltzed through to gaining Nidan whilst over on the other section the sausage boy Dave Hickey blitzed his Sandan and his mate David Maclean easily got Yondan (ribbit). I missed Genbukan Bruce’s embu but he did pass so all is well.

But wait...there’s more..

Jon was invited onto the British Squad, Jack has been mooted for the British Squad; Owen and Ojika Andy have also been asked onto British squad.

So. Yet another good day at the office for the Northern Alliance (especially if we include the Scottish branch).


Lee Mountain


PS. No chance was I going to omit the following...

After the seminar, guess who was asked from Budokan to give a gift to a Japanese Sensei?

Guess who walked off the wrong way and ‘penguined’ to Morita Sensei?

Guess who got a private audience and demo from Oshita Sensei and Morita Sensei on how the legend Haruna Sensei did Uke Nagashi?

Guess who said “ariga!- oh” to Morita Sensei?

Good grief! lol

And guess who was translating his buttocks off?

And guess who nearly fell asleep waiting to grade?

And guess who suggested we all peed on Owen’s neck to help the wasp sting?

And guess who has been told by OS to get his sweet cheeks back over to Japan to train with the Boss?

And guess who has secured a dojo in Germany to train in and is now known in the Fatherland as Fraulein munchen bappen?

And guess who got an inordinate amount of attention from Otake Sensei?

And guess who managed to miss the A1 whilst driving on the A1? (yes really)

And guess what GTB means?


To summarise, and I paraphrase Ojika Martin,....A bloody good day for the Northern Alliance.

And if we throw in our mates from Genbukan Edinburgh as part of the gang (which in my heart I always do)...a blood fantastic day for the NA.


I have never.....

felt so proud of Budokan dojo (and the Northern Alliance) ... as I did on Tuesday 2 August 2011