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An Opportunity to Train with Grand Master Yutaka Yaguchi Sensei, 9th Dan

9th April 2010

 

 

Gakushuin RopleySandra scattered the seeds which were watered by her enthusiasm as they fell to our ears “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, honestly, you’ll really enjoy it.  You ought to come, it’ll be fun”.  Ann and I listened intently.  The seeds hit their target and were sown immediately.  The seed that landed within me comprised a combination of anticipation, excitement and... ‘fear’!  The first two being self explanatory but the latter, though difficult to explain at the time, seems to have become a regular karate companion, challenging my resolve at every turn.  Sandra led the way with encouragement, Ann and I eagerly followed and Jenny’s youthful exuberance and readiness to ‘take on the world’ cemented the ‘Ropley Crew’ in their quest.

 

The day eventually upon us, such was our determination to be in London that evening that Sandra made the trip all the way home from Cornwall in the West and I came back from Suffolk in the East and we converged in Hampshire.  Gilliland Sensei took charge and kindly chauffeured us to London.  We arrived in plenty of time to fuel my apprehension.

 

We registered, met up with Ann and congregated with the other willing karateka.  My heart sank as I looked around and registered the alarming lack of colour before me.  Dull hues of black and brown abounded!  What on earth was I doing here?  A mere 7th Kyu, feeling somewhat out of her depth. Nowhere to run, I started to search within myself for some courage and answers.  As I did so I stumbled across the explanation for my ‘fear’.  The pieces fell into place.  I realized that it was not solely worry for me but the fear of letting my Sensei down that was my issue.  Just get in there, concentrate and enjoy – that’s all there was to it!  We entered the dojo and jostled for position in ‘rough’ grade order.  I was very grateful to Jenny for remaining by my side regardless of being three belts my senior.

 

Eventually Yutaka Yaguchi Sensei entered the dojo, a surprising figure of a man who belied his advancing years.  An interpreter translated, advising on what we had been asked to do, the reason why and what we needed to focus on while we were following the routines.  To my great relief Sensei, in his infinite wisdom, had obviously taken account of the range of belts in the room and the training was kept at a reasonable level.  That said, the amount of times we were left in stances, while being given explanations, did make my quads quiver somewhat!  Most of the routines that ensued did so in a bit of a blur of concentration but I started to gain in confidence and I even enjoyed some of the training.  To my surprise I was coping quite well...... that was until we were asked to do kata, Heian Nidan, backwards.  My mind just emptied “HELP!”  Jenny to the rescue – okay just follow Jenny.  Accomplished - in a fashion!

 

All in all it was a challenging session for me but I am glad I went and experienced it with our ‘Ropley Crew’.  A few more steps on my journey taken.....

 

All that’s left to say is thanks to Gilliland Sensei for taking us, Sandra for encouraging me to go in the first place and Jenny for her quiet (Jenny ?!!!!) support during the session.  Next challenge?  I know, I know I can hear all the Ropley Crew......... COMPETITION!

 

Lucy Whitworth

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WUKF World Champions 2016

A Hearty congratulations to Brian Hall and Hayley Just on becoming WUKF World Champions 2016

Clearly a force to be reckoned with.

Best wishes from all at Gakushuin

Oss

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