This year our governing body, Isshindo Kan, organised an international seminar in Poland.
Over the weekend we had a chance to meet new people from across the organisation and to practice a variety of different martial arts systems. This year I was asked to introduce and teach mobility protocols for martial artists.
The seminar was split into two sections:
The morning of the first day was dedicated to grading examinations for the Greek students of Zendo Ryu Karate Do. The afternoon was then divided into three sections, each with a different instructor:
– Ryszard Jozwiak – concepts of Kem Vo Combat
– Stefan Reindl – concepts of Jiu Jitsu
– Artur Marchewka – concepts of Shin Ai Do Karate
Saturday evening was dedicated to an official meeting of representatives from each member country, which was followed by an informal meal and fun.
Sunday was divided into three sections:
– Les Bubka – Mobility
– Dietmar Schmidt and Sarantis Theodosiu – Zendo Ryu Karate Do
– Marek Mroszczyk – Jukado Kempo
The whole seminar was flawlessly organised by Marek and his students and took place in a brand new hall.
Due to unforeseen circumstances our team from the UK was reduced to two, but it was a pleasure to travel around Poland with Robin who had come across to Europe from Thailand especially to take part in this seminar.
I am very happy that so many people were interested in what I demonstrated at the seminar. As a result of my popularity I ended up spending most of my breaks analysing and helping participants with their health problems, which ranged from bad posture, knee pains and mobility issues to back and head pains. Lots of people are interested in getting their hands on my future mobility PDF document and to participate in more seminars on the subject of mobility.
As Robin had travelled so far to get to the seminar we decided to extend our stay in Poland and travel around some of the sites. Fortunately for us Marek’s wife, Tiger, kindly offered us the use of her car. As a result we were able to travel circa 1000 kilometres around central and eastern Poland. We visited some extraordinary places with outstanding beauty. This trip was full of surprises with a lot of very kind people helping us to discover the awesomeness of Poland.
Please find below a review of the seminar written by Robin.
“The 25th and 26th of June saw two interesting days of a martial arts seminar near Minsk Mazowiecki in Poland. Some notes on these two days follow.
Two young Greek Karateka were graded to acquire 1st Dan. Their presentation and interaction with Polish martial artists highlighted the different emphasis in the different national groups.
The usual welcoming talk for the seminar plus the presentation of banners for the various representatives of the national groups within the Isshindo Kan organization.
The warm up led by Sensei Marek Mroszczyk was up to the usual standard of Sensei Marek. Lots of rolling and strengthening. The older martial artist like myself might find this quite tiring and demanding but worthwhile.
Something new, for me at least, came from Sensei Ryszard Jóźwiak. The use of a small stick not much bigger than a pencil called a Yawara. The techniques and style of Sensei Ryszard are straight forward, direct and laced nicely with common sense. Sensei showed how to use this small weapon in close contact to reinforce techniques often carried out just with the hand. It was pointed out that any similarly shaped object could be used to the same effect making everyday objects into a weapon. A point that should be obvious but that is often forgotten was made in that the first priority is the combat situation not the weapon to hand.
Sensei Artur Marchewka focused on low kicks, which we tend not to do so much in Seiki Juku or Goju Ryu, and attacks to the leg to result in a take down. We trained with various partners which gave the experience of dealing with different levels of opponent. For me this section of the seminar seemed to be over all too soon.
Sensei Leszek Bubka went through some interesting ideas on mobility of the hips showing simple exercises that, according to others, increased mobility noticeably. In my case this seemed not to be the case so much as my joint mobility, and pain, problems are more focused on problems within the joints themselves rather than the muscles around the joints although, like everyone else, my muscles and tendons could do with improvement. Of more significance and help for me were the techniques to help loosen the back.
Sensei Dietmar Schmidt discussed and demonstrated techniques for increasing the power of strikes. This involved starting with a relaxed open hand that only closed and tensed at the moment of impact. It could be felt that these strikes seemed very fast and probably would deliver a lot of power but in the basic form were seriously ‘telegraphed’ so the concept would need significant refining and shortening to be really effective in real combat.
Sensei Sarantis Theodosiu showed his ideas on shuto yoko gamen uchi which followed on from Sensei Dietmar’s loose to tense strike with body movement down and hand rising amplifying the force of the strike at the point of impact. Again in the basic form rather ‘telegraphed’ but with possibilities. There was a look at a revised form of kansetsu geri which I personally could not get the hang of. This form of the kick seemed fast but also to impact on the rising movement and in an oblique manner. Maybe it was just me but I could not get it. Lastly Sensei showed escape techniques from a grab from behind. A sideways step then pushing the attacker over the leg was very similar to techniques that I have encountered in Aikido and Jujutsu but in this case the attack included what I know as a full nelson grab and neck injury could result if the grab was fully engaged before the escape was made so escape must be made quickly.
Sensei Stefan Reindl discussed real case conflict situations and how to avoid unfortunate repercussions. The concept of minimal action then to escape and the idea of drawing attention to a potential conflict to gain witnesses for the full situation. Training at low speed with full contact, medium speed with light contact and full speed with no contact to get a feel for techniques without injuring partners in the dojo.
Sensei Marek Mroszczyk gave us more leg kicks and take downs with hold down to follow.
The two days of training were a chance for different styles and nationalities in the organization to get together and experience each other’s approach. It has to be said that it can be seen that some groups have a more practical combat approach while others are more suited to a competition or sports training style. Was the seminar enjoyable and worth the effort of travelling to attend? Yes. The training and social aspect of the weekend made it worth attending. The facilities in the modern sports centre were excellent.”