Sensei Andy Sherry 9th Dan course & Dan grading April 2018.
This weekend the USKFI welcomed world renowned instructor Sensei Andy Sherry back to Dublin for our first course and Dan grading of 2018. Sensei Andy Sherry who holds a 9th Dan in Shotokan Karate is a regular visitor to Ireland with this being the second seminar in a packed calendar of International instructors scheduled to visit the USKFI in the forthcoming year. The course was well supported with close to one hundred members in attendance.
The event kick started bright & early Saturday morning with the first session for brown & black belts. As always when Sensei Sherry visits the primary focus is on the development of an excellent technical standard. Sensei began the course with an introduction to correct hip rotation and Kime (focus). The important technical points Sensei made were then encouraged to be reproduced in the Kihon section (basics). Sensei gave a variety of challenging drills that really tested the participants. Keeping similar principles in mind Sensei then moved on to Kata with all members working on Bassai Dai. There was some excellent points made on the technical development of the Kata. Sensei continued with a similar mind-set of the Kihons delivering each technique with precision, dynamism accompanied with a ferocious martial attitude. To finish up the first session Sensei moved onto Kumite (sparring). Sensei Sherry delivered a master-class on deft footwork coordinated with the deliverance of precise technique......the emphasis to finish your opponent with one perfectly executed decisive blow. The atmosphere in the dojo was almost electric with each member putting everything they had into each attack.
After a short break Sensei Sherry continued where he left off in the previous session. Members immediately faced their partners and were straight into kumite. Sensei Sherry gave the members some demanding kicking drills; Mae geri , Mawashi geri and Ushiro geri were all utilized along with nimble footwork to break the distance and score decisively against their opponent. The Kata section of this session consisted of the senior Dan grades working on Kata Unsu and the junior Dan grades working on Enpi. The brown belts worked on a range of Heian Katas while the Dan grade hopefuls worked on their favourite Katas for their upcoming grading. Sensei gave some very good feedback and pointers to assist them in the examination to be held later that day.
Although a very quiet and unassuming man Sensei Sherry's ability & passion for what he does is inspiring to say the least. The power and speed he generates in each of his techniques leaves an ineffable imprint in your mind. Karateka who have the privilege of training under his tutelage are usually left in awe of what an amazing Karateka he is; he certainly sets the example for all Karateka to follow.
After another short break it was time for the Dan grade hopefuls to take on the daunting task ahead of going through the Dan grading process in front of one of the world's greatest Shotokan practitioners. A very fair grading examiner Sensei Sherry expects a high standard and understanding of each section of the grading. After the rigorous examination we are delighted to welcome a further thirteen Dan grades to our ranks; eight new Shodans (1st Dan), four new Nidans (2nd Dan) & one new Sandan (3rd Dan).
Overall it was a fantastic day for the USKFI; the camaraderie between each member was admirable. The atmosphere in the dojo was tremendous with each member sharing the same goal; to study and develop a high level of Shotokan Karate whilst sharing the dojo floor all part of one close nit dedicated group. The USKFI would like to thank all our members for their continued support and congratulate all those who were successful in attaining their Dan grade.Successful Dan grades
James Mac Aodha
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