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Archive for the ‘Anniversary’ Category

Friendship Course 15th/16th March

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Friendship course 15th and 16th March 2014, Coventry.

After a hassle-free journey thanks to fast and powerful cars and the Eurotunnel crossing, Sensei Citti, Hauzeur and Thielemans, joined by his wife, and Quentin, were greeted by Barbara Moss, 6th Dan and Principal of Yama-Arashi Coventry. With her were a few Dan Grades, including Ric Costigan, 5th Dan, instructor at Yama-Arashi Coventry and founder of Yama-Arashi in Stratford-upon-Avon. Sensei Roget Hannoset, also instructor at Yama-Arashi Budo College Belge, was meant to be part of this congregation from Belgium but had to cancel at the last minute due to stomach flu.

Over the weekend, the above instructors (Citti, Costigan, Hauzeur, Moss and Thielemans) as well as Brian Kennedy, 5th Dan, taught various techniques to around 40 dan grades and kyu grades. It was under the umbrella of friendship that an exchange of opinions on how to execute a technique was held, which everyone found very interesting. The atmosphere was cheerful and humorous. We could all appreciate the excellent work on the mat and in particular Barbara Moss’ whose aikido is fluid, round, effective and beautiful to watch.

Saturday evening we went to a Chinese restaurant and on Sunday evening to a traditional pub. The hotel we spent the 3 nights in was perfect with a swimming pool, sauna, gym, etc. We were definitely spoilt.

This friendship course ended with Barbara Moss handing out beautiful gifts; there was even one, engraved, for Roger Hannoset. We also had an emotional thought for Tom Moss, Barbara’s deceased husband and founder of the Club. A symbolic thought from his students is that they have left Tom’s black belt hanging in the corner of the changing room where he would get changed. This weekend spent together will stay with us forever, in our minds and our hearts.

Thank you very much, Barbara and all the members from Yama-Arashi Coventry.

Mr Tony Thielemans

Friendship Course 15th/16th March

Monday, March 31st, 2014

On Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th March 2014, a very special aikido course was held at the Phoenix Aikido and Fitness Club which will remain in everyone’s memory and in the history of Yama Arashi Coventry. We were indeed blessed with a visit by instructors from Belgium: Sensei Citti (7th dan aikido kyoshi and 2nd dan jodo), Sensei Hauzeur (6th dan judo and 5th dan aikido), and the long-awaited visit by Sensei Thielemans (6th dan aikido and 4th dan judo) and his wife Joelle. Sensei Hannoset (6th dan aikido, 6th dan judo) was also due to travel to Coventry but had to cancel at the last minute due to illness. It was a privilege to witness long-standing aikidokas share their knowledge and expertise with the rest of us. Our Belgian visitors set off on Friday 7th and travelled on the Eurotunnel to sunny England (it was actually a glorious sunny weekend!) and were welcomed by Barbara at the Village Hotel, a few minutes down the road from the Club.

The course started on the Saturday and teaching was shared by Senseis Tony Thielemans, Pierre Citti, Rene Hauzeur, Barbara Moss, Ric Costigan and Brian Kennedy. It is worth noting that Sensei Thielemans said about Barbara’s aikido that is graceful, flowing and wonderful to watch. Ric was described as a bit of a character and Brian, well, he was the other one! Sensei Thielemans emphasised the basic points that are essential in aikido: turning your head when doing tai-sabaki (without turning your head, you can’t turn your hips and therefore you can’t move your feet, and so your tai-sabaki isn’t fully performed). He emphasised also that it is important to turn your hand, palm up, from gyaku katatedori when doing tai-sabaki. Iriminage is a circular movement with the arm finishing with the little finger up. We also spent some time working on ikkyo finish.

Sensei Citti emphasised the martial side of aikido demonstrating various arm locks, nikkyos and sankyos. You were literally kept on your toes (physically and mentally!) He explained that he also does some very flowing kokyunages.

Sensei Hauzeur’s aikido was along the same lines as Sensei Citti’s aikido although possibly slightly softer. After the course, a few went out for a well-deserved meal at the Wing Wah restaurant.

So back on the mat on Sunday morning with the same teaching format. At the end of the course, Barbara presented the visiting senseis with beautifully engraved trophies, without forgetting a gift for Sensei Thielemans’ wife (Joelle). The weekend ended with a nice meal at the Old Mill in Baginton.

Throughout the weekend, the atmosphere on and off the mat was very friendly and it was great to practice with other aikidokas from Bob Sherrington’s club in Kettering, and students from Western-super-Mare.Our Belgian visitors left Coventry on the Monday to catch the 3.30pm Eurotunnel train from Folkestone, while the rest of us went back to work for a rest!

Christelle Kennedy

Dan Grading Weekend 20th/22nd September

Wednesday, September 4th, 2013

Yama Arashi Dan Grading weekend. Details of training times:

Friday 20th September – 7.30pm-9.30pm (course)

Saturday 21st September – 2.00pm-6.00pm (course)

Sunday 22nd September – 10.00am-12.30pm (Grading)

Sensei Tom Moss 10th Anniversary Memorial Course

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

10th Anniversary Commemoration Course

On Saturday 18 May 2013, Phoenix Aikido Club in Coventry held a special event in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the sad loss of Sensei Tom Moss. Some 50 students came along to pay their respects in the form of a four-hour course, hosted by the Yama Arashi UK Association’s current Chief Instructor, Sensei Mrs Barbara Moss.

The students were of all grades, the more senior ones being those fortunate aikidoka who had actually trained under Sensei Tom, while the kyu-grades, having come to aikido in the intervening years, were happy to take advantage of the unique line-up of nine very senior instructors, Sensei Barbara and eight others, friends, former students, or fellow-students of Sensei Tom.

First of all, our own Chief Instructor, Sensei Barbara, proved – as usual – that, contrary to popular opinion, size actually DOESN’T matter, when a petite lady can demolish a strapping great uke without even breathing hard….

Each instructor taught for about 20 minutes, enlivening their session with memories and anecdotes of Sensei Tom, and all of them remembering his constant emphasis on the need to concentrate on the basics, such that occasionally we older students found it unnervingly reminiscent of Sensei Tom’s sentiments.

The other instructors – not necessarily in this order – were Philip Smith, Frank Burlingham, Mick Parsons, Vic Williams (who came back from the USA to teach at this course, Richard Guise, plus the resident Coventry stalwarts of Grev Cooke, Ric Costigan, and Brian Kennedy.

So we trained hard but enjoyably (you know you’ve enjoyed it when the end of the session is called, and you just think “What, already?”), and true to the spirit of Sensei Tom we did plenty of basic techniques, but with each instructor’s different experience demonstrating a different aspect or a variation of the basic theme.

Regrettably, with so many top-notch instructors demonstrating so many techniques throughout the course, one’s memory can become a bit confused (!), but one of the instructors reminded us of Sensei Tom’s “Samurai Walk,” and, for example, Sensei Vic Williams demonstrated two techniques from gyaku, the first drawing the uke back into inner Iriminage, the second turning uke’s wrist in a “motor-cycle throttle” move and drawing them into tembimnage.

One of Sensei Rich’s techniques was sankyo, when he referred to how fast Sensei Tom’s hands could turn take and turn an uke’s attack, which we older students remembered clearly and are still trying to emulate.

Sensei Grev showed us a response to a two-man attack, the first uke going for ushiro ryote tekubi kubi dori in preparation for a shomenski from the second uke, and the response being to take the first uke’s hand into sankyo, stepping aside to avoid the shomenski and applying hijishime, while either taking the first uke to the ground or throwing them from the sankyo.

Sensei Brian showed, among other techniques, a direct tenchinage from ryotedori attack, while one of Sensei Ric’s chosen applications was a direct kokyunage from katatedori, and showed how dynamic aikido can be, giving us all the opportunity for a good bounce-around

Sensei Mick Parsons also demonstrated, convincingly, that unlike most martial arts, aikido doesn’t require a person to have four fully-functioning limbs for it to be really effective!

Sensei Smith followed in his father’s footsteps in showing that many aikido techniques came straight from sword-work, a poignant reminder of some of the days of the “Big Three” courses.

And of course, Sensei Frank showed us a “simple” response to ryotedori, which we had the pleasure of not only recognising but enjoying the stunned reactions of those seeing the technique for the first time.

Then at the end of the course, Sensei Grev favoured us with a few of his own memories of Tom – and it was always “Tom” off the mat; if you called him “Sensei” outside the dojo he would correct you firmly!

Sensei Grev had also made a compilation DVD of some of Tom’s classes, demonstrations and gradings, from very early days to quite late in his career, copies of which were available, and he played it in the little dojo after the end of the course.

He also gave the class some excellent news, which was that earlier in the month, Sensei Barbara had been awarded her 6th Dan by Sensei Thielemans, a decision heartily approved by everyone.

Finally, the commemorative event concluded with a pre-booked (and over-subscribed!) convivial evening meal, winding up what had been a fitting tribute to someone we had all valued tremendously – and more than one person made the wry but valid comment that “Tom would have loved this!” Yes, we believe he would.

– By: Marianne Crisp

Dan gradings 2012

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

The Yama Arashi Dan gradings were held at the club last weekend. This took the traditional format of training Friday and Saturday followed by the gradings on Sunday morning.

It was a special year as far as I was concerned, as four of the junior students were grading. They have all been training at the club since about 7 and 8 years old, so a very proud morning for me and also their very nervous parents!

The succesful 1st Dans were Ellen Pickett, Natalie Greaves, Chloe Somers, Mason Jewitt, Garrett Jackson. Steve Martin, a student from Stratford was awarded his 2nd Dan. He should have been accompanied by Russell Coleridge but unfortunately Russell sprained his ankle a few days prior to the grading, which meant he was unable to grade. We will look forward to his when he has recovered.

Thankfully, the weather followed the traditional pattern of being kind to us, so all in all a very enjoyable weekend.

Afterwards, we celebrated at Zorbaz Greek restaurant, a good time had by all! My thanks to Charlie and Joanne for their hard work in organising this.

Photos of the weekend will be posted in the gallery section soon.

Dan Gradings 14th/15th/16th September 2012

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Please note the change in the previously stated time for the Gradings.

Sunday’s session will start at 10am and not 10.30 as printed on the calendar.

Yama Arashi Uk Dan Gradings -14th-16th September 2012

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

This is the highlight of our Yama Arashi calendar! Please give those taking their black belt grading your support by ensuring your attendance at this event, as one day not so far away, you will be following in their footsteps.

The Aikido weekend is planned to reflect the trips that were made to Brussels-a class on the first day, a course on the Saturday, with the actual gradings taking place on the Sunday morning.

Social get-togethers will take place in between training sessions, and this year a new venue for Sunday, Zorbaz Greek restaurant. Those who came at Christmas will remember what a fun night it was, so hopefully we can make it a good party this year!

Details of the menu for the meal will be displayed on the notice board soon and I would be grateful if you would choose your options as soon as possible.

Training times are as follows:

Friday 14th September. Training: 7.30pm-9.30pm.

Friday evening: Drinks at venue to be arranged.

  Saturday 15th September. Training: 2.00pm-6.00pm.

Saturday evening: Drinks at venue to be arranged

    Sunday 16thh September. Gradings: 10.00am-12.30pm.

(time is subject to change)

Afterwards: Meal and entertainment at Zorbaz

All grades and beginners are welcome. Please make every effort to attend these sessions.

Barbara Moss.

A Celebration in honour of Sensei Haydn Foster 7th dan I.O.A.

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

A Course was held last weekend in honour of Sensei Foster. It was held in High Wycombe and I was very proud to be asked to take part in the teaching during the weekend. There were numerous instructors all of whom had been closely connected to Sensei Foster over the years. We, at Yama Arashi were introduced to Sensei by Frank Burlingham many years ago and met with him regularly at the notorious “Big 3″ courses which he taught with Sensei Smith and Tom for many years. This carried on after Mr Smith and Tom passed away and continued under the new name of “The Lowestoft Course”. We were lucky enough to see him at our own dojo every year when he came to teach for us in October. It was a lovely weekend, catching up with old friends as well as meeting new ones.

My thanks to Paul Foster-Dent, to Janet Pain and those involved behind the scenes to make such an enjoyable event.

Stratford Phoenix Aikido 10th Anniversary

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012

A Celebratory course was held last Saturday 31st March 2012, at Stratford leisure Centre to mark the 10th anniversary of the Stratford Phoenix Aikido club. The club is run by Sensei Ric Costigan, 5th Dan.

It was a pleasure to see so many aikidoists supporting this event, to get together for a good Aikido session.

Two of Ric’s Dan grades, Russ and Steve opened the course, followed by Frank Burlingham 5th Dan and William Timms 5th Dan from the  I.O.A. Phillip Smith 6th Dan U.K.A. continued and after a short break it was then my turn,  before  Ric finished off the day.

There were members from all the visiting instructors’ clubs together with our own Milton Keynes and Coventry members and of course Stratford members old and new!

Presentations to Ric followed  before a few drinks and barbeque at “The Tramway” ( the local after training watering hole!)

Bernie, Paul Totts dad, made a cake, fitting to the occasion, which had to be seen to be believed. Probably some photos of it somewhere!

An excellent day- Best wishes to Ric for another ten successful years ahead.



Tribute course for Sensei Haydn Foster / Amended details

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

The course to be held this weekend 15th &16th October, is now Saturday 15th only, at the same time of 2pm -6pm. The  Sunday Aikido class will run as normal.

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