On Tuesday 27th November we opened our doors to friends and colleagues and concentrated on the practice of basic self defence. Our dojo had a wonderful atmosphere with the 19 students made up of an almost equal mix of regular students and new faces. We started with a warm up to prepare our bodies for the class and help avoid unnecessary strains. Part of the warm up could be considered as self defence practice itself, such as knee strikes and getting up quickly from lying on the floor, based on the “star jump” familiar to anyone that has ever trained under Sensei George Andrews.
We spent most of the class working with a partner as there is no other way to practice self defence. As basic as it sounds, just being very close to a stranger and practicing aggressive techniques is quite an alien feeling to most people and must be overcome to avoid panic in a real situation. At various points during the class we made use of strike shields and to reinforce the idea of hitting back with force, we finished the class with a few rounds of punching and kicking a series of six shields.
All the fees were taken as charitable donations and in doing so we raised £180 for Cambridge Cyrenians, a local charity for the homeless. I’d like to thank everyone for coming and making the event a success and to our regular students for working patiently with our guests.