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  • Feb 27 / 2017
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Courses

An amazing video from Saturday’s Special Course

We would like to thank Eric Mather, for taking the time to make and send us this truly incredible video of  from the very special kata and kumite course on Saturday. Students from the past and present all training together under Shihan Cummins’ guidance for this special day. Kyu grades to 7th dans all taught by one man over the decades beginners and world champions alike, Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th dan, a truly great karate legacy, So without further ado here it is:

  • Jan 08 / 2017
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Courses

Shihan Cyril Cummins and Sensei Ronnie Christopher Course

On the 7th January 2017 Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th dan and Sensei Ronnie Christopher 6th dan, held a special Shotokan Karate Course at the BHSKC Bartley Green Dojo. We would like to thank Shihan Cummins and Sensei Christopher for teaching an informative & interesting course. Also thanks to all those who attended and helped make it such an enjoyable event.

Shihan_Cummins_Sensei_Christopher_080117

Shihan_Cummins_Sensei_Christopher_Course_080117

  • Dec 29 / 2016
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Courses

Shihan Cyril Cummins & Sensei Ronnie Christopher Course, just over a week away!

The course featuring Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th dan, “The Trainer of Champions” and Sensei Ronnie Christopher 6th dan, former British, European and World Champion is just over a week away. This is a course not to be missed featuring two karate legends based here in Birmingham. Mark this on your calendar now and don’t miss out on this training opportunity!

 

  • Nov 07 / 2016
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Courses

Special Karate Course with Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan & Sensei Ronnie Christopher 6th Dan

We are pleased to present the opportunity for people to train with two of the West Midlands own karate greats :-

Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan & Sensei Ronnie Christopher 6th Dan. This special training course is not to be missed and will take place on Saturday 7th January 2017 at the Bartley Green Dojo.

Book now to reserve your place!

  • Feb 08 / 2014
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Articles, Courses

A review of the Kata and Bunkai Course with Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th dan and Sensei Slater Williams 7th dan

Saturday 8th February 2014

Bartley Green Community Leisure Centre

On Saturday 8th february 2014 Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th dan and Sensei Slater Williams 7th dan (Redditch Shotokan Karate) held a special kata and bunkai course. The course was well attended with a number of students from different clubs attending. After the introductions and warm up the class was split into two parts with Shihan Cummins initially taking the dan grades and Sensei Williams the kyu grades.

The black belts started with Shihan Cummins who taught the kata Unsu. He explained the name meant Cloud Defense and the myth behind the name. As he taught the kata to the count he stopped at points to explain the bunkai for particular movements and demonstrated the application of the techniques. We did the kata several times like this before Shihan Cummins gathered us all around so that students could ask questions about the kata and bunkai. We then split into pairs to perform he bunkai for the first few moves with Shihan Cummins moving around the groups to answer questions and offer advice on how to apply the techniques. This was very helpful as only a slight adjustment in how to perform a lock can be the difference between it being effective and ineffective. Finally we performed the kata again to a faster count as the class was now more familiar with the kata a couple of more times before it was time for the sensei to swap groups. During his session Shihan Cummins emphasised the importance of understanding the application and intent of the techniques in order to understand how to perform them correctly and thus achieve correct form. Shihan Cummins also pointed out that at advanced levels a lot of the blocks in kata should be interpreted as strikes. This interpretation in the bunkai can give a kata a vastly different feel.

Sensei Williams then took over the black belts after a brief break for water, first establishing how many people in the class knew the kata Kanku Sho and to what degree of familiarity. As everyone on the class had done it before to some degree he then proceeded to start to teach the kata. Sensei Williams emphasis was on the form of the kata and technique. He asked the class to slow everything down and really concentrate on fluid movements, especially in the first few moves where there is a tendency for people to jump rather than slide. He also stressed the importance of maintaining correct formal stances and using the hips and lower body correctly. This was illustrated in the first two oi-tsuki followed by uchi-ude-uki techniques where he emphasized the importance of the punch being an “ippon” technique and the correct use of hips for the block. Sensei Williams summed this approach up with the phrase “Technique First”. We then went through the kata to the count several times with Sensei Williams illustrating certain aspects at various points throughout the kata including the importance of relaxing in order to be able to use your whole body correctly when performing the techniques. The class then split into pairs to perform bunkai using various moves from the kata after a demonstration of these by Sensei Williams. Sensei Williams moved around the groups during this period explaining how to do the bunkai he had demonstrated. Whilst we were trying to do this we especially found the lock following the throw extremely hard to apply as we often ended up in the wrong position to apply that particular lock and so ended up applying another. Finally Sensei Williams called each rank of dan grade out to perform Kanku Sho after which he offered advice on how to improve.

Whilst I regularly train with Shihan Cummins this was the first time I had trained with Sensei Williams and so it was very interesting seeing another instructors perspective on the kata. Every sensei brings their own insights and observations into their teaching style along with slight variations of techniques depending on what they were taught and their interpretation of the technique so training with a different sensei like this can provide another perspective for your training. In this case I noticed the difference in emphasis to achieve the same goals between the two sensei. Shihan Cummins emphasis is on understanding the application of the technique to achieve the correct form and understand the kata and how to perform it. Sensei Williams emphasis was on the form of the technique to perform a correct kata. From the course and the different emphasis in teaching I get the impression that Shihan Cummins intrinsically links the bunkai with the kata whilst allowing for individual interpretations whilst Sensei Williams sees these as two more distinct aspects of the kata again allowing for individual interpretations of bunkai.

This was a very enjoyable course which gave me areas to think about in order to improve my kata further and I like many of the other attendees look forward to further courses in the future. I’d like to thank Shihan Cummins and Sensei Williams for arranging this course.

Richard Amuzu, 3rd Dan, BHSKC

 

  • Sep 20 / 2013
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Articles, Courses

Special Weapons Course

Friday 20th September 2013

Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre

The special weapons course, was a great success covering an array of traditional karate weapons including the bo, tonfa, sai and nunchaku. What follows is a brief summary of the course and the weapons covered.

I have now been to a few of Sensei Cummin’s weapons courses and so at last I am beginning to feel comfortable with the bo but am not that familiar with the other weapons covered. I started the class at the point where Shushi No Kon, the first Bo kata was being taught. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I remembered a fair part of the kata since the last course (although I had only practised a few times in between) and so felt a bit more confident in performing the kata rather than the more hesitant  feeling from previous courses. Shihan Cummins went through the kata a few times starting slowly and going through every move at a slow speed so that those attending who had not used the bo before or had only used it one or two times could follow and slowly increased the count speed until by the end of the class everyone was performing the kata at a good pace. This all took place at various points during the class with the other weapons interspersed in between. Shihan Cummins also explained how the moves of the kata could be applied and then held a question and answer session so that the students could clarify the parts they were unsure of which was very informative as Shihan Cummins explained the details of the application relating to the questions and the history where applicable.

Sensei Austin Birks took the class through the use of the nunchaku, this was only the second time I have used them and thanks to Sensei Sue Hession generously donating her time to purchase weapons on behalf of myself and others on the class now had my very own pair to use. Whilst the first time I had used them they seemed to flow naturally for me, this time this was not the case initially and it took some time to be able to get a rhythm going when swapping hands. This is definitely a weapon for which practice is a must to be able to use them in any capacity and you will almost certainly hit yourself a few times whilst doing so. Sensei Birks then demonstrated how these could be used in defence against attacks from weapons or the empty hand before giving a demonstration of the nunchaku in which he would have given Bruce Lee a run for his money in that famous scene from Enter the Dragon.

Shihan Cummins returned to the helm for the Sai, explaining the origins of the weapon, and demonstrating their use in kata and kumite which in many ways is similar to that of the Tonfa and how they were traditionally used to defend against attacks by katana (Japanese swords). We all then tried to use these which again was a second time for me. I still haven’t got to grips with the sai finding it very hard to spin them with any consistency. Shihan Cummins emphasised the importance of having the blade running along the arm when performing blocks in a similar manner to when using a tonfa. He then held a question and answer session about the sai in which the students again asked questions and Shihan Cummins explained the usage and techniques.

The weapons course finished with a last performance of Shushi No Kon to the count followed by Sensei Sue Hession demonstrating the kata at full speed.

As always this was a very informative course with the attendees all asking for more courses in the future. I would recommend that anyone who hasn’t tried weapon training to attend any future course as it really does add a new dimension to your training and helps when interpreting some of the advanced kata such as Bassai Sho and Jitte.

Richard Amuzu 3rd Dan, BHSKC

Special Weapons Course class attendees

  • May 09 / 2013
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Articles, Courses

Blackpool Training Weekend – A review

by Melissa Daly, 3rd Kyu

Blackpool Weekend Training CourseFrom the 3rd to the 5th of May 2013, a number of karate students from BHSKC went to Blackpool for a special weekend training course organised by Sensei Cyril Cummins, now 8th Dan. For the duration of the weekend, we stayed in a lovely, homely hotel owned by Sensei Cummins’ son. We were all made to feel welcome by the staff and received delicious, home cooked meals. The rooms were comfortable and clean and we all thoroughly enjoyed the time we stayed there.

The dojo, which is part of a newly built leisure centre, was exceptional. The hall was very spacious and the walls were mirrored so that we could observe ourselves and not miss anything and the floor was completely covered in mats.

During the weekend, we focussed on kata, kumite, bunkai and physical strength. The advanced katas Sensei Cummins taught us were Kanku Dai and Meikyo. Kanku Dai, for me is an enjoyable kata to learn. Despite it being an advanced kata, it is quite basic because it contains essential elements of all the other katas. Although I found this kata quite long and challenging, I managed to complete it eventually.

Sensei Cummins also taught us the bunkai to Kanku Dai, with him demonstrating on Sensei Austin Birks, 4th Dan and Matt Russell 3rd Dan. It was interesting to be shown how to use certain moves from the kata with attacking and defending.

The kata I personally enjoyed the most was Meikyo. To me, the kata was quite simple to pick up because most of the sequences are mirrored. I especially liked how the kata started off in a slow movement and then quick and repeated. I also enjoyed the spinning jump towards the end of the kata.

Sensei also took us through Bassai Dai, which was extremely helpful for me, as this is my grading kata. We went through the kata step by step and then completed it in our own time.

  • May 05 / 2013
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Articles, Courses

Blackpool Weekend Karate Course

Friday 3rd May till Sunday 5th May 2013

On the 4th and 5th of May 2013, Sensei Cyril Cummins held an advanced training course in the Palatine Leisure Centre in Blackpool. Both of the 3-hour training sessions were extremely intense and physically challenging. The course covered kihon, kata and bunkai, as well as kumite in great detail.

The basic techniques were geared towards the individual grades, so that each person was given a challenge and pushed to the limit. Kata and bunkai were studied in depth; Sensei Cummins’ extraordinary knowledge and ability to find numerous interpretations for every single kata made this an invaluable experience for any karateka.

The kumite sessions allowed everybody to try new techniques and to enhance their overall ability. Not only did this course focus on practical issues, but Sensei Cummins also provided background knowledge on a large number of theoretical and historical aspects of Shotokan karate. Sensei Cummins will soon be celebrating 50 years of training.

Few people have done what he has done and during this training weekend, he generously gave participants a unique insight into his training journey. The ethos of the course was to push oneself to the limit, which is what we did. This course was a priceless experience for everybody who took part. Make sure you don’t miss the next one!

A selection of photos from the course can be found on our Flickr album here.

  • Apr 19 / 2013
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Articles, Courses

Special Weapons Course Featuring the Bo, Sai & Nunchaku

 Friday 19th April 2013

Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre

 

Sensei Cyril Cummin’s continued his kobudo (weapons training) sessions with a course featuring the Bo, Sai and Nunchaku. What follows is a brief summary of that course.

The course started with the bo, as this has featured in a number of courses I felt that I was now coming to grips with the use of the bo and when we revisited the bo kata shushi no kon I now felt reasonably comfortable doing it. This was reflected with the rest of the class who had all participated in some of the previous sessions and it felt more like revision and polishing the techniques rather than trying to remember what came next for the most part.

After the Bo we moved onto the Sai, Sensei Cummins explained the history of the weapon before demonstrating its use. We all then attempted to perform basic techniques with the sai. Personally I found the sai extremely difficult to handle especially when swivelling them and as a result found even performing kihon kata with the sai a challenge.  This seemed to be reflected with most of the class and Sensei Cummins with he help of Sensei Susan Hession slowed down and helped everyone understand how to swivel and manipulate the sai.

After the sai came the nunchaku, again Sensei Cummins explained the history of the weapon and demonstrated a number of ways in which they could be used. Then we all had a go. I found the nunchaku easier to handle than the sai and fear of hitting myself in the face with the wooden nunchaku I was using soon evaporated. Whilst I wont claim to have replicated that famous scene from Enter the Dragon, I was able to swing the nunchaku around myself and swap hands and arms with relative ease.

Finally we partnered up and participated in some basic sparring defending attacks from a bo with the sai and counter attacking. This was interesting and felt far more difficult than using the tonfa in a similar situation to me.

Alas time was up and another very informative kobudo session concluded. I look forward to the next one as everyone else who attended also indicated and hope to practice more with the weapons covered so far.

A selection of photos from the course can be found on our Flickr album here.

Richard Amuzu, 3rd Dan BHSKC.

  • Mar 29 / 2013
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Articles, Courses

Choose a Kata Friday – Jitte

Friday 29th March 2013

Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Centre

 

The second of the Choose a Kata Friday nights took place on Friday 29th March with Matt Russell selection Jitte as his chosen kata. This is a preview of the night with a few photos of Matt performing the kata with Matt’s review of the night to follow.

More pictures from this session can be found in our Flickr Album here.

Jitte Bunkai 1 Jitte Bunkai 2
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