Bristol Summer School 30 June 2018
This year's summer school, on Saturday, was a very special one, marking a staggering 50 years since the formation of Bristol Karate Club. The weather came to the party, and karateka from across the Western Karate Union, including a big contingent from the Clevedon and Nuffield Health clubs, enjoyed an excellent day of learning and fun.
Lining up to start the day. If you look closely, you can see that Theodore has decided the appropriate place for him is among the association's higher dan grades.
With Theodore restored to a more suitable location, the students are stretched out.
There is some serious karate knowledge in this picture. If you add up all the dan grades, it comes to over 50.
The session begins with the traditional kneeling bow.
The juniors start with a game of "blocking touch".
For the dan grades, however, it's Sensei Les Birkin's notorious spirit test, starting with knuckle press-ups in the car park...
... then piggy-backing.
Jack works on one-on-one technique with Keely from Yeovil.
Lewis goes fist-to-nose with Colchester's Jim...
... and then gets a lift, literally.
Maria makes her way through the "punching arches"...
... followed by Lewis.
Derek from Bristol clears the arches and continues toward the camera!
While being passed over the arms, Maxine from Bristol has a quick chat with Lewis and Maria.
WKU Chief Instructor Alan Flook stakes his claim to be the greatest. Who's going to argue?
Jack and Lewis team up for wheelbarrow racing.
Les moves on to the higher kyu grades, and they have to carry each other around too.
Tori and Sonia put in some hard graft.
Meanwhile, Callum, Cassidy and the other junior kyu grades work on their Pinan kata under Nigel's watchful eye.
Jack and Lewis look on as Sensei Ryan Lambotte of Jersey Wado-Ryu demonstrates some serious arm-locking technique.
Back at the spirit test, Les has the students working on keeping their knees bent.
Higher kyu grades get airborne during Pinan Godan.
Charlotte is in the front as Ryan organises a giant human snake.
It almost gets off the ground, but not quite.
After all that effort, Ryan makes sure Callum and the other students stay cool.
A solid gyakuzuke from Sonia.
Lewis, looking as cool as a cucumber, throws out a yokogeri.
The junior kyu grades, including Cassidy, Callum and Theodore, work on their sotouke blocks.
Sensei Ivor Thomas, of South Gloucestershire, demonstrates how to control someone by one finger. Unfortunately for Pete, the finger is his!
Charlotte and George work on attacking and defending gyakuzuke-uraken-gyakuzuke.
Nice maigeri technique from Tori.
In their group, Maria and Camilla are also throwing maigeri kicks.
Darren Haines, from Bristol, produces his secret weapon.
Ryan has the higher kyu grades chilling out in the sun...
... so Darren gives them a hand to cool down.
Lewis gets a soaking...
... as does Charlotte.
During the break, the Clevedon contingent form up for a photo. Another excellent turnout this year.
The snapper snapped!
Pete takes the junior kyu grades, including Callum and Theodore, through their paces.
Sonia, George and Charlotte step through into a shutouke.
Callum attacks, his opponent blocks.
Darren's still on the loose, and Callum gets wet again.
He even gets Kevin!
He then tests the students' concentration while doing kata. Charlotte gets soaked...
... then George gets the treatment as well.
At the end of the day Alan and Sensei Dave Wheatley, the founder of Bristol Karate Club, are presented with 50th anniversary mementos.
Dave recounts his thoughts on the club's history to a hushed and respectful audience of all the instructors and students.
The very last thing is the traditional association-wide group photo. Another brilliant day has been added to the history of Bristol Karate Club and the WKU.