Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Sticks Kicks and Jits

This weekend I ventured up to the Midlands to S.K.J martial arts in Leicester. Organised by coaches Caz tweedy, Abigail Steady and Jo Hicks, the event offered a taster of 3 different martial arts, grappling, kick boxing and stick fighting. Caz, Abigail and Jo are all established athletes in their chosen discipline's and regularly strive to cross train in different martial arts. They have launched S.K.J to offer a friendly and safe environment for women to learn and practice martial arts, and are one of the few clubs to offer such high quality female coaching.

I arrived slightly late, sleep deprived and overdosed on espresso after catching a very early train from Eastbourne. When I arrived there were already about 20 women present for the first unofficial part of the event, which was a 2 hour nogi grappling seminar taken by Caz. As there was a range of skill levels present Caz started off with some hip mobility drills to warm up and emphasise the importance of hip movement in grappling. She then went on to drill the correct base and technical stand up for fighting with an open guard. The main techniques that we covered were escaping side control and passing guard both of which Caz explained very well, emphasising the importance of arm and hand positioning and where to frame to be able to move the hips. Caz is an excellent teacher who's passion for grappling is apparent and infectious. She is able to break down moves into clear teaching points that even women with no grappling experience at all were able to pick up quickly.

Taster session

The main emphasis of the event was to give a basic introduction to the three main disciplines taught at S.K.J martial arts. At midday we were joined by another 30 women, some of which had a wealth of experience and achievements under their belts and others who had never so much set foot in a dojo until that day. Jo Hicks gave us our introduction to kick boxing starting with an energetically lead warm up followed by a good stretch, after which we worked on the basic jab cross combo followed by some side kicks on the pads. Next Caz ran through some grappling basics, being such a complex sport it is hard to get a feeling for grappling in such a short space of time but Caz ran through some fundamentals and explained the positional progression of the sport well. Abigail had the task of choreographing 50 women and sticks into shape. We learnt 4 stikes and 4 defence moves finishing with a disarm, which brought the session to an end.

I hung around catching up with some friends and watched the stick fighters do some sparring which was beautifully brutal and interesting to look at at. I spoke to Caz and Abigail after the event and both were happy with the turn out and looking forward to the future of S.K.J. Well done ladies it was a well run event with excellent coaching and left everyone feeling happy and confident with some new found skills. Please check out the photo's from the event taken by Joy Foulds

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