2010 Summer Training Camp In France With Soke Mochizuki and International Experts
Annual Yoseikan Budo Seminar 2009 Aix-en-Provence
Yoseikan England attended again this year the annual weekly long seminar in Aix-en-Provence in France. This was again a very successful seminar with even more attendants then the previous year.
We had the pleasure to
train under Soke Hiroo Mochizuki, Founder of the Yoseikan-Budo style as well as
his two sons Mitchi and Kyochi Mochizuki, both high calibre international
All the different aspects of Yoseikan Budo where covered, from Ground Fighting to Striking to Weapon training as well as Grappling and Kata training. For those with more energy to burn there was Yoseikan training and sparring classes in the evening.
We had also the honour and the privilege to train under Dominic Valera, a legendary Karate and kick-boxing master very well known in France and around the world. At 63 years of age, Valera is still able to do the splits and kick anybody in the head, proof that hard work and determination always pays.
All in all a very interesting seminar with lots of surprises and a lot to learn from regardless of your experience and your background in the martial arts. We hope that many more of us will be attending next year. As they say, the more the merrier.
A Historic Moment For Yoseikan England
This year in the annual Yoseikan-Budo seminar in Aix-en-Provence, two of the most dedicated students of Yoseikan Budo in England have presented and passed their first Dan (first Degree) black belt in Yoseikan-Budo, in front of Soke Hiroo Mochizuki as well as a panel of international experts.
Ian Johnson and Kehinde Meshe went through two hours of solid testing where they were examined through a vast repertoire of techniques, including punches, kicks, throws, locks, ground pins, weapons (stick and knife). They had to demonstrate power with each technique through the correct usage of the appropriate wave. They also had to demonstrate their ability to apply all these theses techniques in sparring with and without weapons.
Both Ian and Kehinde did very well and we had a very good feedback from the panel of examiners including Soke Hiroo Mochizuki. This marks a significant historical moment for Yoseikan Budo in England as we now have for the first time, two first Dan black belts. We hope that this is only the beginning, and we will see many more students achieve the same results.
It takes three to four years (Minimum three annual stamps on the License) of training (once or twice a week) to be ready to present a black belt grading in Yoseikan. There is a very comprehensive syllabus of techniques to take you from 9th Kyu (first beginners grade) to 1st Kyu (Brown belt level). Although it is a major achievement to get your first Dan black belt in Yoseikan, it is only the equivalent of obtaining an A level in martial arts. You then have to take your martial art to university (2nd Dan, 3rd Dan, 4th Dan, etc…) to really become proficient at it.
A very inspiring surprise guest
One of the big surprises at this years Annual Yoseikan-Budo seminar was the presence of Dominic Valera who came in one of the evening sessions to offer an intense two hours workout in kickboxing.
Dominic Valera is a martial artist of legendary status in France. He received his first Dan black belt in Karate from Soke Hiroo Mochizuki many years ago and went on to become a champion in karate and full contact kickboxing tournaments. He was one of the first Karatekas who decided to transition to a more contact form of Karate to measure the proficiency of striking techniques, and along with the likes of Bill Wallace (Super Foot) and Joe Lewis he contributed to the birth of modern day kickboxing as we know it. So in a way we had the privilege to train with one of the fathers of modern kickboxing.
As a fighter, Dominic Valera was always very well known for two things: unbelievable kicks (power and flexibility) and also unbelievable sweeps (leg take downs). We had a master class in both areas. We spent the first hour going through various kick boxing drills using gloves and shin guards, and the second hour going through amazing sweeps and takedowns. We finished the session with some top of the range stretches designed to increase kicking ability.
At 63 years of age, Dominic Valera is a true source of inspiration. He can kick any body in the head (he demonstrated a head kick on Kehinde our tallest student in the UK), he can hold his legs up in the air at head height, he can do the splits and showed amazing flexibility during the stretching session, he can still demonstrate impeccable high level martial arts techniques including full body take downs. He demonstrated on the day that you get a lot of reward when leading a healthy and disciplined life style (most 63 year olds are barely able to walk). He also proved that high level kicking skills (often thought to be synonymous with youth) could be maintained to a very advanced age.
The whole experience with Dominic Valera can be summarized in one big message: No excuses anymore - get off that couch and start training!
Very sad news in the Yoseikan family
We have recently been informed that one of our fellow Yoseikan-Budoka, Michel Kampata has unfortunately lost his life. It is very sad news and we forward our deepest condoles censes to his close friends and family.
I have known Michel for a very long time as a student and as a friend. I met him when he was 14 years old, I used to be a physiotherapy student and was training and teaching martial arts (Yoseikan-Budo) in Belgium at the time. As a youngster, Michel was passionate about training and anything physical. He uses to pay me regular visits to feed his thirst for knowledge. We started training together in the Yoseikan-Budo club in Louvain-La-Neuve university but also we started having extra training sessions where we would run to the Boix de L’Auzelle (Woods) in Louvain-La-Neuve, run up hills to a special training area covered with grass, where we could do various forms of training including throws. Michel was always dedicated to his training, never complained, never argued, always pushed and did his best. From a very young age he showed what seems to lack considerably in today’s youth, discipline and dedication. With that level of dedication he became an amazing martial artist, was very successful in any of the competitions that he entered and also built himself into a respected fitness and personal trainer.
The news of his death came to me as a shock and left me very sad. I have lost a very good friend and also a very good fellow martial artist.