|Hanshi Doug Perry, Kudan (9th Degree Black Belt)|
Yesterday Hanshi Doug Perry came to the church campus that my dojo is located at to hold a karate seminar. He is a Kudan (9th Degree Black Belt) under Shuguro Nakazato, which makes him the highest ranking non-Okinawan in Shorin-Ryu karate, and he is the head of the Shorinkan for North America. There were a lot of people in attendance from several different schools (only four people in attendance were not part of the Shorinkan, however) to learn from him. The seminar only lasted three hours and by the time it was over I was wishing it was an all-day event!
|The Peaceful Warrior dojo members and Sensei Alex Santa Maria of Kensho-Do after the seminar|
We started off the seminar with some flexibility-centric warm-ups before getting right into techniques. Hanshi Perry has a good sense of humor and kept the atmosphere friendly even as he was teaching, which is a rare gift (at least in my experience) and made the seminar fun! We started off working on how to apply a gedan-uke (low block) as a basic joint lock, and then a more complicated joint lock from there. I noticed that applying joint locks, pressure points and takedowns (all in conjunction with strikes, of course) from kata was the theme of the class and we practiced a variety of them from Naihanchi Shodan, Pinan Sandan, Pinan Yondan, Passai Sho, Gojushiho and Chinto.
|Hanshi Perry demonstrating a combination wrist lock and sweep|
During the seminar I wanted to train with people from other schools in order to network and see how they do things differently. In that spirit, I did not seek out my dojomates when it came time to partner up and practice and just let myself end up with whoever I ended up with. That placed me with a brown belt woman who told me that she had not trained in nearly a year, with the exception of that morning. I did what I could to apply the locks and takedowns as gently as I could, but after the first hour and a half or so she had to sit out because her joints were too sore.
|Hanshi Perry demonstrating a wrist lock following a sweep|
When she stepped away, I stepped in to help a pair of girls (it sounded like they were sisters) that were practicing next to me, as they were entering the lock (pictured above) incorrectly and then not applying it at all. When I demonstrated on one of them, I applied the lock very slowly in order to give her enough time to tap out but she never did and eventually shouted “STOP!” at me. After this she gave me a very wary look, nursed her sore wrist and made it clear that she wanted nothing more to do with me even as I apologized and explained the process of tapping out to a submission. In the end, I spent the rest of the seminar practicing with Jason and Brandon from my own dojo, which did make me feel a little disappointed because the people from other schools I tried to work with were not compatible with my training, and I was not compatible with theirs.
|Working an elbow dislocation that leads to a shoulder lock and takedown with Jason|
Even though I had those unfortunate experiences (which I will admit were my own fault) I still thoroughly enjoyed the seminar. It was very entertaining, very educational and a great honor to be able to learn from Hanshi Perry. If he is ever teaching a seminar in your area, I highly recommend attending!