Sensei M. Guest Seminar

Sensei Guest’s Seminar

 May,2011 ~ Trenton, Ontario

It’s always an exceptional learning experience to stand before a Master of any discipline. When that teacher is a venerated Master such as Sensei M. Guest, and his host is the highly respected Sensei Walther …the student of any martial arts style or rank has been given a gift!

I might also add that for anyone who is aware of the lineage of these Senseis, it is truly a privilege.  These accolades are not mere adulation but rather a sincere appreciation of  their ability. I say that because it is not very often that such a unique opportunity exists for one to benefit from their wisdom, their acumen, skill, insight and years of dedication to the martial arts. Today was one of those rare opportunities!

I had not previously met either Sensei Guest or Sensei Walther, but had of course always heard their names …and had been regaled with stories about them by others… so I’d have to say that I was a little bit in awe of them as I stepped on the seminar floor at Bayside Secondary School in Trenton, Ontario.

There was probably 50 – 60  participants in today’s seminar… most of whom had traveled 2-3 hours to attend. Among those attending I’d guess that about  one-third of them were blackbelts… with a good representation of women in the ranks. Our club was well-represented by 9 members in attendance – Sensei Dave, Sensei Rick, Bill, Jason, Diana, Paula, Rob, Rafi and moi (Chris).

The “Basics”

We didn’t really know exactly what to expect other than it was suggested that it would likely be focussed on “the basics”. Well, in my books you can’t go wrong with that… it’ll make everything stronger if your foundation techniques (“the basics”) are strong. It’s something that some students have difficulty with because they see it as repetitive and boring. My personal opinion is that you need to “make friends” with the basics because they will carry you forward throughout your martial arts training…. and your life.

While Sensei Guest instructed us on technique as we went back and forth across the floor, there were many moments of levity which he drew upon. That, in turn, relaxed everybody and simultaneously created a better forum… more conducive for learning. As we were moving across the floor, Sensei Walthers floated by and quietly gave instruction and refinement on our stances and technique.

After a period of practice, Sensei Guest introduced us to the kata, “Heinan Godan”. Most of the attendees, while they had heard of it in their curriculum, had never practiced it.  For most of us, this was the first practice. Nevertheless, Sensei Guest stepped us through the paces, naturally segmenting the form into sections and working on individual movements.

Once again, Sensei Walthers walked through the ranks of our practice floor…presiding as would a benevolent and ever-present teacher… refining our moves and encouraging the correct execution.

Accordingly, Sensei Guest taught us the complete kata. He suggested that it would be to our greatest benefit if we undertook to practice and did our utmost to retain this particular kata.

…and so it went…  a GREAT seminar… followed up by some photo-ops with the Masters. I would encourage anyone reading this… If You have an opportunity like this in the future… DO WHATEVER YOU CAN TO ATTEND! Thank You to Sensei Dave Dalley for continually encouraging ALL of his students on the enormous value inherent in attending these type of events. If you want to progress in the martial arts, this type of training is invaluable!

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