Kudo Seminar and Belt Test with Grand Master Azuma in London Sunday 16th November 2008.
Grand Master Azuma & Sensei Watanabe
Hosted by Sensei Lee Hasdell
Phoenix Fitness Centre Shepherds Bush London
Kudo is a martial art from Japan founded by Grand Master (Jukucho) Azuma, who wanted to create a modern martial art based on traditional samurai ethics and values. Kudo always places an emphasis on the Bushido or ‘Way of the Warrior, which is a code of conduct designed to help people to live peaceful and harmonious lives.
Grand Master Azuma first martial art was Judo and then Kyokushin, but in 1981 he decided to combine to two with other disciplines such as Jujutsu, Kickboxing, Aikido and Karate into what was called Daido-Juku. Then the name of Kudo was officially given to it to identify it as a ‘Do’ or way such as Kendo, Judo, Karate-do, and Aikido, which indicates that Kudo is officially designed to teach, educate and develop students to become strong in mind and body for the improvement of our community and society as a whole.
Grand Master Azuma is keen to spread the martial art of Kudo worldwide in his vision to make it an Olympic sport, and the growth of the Hokuto-Ki World Kudo Championships in Japan. It is the mission of Grand Master Azuma with the help of Sensei Lee Hasdell in the UK to send a team out to Japan for the next Kudo World Championships in 2009.
The seminar was fully booked and the tatami (mats) were full of excited students eagerly awaiting this two part seminar.
The students came from London, Tonbridge Wells, Manchester, Warrington, Liverpool and Milton Keynes to meet and train with martial arts legend Grand Master Azuma. Also in attendance was Sensei Konti the Kudo Branch Chief of Hungary.
After an introduction from Grand Master Azuma and the seminar host Sensei Lee Hasdell who explained that the day would consist of basic kihon in part one, then sparring and techniques in part two, then to finish the black belt tests would commence thereafter.
The two part seminar then started with Jukucho talking about the ethics and values in Kudo and how it is important to have this type of education along side physical martial arts training.
Jukucho quickly put everyone at ease with his friendly approach and polite mannerism and funny jokes.
The physical side of Kudo then started with a warm up led by Jukucho. After everyone was warmed up the participants where instructed on the basic kihon of Kudo starting with boxing and then kicks, knees and elbows.
Jukucho was very impressed with the standard and level of the students in Tachiwaza or striking skills, so he moved on to basic sweeps and throwing. The amazing thing about Kudo is that it combines striking, throwing and grappling in a gi, so this changes many of the techniques normally taught in other standard methods. Kudo truly is a multi mixed martial art, with so much depth and detail, but as Jukucho say’s “Kudo’s strength is all in the basics and its ethics”.
After a well deserved break, the students returned where Jukucho explained more of the in depth application of Kudo techniques and how they differ too many other standard martial arts formats. The atmosphere was buzzing with many of the students doing simple techniques that worked very effectively. Jukucho and Sensei Watanabe took the time to go round and help and guide every student in the seminar regardless of belt or rank.
It was then time for the Kudo black belt tests. Everyone was invited to stay and watch seven already black belts from other systems where to under go the challenge and tests. This started with an assessment on there kihon, which Jukucho was highly impressed with. There then moved on to the famous Kudo Kumite section, the aspiring Kudoka’s where given there rounds of Kumite according to there age. Basically its 10 rounds, minus 1 round for every four years over thirty, Jukucho see’s this as a fair way to keep it real but safe.
The Kumite is a mixture of Knockdown, Kudo and ground fighting rules, with all those being tested to take part in all ranges. Other participants were asked to help out with the sparring so it was a mixture of levels and abilities taking part.
The Kumite was tough going with all being pushed to their limits. Everybody watching was very impressed with the courage and fighting spirit shown by all being tested, which is what the true spirit of martial arts is all about. So the objective of the seminar was finally met, students learnt many new techniques and the seminar produced seven new Kudo black belts in UK.
Jukucho congratulated and thanked everyone on a great day which he enjoyed as much as the students.
The students where then invited to the obligatory group photo shot and then they all had a chance to take some personal photos with Jukucho, Sensei Watanabe, Hasdell and Konti.
Kudo is the art of simple, basic but effective techniques that work for real. Jukucho always expresses that Kudo is built on Safety, Reality and Popularity.
A big thank you to Grand Master Azuma, Sensei Watanabe, Sensei Hasdell, Sensei Konti, KIF and to all of the participants and newly made Kudo Black Belts.
For more information on Kudo in the UK please contact 01908 366 844 kudo-uk.com - Home