Submitted by: Clara Stone, Ni-Dan (Cambridge dojo)
Bohemia Manor High School, Chesapeake City, MD: On June 21st the Order of Isshin-Ryu gathered for their annual summer shiai program. The seminar presented on Saturday featured Master Sifu Tom Clark and his son Mr. Chris Clark. Sifu Clark is a Jeet Kune Do (JKD) instructor and has studied under Masters Dan Inosanto, Larry Hartsell, and Richard Bustillo–all of whom studied directly under JKD founder, Bruce Lee. The three hour seminar began with several applications from Seiuchin kata, based upon Sifu Clark’s Goju-Ryu background. The choke evasion in the beginning of the kata became a takedown, and the bear hug counter turned into palm heel and knee strikes. The next part of the seminar focused on basic JKD pivots, advances, and retreats. Sifu Clark also covered ‘sticky hands’, a drill to improve reading an opponent’s next move, and ways to transform an opponent’s reverse punch into an elbow lock and figure four takedown. Next on the agenda, Mr. Chris Clark gave an introduction to Muay Tai kickboxing. Starting with basic footwork, Mr. Clark then taught kicks, elbows, and knees that are essential to this system. Finally, Sifu Clark again took the stage to cover knife fighting drills from the Philippines.
With attendance from numerous OI dojo, the seminar was a great success and provided everyone involved with a great learning experience. The day concluded with the traditional OI picnic. Once again, the Ewing family provided their gracious hospitality, and camaraderie with OI family members was further strengthened.
On Sunday, the shiai got under way, and included some innovative competitions as well as traditional kata and kumite events. To the enjoyment of everyone involved, kids twelve and under participated in relay races. Mr. Matt Herd demonstrated crab, monkey, and bear walks, which the kids performed well. Several roku-dans took part in a kata competition, and it was amazing to see the immense power generated along with such precise focus. Team kata was also a new event to this tournament. Each team had something unique and creative to demonstrate. Team Spiker performed mirror image Chinto kata, Allentown Dojo demonstrated a four person Sanchin kata, and Team Stone (who won the event) demonstrated Sunsu kata moving toward each other.
Kumite competitions were also modified a bit. Brown belts competed in team sparring, where Team MD outlasted Team PA. Instead of point fighting, black belts were challenged with ‘clicker’ kumite. In this category, opponents sparred for a minute and a half round while each judge kept track of points with a counting clicker in each hand. Kyu ranks of all ages participated in flag sparring, where the goal was to pull off the opponent’s flags without losing one’s own flag. The shiai also provided kyu ranks a time to simply gear up and spar with black belts.
The shiai concluded with the following Dan rank promotions:
- Sensei Shelley Bell, Roku-dan
- Marvin Beulah, Yon-dan
- Sensei Chris Harris, Yon-dan
- Matt Collins, San-dan
- Matt Herd, Ni-dan
- Clara Stone, Ni-dan
- Chris Taggart, Ni-dan