The Museum of East Asian Art – Judo Exhibit ‘Field trip’ report.

Hello everyone, Adam here with another ‘field trip‘ report.

On Monday we shared on Facebook and Twitter about an exhibit at The Museum of East Asian Art in Bath. As I have the week off from work for half term, I decided to visit myself, which I did yesterday (Wednesday 27th October.)

Now for once I’m not sure what to actually say because…. there wasn’t really that much to see. The exhibit itself was just one room, and the photo below shows maybe 40% of it.

Image copyright Museum of East Asian Art, Bath, UK.

What they do have was interesting to look at, with my favourite thing being a letter from Sarah Mayer to Gunji Koizumi during her visit to Japan. It was interesting to read because it shows how she felt about Judo, her own doubts at her ability and her perspectives on the Japanese way of life.

But I can’t escape from from the simple fact that there just wasn’t a lot to see in the museum as a whole. I don’t want to disparage the museum. It’s clean and well presented, but I spent probably a total of 40 minutes at the museum, 20 minutes in the exhibit and the other 20 looking around the rest of the museum. And I saw everything.

What might be the most disappointing thing is finding out later on how much is in the larger collection. According to the University of Bath archives, the Richard Bowen Collection has over 2000 items in it! To quote the Museum of East Asian Art website:

“This exhibition features material from the most significant judo archival collection in the UK, which is now housed at the University of Bath. The collection was assembled by Richard Bowen (1926-2005), who represented Great Britain at the first World Judo Championships in Japan. The valuable photographs, rare books, old posters and other important documents illustrate the history of judo in the UK as well as provide fascinating insights into Anglo-Japanese relations, the role of gender in sport and the popularity of judo around the world.”

Unfortunately it appears that aside from what is on show at the Museum of East Asian Art, the rest of the collection is in the University of Bath archives and not available to the public. Which is a shame, because it looks like quite a lot more could have been shown diving more into the history of Judo in the UK.

In conclusion? I would say if you’re in the area (the Royal Crescent is nearby) and have an hour to kill, go for it. Otherwise, don’t go to Bath exclusively for this exhibit. To be honest, after I left the museum I spent the rest of the day just walking around the city of Bath being a tourist, and had a better time for it.

Links
The Museum of East Asian Art website – https://meaa.org.uk/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MEAABATH
Twitter – @TheMEAA

International Martial Arts Seminar, Manchester – 3rd August 2019.

Hello everyone, Adam here with my little ‘report’ of yesterdays seminar in Manchester.

As you might be aware, this was my second seminar, my first being the ‘Soke Clark Seminar‘ held back in February of this year. This weekends seminar was hosted by Hanshi John Greenhalgh, who holds the mightily impressive rank of Jūdan (10th Dan!) This was also different in that it wasn’t a WJJF seminar, rather it was open to all regardless of sporting affiliation. But plenty of WJJF members were in attendance.

After a mildly intense warm-up on an already warm day, we started with some Kickboxing! This opening segment was conducted by Former W.K.A. Full Contact British Kickboxing Champion Chris West of “West Freestyle Martial Arts” (Website | Facebook).

I got to work with Claire, herself a champion kick-boxer, who was quite happy to let a me kick her directly! It’s honestly surreal when you kick a stranger in the stomach without them holding a pad of some sort, and they reply with “That was good, try it again!
In all seriousness, Claire was really patient and gave lots of tips on how to improve my kicks and strikes. Speaking of which we started with simple but efficient strikes and kicks, and gradually worked up to more complex spinning kicks and multiple attacks.

After that we moved on to classic Ju-Jitsu, and I changed partners. For the remainder of the seminar I paired up with Sensei’s Peter and Graham, both 8th Dans. We worked on a nice variety of locks, counters and pressure points. What I enjoyed most was that both Peter and Graham showed their experience and how they would modify a move to a given situation.

This is the sort of thing seminars should be all about. Those with experience passing it on to the next generation.

As I posted on our Twitter after the event:

“That was another excellent seminar. I really enjoyed working with the senior belts who don’t just show you how to do a move, they show the technical side as well.
Leaving feeling a bit battered and bruised, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!”

In fact we got so carried away, the seminar actually over-ran, with the Worsley Leisure Centre staff waiting for to leave to they could lock up. Somehow I don’t think they were going to argue with the 30 or so black belts in attendance.

Manchester Seminar Group Photo
Photo via ‘Muga Mushin Ryu Ju-Jitsu HQ Liverpool

But all in all, it was well worth the 350 mile round trip, and I look forward to the next seminar. Though up next will be my 2nd dan grading……..

Japanese sword cutting demostation (6th May 2019)

A Sword cutting demonstration presented by Kyōshi William Parr of ‘Kensei Taiko / Kensei Ryu‘.

This was part of a “The Day of the Warrior” event presented at ‘Bucks County Museum and Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery‘, which also included Kendo demonstrations, Samurai weapon and armour displays and Taiko Japanese drumming.

This one-day event was part of their longer “Samurai: Warriors of Ancient Japan” exhibit, which was displayed between Saturday 6th April – Saturday 13th July 2019.

Additional Links:
Bucks Country Museum – https://www.buckscountymuseum.org/museum/
Kensei Taiko – https://www.facebook.com/groups/Kenseitaiko/
Kensei Ryu – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1625846284380675/

Sōke Clark Seminar Highlights (16th February 2019)

Footage from yesterday’s seminar at World Ju-Jitsu Federation. See if you can spot our Sensei Adam!

You can also view the pictures posted by the WJJF on their Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.2571672632904499&type=1&l=3a34f97b13

And to quote our Sensei Adam:
That is the HARDEST workout I have done in a long time! Great to work with and learn from other Sensei, Kyōshi, Shihan and Hanshi.

Feeling humbled by how much I was able to help others and be helped.

I really enjoyed it, even if I’m a bit bruised after!