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Paul Herbert 5th Dan
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Open London Course with Sensei Paul Herbert (4th Dan) ~ LSC College - Leyton, London E10

Sunday August 13th 2006

Well what can I say about Sensei Paul’s open course in East London? I crawled out of the dojo along with everyone else absolutely shattered but thoroughly exhilarated and looking like a bit of a tomato. In the lower grade lesson Sensei Paul took us through a series of spins and turns whilst adding blocks and counters, and eventually we paired up with one another to put the sequences into practice. While the techniques were pretty simple, the turning movements made them really interesting and we were also shown how to effectively use them in real life situations - the demonstrations from Sensei Paul left no room for doubt as to whether they would work or not.

In the second class of the course, Sensei Paul started off with some of the spinning combinations we had done in the first class but adapted them for higher grades. We then began to concentrate on kicking, with Sensei Paul taking a lot of time to explain and introduce Ura-Mawashi Geri. We partnered up and put the new kick into practise and it was highly rewarding when we could finally hear the ‘slapping’ noise we were supposed to make when hitting our target. There were legs flying everywhere the first time we tried this kick, but now it was getting much better. Throughout the lesson, we concentrated on evading and countering as opposed to using brute strength to defeat an opponent. After pairing up with several different people, at the end, we made our way back to our original partners and performed the sequence one last time with Sensei Paul shouting ‘10 MORE!!! Full speed and power with loads of spirit!.’ - The change in everyone’s speed and sharpness was obviously apparent.

All in all, it was one of the best training sessions I have had for a very long time. It was so much fun as well as being amazingly tiring and I cannot wait until the next course; everyone should get the chance at least once to train with Sensei Paul as it would definitely be worth their while.

Report by Shamim Vorajee