Bob Hague, 7th dan is one of the longest-serving officers within the AMA. Active since the mid-seventies with, initially the KUGB, Bob’s no-nonsense karate is characterized by brutal, practical applications drawn from kata, but informed by many years in professional security rôles.
His pristine private garden dojo in Sheffield has played host to scores of eminent martial artists, not only from karate but from other oriental and western disciplines too. His guest book will surely be considered a “Who’s Who” of British karate.
On Saturday 16th April, Easter weekend, he played host to newly-promoted Shukokai 6th dan Martyn Skipper, AMA’s public relations officer and Exec member.
Bob’s laden dojo walls includes an enviable array of weapons and striking / training equipment, as well as an impressive photo gallery of his karate history. Overseeing proceedings are portraits of Shotokan masters Asano and Enoeda.
In a lively seminar Bob began the proceedings by taking concepts from katas Heian Godan, Tekki Shodan and Tekki Nidan. Bob examined how angles and body shifts can disadvantage the opponent and create openings for devastating kyusho strikes and throws. He emphasised that kata waza (techniques) should not be taken at face value, and that uke waza (blocking techniques) can be interpreted as strikes, throws and joint attacks in themselves.
Martyn’s theme for the afternoon was “Kuzushi Waza” or balance breaking techniques. He began with a drill that encourages good balance and posture, both moving and static, in order that the karateka may understand both how to avoid having one’s balance broken, and also to be able to deliver trips and throws from a stable base.
Echoing his host’s earlier messages Skipper discussed how to destroy the opponent’s base by occupying their space. He showed methods of disabling larger opponents with kyusho waza and introduced some basic kansetsu waza, or methods of attacking joints. Skipper’s idiosyncratic teaching style includes many wild digressions into anecdote, and draws on metaphors from literature, art, sport and dverse fields.
After some hours of sweat the dojo was transformed into a karaoke bar and the evening concluded with a lively gathering where stories were exchanged, friendships made and hangovers primed.
Bob and Martyn will be teaching on the AMA autumn Gasshuku in Liddington on October 21st-24th or are available for private seminars. Contact the AMA for more details.