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Martial arts practitioners bond in cross-over session

Date Released: Wed, 3 October 2012 11:00 +0200

Members of two martial arts groups in Grahamstown came together recently to learn from one another in a cross-over training seminar held at the Masonic Hall.

Under the instruction of sensei Gary Grapentin (5th dan) of the Grahamstown East Cape Shotokan-Ryu karate club, sensei Denzil Beukes (4th dan) of Rhodes University's Aikido Club conducted the day's training. Beukes was assisted by senpai Ronaldo Burger (shodan) and sessions for both junior and senior karateka were held.

Aikido is a Japanese martial art that uses locks, holds, throws, and your opponent's own movements to defend yourself. Beukes introduced aikido to both groups, incorporating physical movements meant to enhance their flexibility, strength and agility for the effective practice and exercise of aikido.

He also incorporated some fun physical exercises for the juniors to show them that serious martial arts practices can be enjoyable while improving the mind and body. Although attendance wasn't as high as anticipated, both groups seemed to enjoy the sessions.

The senior karateka were especially fascinated with learning something different and new. “Technically, aikido must surely rate as one of the most difficult Japanese martial arts to master, however when performed by skilled practitioners, it flows with a seemingly effortless nature,” Grapentin wrote in his club's monthly newsletter.

“I would in future like to encourage more of our karateka to attend these cross-over training seminars.” Aikido and shotokan karate are both martial arts styles of Japanese descent and could be seen as part of the same family. The Rhodes University Aikido Club hopes to invite Grapentin and his team for more cross-over training in future as their karate style could also be of value to aikido practitioners.

Source: Grocott’s Mail

By Staff Reporter

Caption: Make Friends, Not War... Sensei Denzil Beukes and senpai Ronaldo Burger, front centre, and sensei Gary Grapentin of the local East Cape Shotokan-Ryu karate club, centre back row, with karateka who took part in a cross-over aikido training seminar.

Photo: Supplied