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Joe McHugh Sensei 3rd Dan Aikikai 8th, 9th and 10th October 2010 Course Report


Course Report by Eamon Coyne, Sligo Aikido Club.

Joe Octiber Course Group Shot

It was with regret and concern that we received the sad news from Michele Quaranta Sensei that he would not make the October course in Athboy as both Michele Sensei and the Aikikai Ireland students had eagerly anticipated. However with quick thinking and reorganizing Michele had asked if it was ok that Joe McHugh Sensei be willing to fulfil the duties and give the course in his place.

 Joe readily stepped up to the task of taking the course and the not so easy task of filling Michele’s shoes. But Joe nonetheless in his relaxed warm and friendly manner ably took the course in his stride. On the Friday night Joe began by covering Katatetori Ai-Hanmi Ikkyo normal form and in addition Ikkyo with Nikkyo,Sankyo and Yonkyo influence. We then moved onto Shomenuchi Kiawase Kotegaeshi and Iriminage. After the first enjoyable session we headed to Saddlers Well for some light refreshments and some craic and chat until a modest enough hour. 

Saturday consisted of two separate classes one from 11am to 2.00pm and the other from 3.30pm until 5.30pm. Over the course of the day Joe Sensei covered a multitude starting off in the morning with Katate Ryotetori Genkeikokyunage with varying grips. We then moved onto Katatetori Gyakuhanmi Shihonage Omote and Ura with direct and tenkan sabaki. Joe Sensei placed strong emphasis on the kokyu/interaction between Tori and Uke. We then moved onto Katatetori Gyakuhanmi Tenchinage and Genkeikokyunage. After which from the same attack we done Ikkyo omote and ura and then some nice Koyunages follwoed by Ikkyo Ura Kakarigeiko which concluded the Saturday morning session.

In the Saturday afternoon class we started off with some yoko ukemi and a drill in which you paired off as your partner stood up and attacked you had to protect your body. From here we moved onto Katatetori Gyakuhanmi Ikkyo Ura, Kotegaeshi and Iriminage. We then moved onto Yokomenuchi with Joe demonstrating different forms to defend from this attack using Shihonage and Kotegaeshi techniques in doing so.

The Saturday evening a meal was arranged by the athboy lads in the Darnley Lodge Hotel where we had a fine meal with complimentary wine.  When we finally managed to pull ourselves away from the dinner table we ambled in to the lounge area where there was 2 acoustic guitarists/singers. Little did we know but Brendan Leavy from the Athboy dojo was quiet friendly with the 2 musicians and had arranged for a very special guest to join the lads on stage. A little while and a few pints later an unsuspecting Trevor was called to the stage, and fair play to Trevor he hopped right up and belted out a couple of tunes, at one point during a song ( I think it was “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard” by Paul Simon)he treated the audience to a whistling solo, good man Trevor 8). 

The Sunday morning was spent covering Ryotetori Shihonage Omote and then Chinshin Kokyunage. Joe then demonstrated Tenchinage and Genkeikokyunage with variations. Finally we moved onto Katatori Menuchi Kotegaeshi, Shihonage and then Kokyunages. At the end of the course Trevor Sensei presented Joe Sensei with a gift on behalf of Aikikai Ireland which was an elaborate cheese cutting set, which Joe Sensei graciously accepted. 

Thanks to Joe McHugh Sensei for a thoroughly enjoyable course, thanks to the Trevor and all the gang in Athboy that always put on a great course, thanks to all the students and instructors from the other dojo’s Fiona, Eddie, Barry, Declan, Valli, Tony and Norbert that travelled to attend the course.

Everyone at Aikikai Ireland wishes Michele Quaranta Sensei a speedy recovery from his back injury.

Look forward to seeing you all on the mat soon.