Kettering, UK, known for its Weetabix factory and for being a bit near Corby (which is home of the
world famous trouser press), is perhaps not what one might think of as the Mekkah of martial arts.
As a Romano-British settlement, conquered by the Danes and then recaptured by the English son of
Alfred the Great, Kettering was the first conquered by the Vikings (based in York at the time) in
AD940 when they devastated the whole County. With their enemies crushed, driven before them,
and the lamentations of their women a mere whisper on the wind, the Vikings only stayed for 2
years (it must have been the smell of Weetabix), however the precedent was set and the inexorable
draw for Vikings to return to Kettering has once again been satisfied! Although, this time, the
invasion was only for 3 days, and we escaped with only minor bruising…
Johan Skålberg, Punong Guro in Kali Sikaran International travelled to Kettering, UK for a KSI phase
examination and two day training seminar. The phase examination, on Friday night, was assisted by
the UK instructors, and another eight UK students were successful in demonstrating they are ready
for the next level – excellent work everyone!
A well-earned, post-grading curry with one or two refreshments was a welcome sight, even if we
started eating at 11pm… Who needs sleep anyway?
Saturday saw 5 hours of training in defence against unarmed attacks, with a clear theme of distance,
positioning and structure being key to a successful counter. Some pressure and chaos ramped up
the difficulty but made particular counters more (or less) fluid, depending on the energy of the
attacker, leading to new understanding of familiar material.
A very quiet Saturday night was had by all. The memorable quote from the evening was, after a light
dinner, "I'm pretty full, but OK, just one."
On Sunday we had another 5 hours of training in defence against armed attacks, focusing on stick,
and then knife. Both areas drew and built upon the principles trained on Saturday – as simple as we
can, but as complex as necessary.
Great times with old friends and new, and, as always I gain new insight I can take away for my own
training and teaching, and I can't wait for the next KSI event.
By 6pm on Sunday, the ships (aeroplane) had sailed (flown) back to the homeland (Sweden), leaving
us in relative safety with limited lamentations. The English had re-taken Kettering, albeit with new
and improved martial knowledge, to be able to train to the next level ready for next time!
Harry Flexman, Kali Sikaran Bath