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Students of the Week (Posted: 10th June 2019)

The Students of the Week for the past four weeks are as follows:

17/05/19 – Milly

24/05/19 – Ben

31/05/19 – Maisie

07/06/19 – Gabriel

Well done to everybody!


Ippon (Posted: 9th June 2019)

The ippon philosophy is the heart of traditional karate-do. Literally, ippon means “one point.” It has significance in traditional Karate because the one point represents a killing blow. All of your training and spirit is contained within that one technique.

The philosophy behind Karate training is that there is only one chance to succeed. Every technique is delivered as though it were the one chance for survival. That means that you are completely committed to the technique — there is nothing held back, nothing held in reserve. In fact, in a perfect ippon moment, there is no thought at all — just the technique. The ippon philosophy involves being completely focused on the confrontation, so that when an opportunity presents itself, you have no hesitation in your attack.

The ippon philosophy is the heart of traditional karate-do.

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan | Chief Instructor


Karate-do (Posted: 8th June 2019)

Literally, the translation is something like “The way of the empty hand.” The Japanese kanji character for “Karate” was first used to describe the style of self-defence fighting developed on Okinawa during the Japanese occupation. It was illegal for the Okinawans to have weapons, so they trained in secret to develop effective ways of using what they had available to them (farm implements and their own bodies) against the sword carrying soldiers. The kanji character was made up of two parts: the first ideograph was the sign for “Chinese” (Kara), and the second ideograph was the sign for “hand” (te). Together, the kanji read as “Chinese-hand,” citing the location where the style originated. Later, when Master Gichin Funakoshi introduced the Karate system to Japan, around the time of the First World War, he changed the first part of the kanji to another ideograph meaning “empty” (also Kara), and added the suffix “Do,” meaning “way, or path.”

The “Do” comes from a Japanese warrior tradition, called “Budo,” or “the way of the warrior.” The tradition represents the learning of a martial art as a journey, which occurs along a “path,” or a “way.” It is meant to signify that the learning of martial arts techniques alone is not sufficient — it is a way of life, an entire philosophy of how to be in the world.

The “empty hand” of Karate refers to several things simultaneously. It points out that this style of fighting uses body parts as weapons, rather than a gun, say, or a sword. It also points to the way the karate student is ideally “empty” of distracting thoughts during a confrontation, indicating a degree of focus and concentration on the task at hand that is enhanced by continuous and consistent training.

But it also refers to the “empty” hand that covers the clenched fist. In Karate, it is the left hand that covers the right. This plays on the meanings of left and right in Japanese culture. The left side is the pure side, the part of the person, or society, that is peaceful and just. The right side is associated with the baser, but no less important, things in life — like aggression and violence. To be powerful, you need both sides — they balance each other, like Yin and Yang. Purity and justice need force to assert themselves in the world. Force needs purity and justice to temper its application. One of the fundamental lessons of the way of the empty hand is to develop the proper balance between these two elements.

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan | Chief Instructor


The Five Reasons Why You Should Learn Karate (Posted: 7th June 2019)

Learning Karate is more than just a method of self-defence. There are many psychological, spiritual, and physical benefits of getting involved in Karate. Here are the top five reasons you should consider learning a form of Karate.

1.         IT TEACHES HONOUR AND RESPECT.

Traditional Karate will teach you the importance of putting your ego aside and respecting your instructor, as well as others in higher positions, such as your parents or elders. Learning Karate reinforces etiquette, respecting rules, and following a code of honour. You’ll learn to show some humility, for some day, you’ll be in a position of power and know what it’s like to be in your underling’s shoes.

2.         IT TEACHES YOU TO USE NON-VIOLENT CONFLICT RESOLUTION.

Learning Karate teaches you to mentally and physically refrain from violence and only use it for self-defence when it’s the last resort. Martial artists will try to refrain from conflict and use non-violent conflict resolution skills, emphasising the importance of avoiding a physical altercation. In the real world, it’s equivalent to having the mental discipline to refrain from getting into fights with stupid people.

3.         IT HELPS YOU TO SET AND ACHIEVE GOALS.

Life is a journey, and learning Karate teaches you that the journey is broken down into small achievements, which accumulate into much larger goals and accomplishments. It teaches you patience, discipline, and humility, as you move up the ladder. Each step you take gets harder and harder, but it teaches you to push yourself to reach every milestone along the way. Most forms of Karate use colour belts (as does ours) to represent the ranking system. When you strive towards a new belt, you’re learning valuable lessons about setting and reaching goals.

4.         IT HELPS YOU TO GAIN CONFIDENCE AND BOOST SELF-ESTEEM.

You will become more powerful than you could ever imagine. The more skills you learn, and the higher your mastery of the Karate techniques, the more confident you will become, and the more you will appreciate your self-worth. The more you accomplish, the more you’ll be comfortable with taking risk and stepping out of your comfort zone when faced with the unfamiliar.

5.         IT IMPROVES YOUR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL STRENGTH.

Learning Karate strengthens the body, mind, and spirit. Any form of Karate requires a combination of speed, flexibility, and physical strength. It provides a great all-around fitness workout and will keep you in great shape. Karate combines mental focus with physical toughness, which can push the body to do some incredible things.

Go on – give us a try | Phone | Email | Text

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan | Chief Instructor


What is Zanshin? (Posted: 5th June 2019)

Literally, Zanshin means something like “remaining mind,” or “continuing awareness.” Part of martial arts training is to enhance your awareness of your environment, and particularly your position within your environment.

You can see this focus in the way that dojo etiquette is such an integral part of Karate training.

You learn to stand a certain way, to line up a certain way, to bow a certain way to develop your attention to the details of your physicality. Also, you learn where to position yourself in the dojo in relation to where other students are standing – either in straight rows, or in a kneeling line, or at a calculated attack distance from your opponent. This teaches you to be continuously aware of your own body and the bodies of others.

On a wider scale, Zanshin applies to your awareness of the world around you. You notice the people around you – how they stand, how they carry themselves, what is in their eyes because you need to be prepared to interact with them.

You learn to observe their mannerisms, their posture – key elements when you are assessing any situation that might confront you. Is their demeanour friendly or aggressive? Are they somebody that you should avoid?

In a way, then, being competent in Karate reflects your degree of Zanshin — you are prepared to respond strategically to what is going on around you. You are ever-present in the moment.

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan | Chief Instructor


New Beginner’s Lesson (Posted: 3rd June 2019)

Now is the time to enrol in our exciting Karate project. We have now just a few places left on our beginner’s session on either a Friday or Wednesday (or if you feel inclined -both).

Just email, text or phone us from our website – we always respond!

Whether you’re an adult or child, lapsed student or new beginner, we can accommodate you.

Remember – with us you never lose your previous grade – as long as you have proof, we will honour your status.

There’s no time like the present – get in touch now!

Posted by Sensei Stewart Procter | 7th Dan | Chief Instructor