On Saturday the 18th September the club got together to celebrate its 40th anniversary. The day saw demonstrations from both the kids’ class and the higher grades. We started with a demonstration of basic techniques such as kicking and punching (kihon). Then the kids showed everyone the first kata, Heian Shodan.
They did really well, and the instructors are very impressed with how quickly they have all picked it up. Then the higher grades demonstrated the various katas they know. We saw the coloured belts demonstrate the later Heian katas as well as Tekki Shodan. The brown belts then showed us Bassai Dai, the kata they need for black belt. To round of the kata demonstration, Sensei Ben showed us the Kata Jion, which he will be performing as part of his second dan black belt grading. Sensei Ian demonstrated Jiin and Sensei Mike demonstrated Unsu. Both performances were amazing examples of complex katas, and as always both instructors were not happy with their performance! It just goes to show no matter what grade you are there is always something you want to improve!
Then we moved on to the kumite (fighting) demonstration. We started with the beginner’s class showing the first steps we take when teaching kumite. The white belts showed great control and discipline. Next the coloured belts demonstrated the next stages in the progression of kumite; five-step and one-step kumite. Sensei Mike and sensei Ben showed some more intense examples of one-step kumite, before Lucy and Thomas demonstrated Jiyu ippon kumite, which is closer to full fighting. To show the final step in kumite, Sensei Jim and Sensei Holly, demonstrated Jiyu Ippon, with more complex blocks and counters including takedowns. Then, after a short breather, they showed the final progression, full dojo kumite.
After these demonstrations, it was time for awards. To kick things off, the instructors were presented with brand new embroidered gis as a token of appreciation from the club. We also presented one to Helen for all of her work, helping the club.
Then the first ever Sensei Brenda Student of the Month certificate was awarded to Sam for his commitment and dedication to training. Well done Sam! Keep up the hard work.
A lifetime achievement award was presented to one of our founding members, Sensei Ian Shaw for a lifetime of dedication to karate. As a club we are greatly indebted to Sensei Ian for all his work setting up and maintaining the club in its 40 years. Without his founding principles, the club may not have survived the 40 years, so a huge thank you to Sensei Ian, and we hope this award goes to show just how much we appreciate you.
And then with the awards finished, it was time for pizza and cake! A huge thank you to all the home bakers for the cakes, and thank you for everyone for a good afternoon of karate and food. We look forward to another 40 years!