Yesterday (11th Feb), we held our first members' workshop of 2024 for our adult and teen members, on the fundamentals of Nunchaku!
Most people will know about nunchaku, as it was made popular from the 1970’s by the movie star, Bruce Lee. However, it had been used as a traditional weapon on Okinawa for much longer.
Whilst the majority of its use nowadays is based on aesthetic performance for display and entertainment, its original design and intent was much more practical!
In this special workshop, we shared with participants the three practical purposes of Nunchaku and a series of kihon-waza…fundamental striking, swinging and rotating techniques.
We covered an introduction to the nunchaku, component parts, including history and uses, nunchaku safety advice and pre-training checks, warm ups and preparatory exercises, the three practical purposes of nunchaku, a series of fundamental techniques including strikes, swings and rotations, plus some tips for home practice.
As well as practicing for general interest or historical purposes, training with Nunchaku also provides a valuable insight into flexible weapon control, circular movement principles and body awareness...which are all excellent attributes to help our regular karate practice!
It was a great day and everyone came away both smiling and energised, with plenty of new learning to practice!
Big thanks to everyone who came along to support the event and also to The Cumbria Academy for Autism for the kind use of their training hall.
Given the popularity of this workshop, we will look to hold our second of the year in a few months time...with another topic to help supplement and enhance our standard karate curriculum 👍
Karate is a martial art that originated in Okinawa, Japan, and has gained immense popularity worldwide. It is not only a form of self-defence but also a holistic practice that offers numerous benefits for individuals of all ages. Today, we will explore the wide-ranging advantages of practicing karate and how it can positively impact people's lives.
Physical Fitness and Health
One of the most notable benefits of practicing karate is improved physical fitness. Engaging in regular training sessions enhances strength, flexibility, and endurance. Through various techniques such as kicks, punches, and stances, practitioners develop strong muscles and improve their cardiovascular health. Moreover, karate helps to increase agility and coordination through the execution of precise movements.
For children and adolescents, participating in karate can be particularly beneficial for their growth and development. By engaging in this martial art form at an early age, they develop healthy habits that promote overall well-being throughout their lives. Regular training improves posture and balance while also enhancing bone density – crucial factors for proper growth.
Karate is not solely focused on physical aspects; it also places great emphasis on mental discipline. The practice involves concentration and focus to execute moves accurately while maintaining control over one's emotions. This mental discipline cultivated through karate spills over into other areas of life as well.
Children who practice karate often exhibit improved concentration levels in school as they learn to channel their energy effectively during training sessions. They develop self-discipline by following instructions from instructors diligently while adhering to the structure inherent in traditional martial arts practices.
Self-Confidence and Empowerment
Another significant benefit derived from practicing karate is increased self-confidence. The gradual progression through different belt ranks instils a sense of accomplishment as individuals conquer new challenges along their journey. Through consistent effort and dedication towards mastering techniques or even participating in competitions, practitioners gain confidence in their abilities.
This newfound self-confidence has a positive impact on various aspects of life. Children who practice karate often experience improved self-esteem and are better equipped to handle peer pressure or bullying situations. Similarly, adults find themselves empowered and more assertive in both personal and professional settings.
In today's fast-paced world, stress has become a common affliction for people of all ages. Engaging in physical activities such as karate provides an effective outlet to release stress and tension. The intense focus required during training sessions acts as a form of meditation, allowing individuals to disconnect from their daily worries and find some inner balance.
Karate also teaches valuable breathing techniques that help calm the mind and reduce anxiety levels. By practicing controlled breathing during training, individuals learn how to regulate their emotions effectively, leading to improved mental well-being.
Social Interaction and Community
Practicing karate offers ample opportunities for social interaction and building a sense of community. Training sessions often involve group exercises or partner drills where individuals can bond with fellow practitioners. This camaraderie fosters teamwork, respect, and mutual support among participants.
In addition to the immediate training environment, karate dojo provide a broader community where individuals can connect with like-minded people who share similar goals. This sense of belonging is especially important for children who may benefit from positive role models within the karate community.
From physical fitness and mental discipline to increased self-confidence and stress relief, practicing karate offers numerous benefits for individuals of all ages. Whether it is children seeking personal growth or adults striving for holistic well-being, this martial art form provides a comprehensive approach towards self-improvement.
Why not try karate to see if it's a good fit for you or your child?
A huge well done to all our members who took on their grading challenge today - results are listed below!
Everyone gave it their best and we were very proud to see some wonderful performances across our curriculum including fundamental techniques and combinations, kata and their application, two-person drills, self-defence, pad work plus various types of sparring.
Special congratulations go to Rebecca Borrowdale, Kevin Stilling and Claire Taylor on achieving first-class passes for their respective grades.
What a wonderful way to round up our training this year at E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness. So for the next two weeks until we break up for Christmas, you can expect lots of fun stuff in the dojo as we celebrate everyone's achievements!
Big thanks to members of the grading panel for their time and support, plus staff at Egremont Town Council for helping to ensure that the day could run as smooth as possible.
If you or one of your family members are interested in starting karate with us, then we will be enrolling new beginners from Monday 8th January!
We have classes in locations across West Cumbria, which are suitable for juniors from 5 years and up, teenagers and adults of all ages...
E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness are very proud to be supporters of the Karate for Mental Health Movement, and were recently presented with a certificate acknowledging so...
We consider Karate not only a martial art, but also a holistic practice that can greatly benefit one's general health and well-being.
Engaging in karate training provides numerous advantages...
Firstly, karate helps to reduce stress and anxiety by promoting a sense of calmness and relaxation. The focused movements and deep breathing techniques in karate help to release tension and improve mental clarity.
Additionally, karate training enhances self-confidence and self-esteem as individuals progress through the different levels and achieve personal goals. The discipline and perseverance required in karate contribute to developing a strong mindset and improving overall mental resilience.
Moreover, karate fosters a sense of community and connection. Being part of a karate class allows individuals to interact with like-minded people, fostering social support and a sense of belonging.
Knowing that we have already helped provide direct support to a number of our members through our martial arts and fitness classes, we are very happy and privileged to help fly the 'Karate for Mental Health' flag here in Cumbria.
If you'd like to learn more about how karate may be beneficial for your mental health, then please don't hesitate to Contact Us...we're always happy to chat 👍
Happy World Karate Day Everyone!
On 25th October 1936, a group of esteemed Okinawan Karate teachers held a pivotal meeting to discuss and agree upon the future of their art…
We celebrate World Karate Day to pay our respects to those who came before us and come together to acknowledge the truth that regardless of what style we happen to practice and where we happen to be around the globe, we are but one family.
As usual, we completed our 100 Kata Challenge this evening here in Cumbria and raised some cash for good causes in the process.
We performed 100 repetitions of Naihanchi Kata (plus one for the dojo) and split these up with 100 burpees for a super-charged challenge in true E.S.K.K style!
It was also nice to welcome Jenny, Kevin, Sandra, Joe, Richard and Rachel from our fitness classes, who conducted their own demanding challenge alongside us, combining a total of 100 exercises from our weekly Kettlebell, Body Conditioning and Enduro-Strike sessions!
It was great to see such a range of grades, ages and experiences meet to take on this challenge together. For some it was their first time and for others it has been an annual habit for the past decade.
A special shout out to our junior members who participated...we were especially impressed with all your hard work and commitment. Thanks also to the Cumbria Academy for Autism for kindly providing us the use of their hall.
If anyone would like to find our more about our Community Fund and/or make a donation, then you can do so via the button below - sincere thanks in advance!
It is with great honour that I share the outstanding results of today’s black belt grade examination. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to David, Natasha, and Sian, esteemed members of our dojo, on achieving their well-deserved Shodan rank!
Before challenging the grading, each candidate demonstrated their knowledge by submitting an essay or delivering a presentation on a chosen topic related to karate. Then today, they arrived early in the morning for a panel interview, before getting warmed up...
The physical grading itself was an arduous four-hour test that encompassed a wide range of elements. From performing the fundamentals, combinations, and kata to executing pre-arranged exercises, flow drills, combative applications, self-defence techniques, pad-work, and fitness routines. The candidates also excelled in clinch work, ground fighting, surprise stress tests, various forms of sparring, as well as board breaking and much more!
Throughout the examination, each candidate demonstrated immense perseverance and a resolute mindset. They admirably adapted to every challenge thrown their way. These individuals have dedicated many years to training at our dojo, showing unwavering commitment, even when faced with their own individual pressures and not to mention the sight of equally capable members giving up along the way.
As chief instructor, I am immensely proud to be associated with these remarkable individuals. It is an incredible privilege to share my karate with them and feel humbled that they have entrusted me, along with our team of amazing instructors, to oversee their martial arts training. It has been gratifying for us all to witness their growth over the years and we offer our deepest respect.
I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to fellow panel members John, Lewis, Elaine, and Terry Sensei for their invaluable support and guidance throughout the day. Thanks also to black belt instructors Alison, Warren, and Shaun for their participation in and support of the candidates.
I look forward to seeing you all back in the dojo soon, as you continue forward in your karate journey!
On Friday evening, our Chief Instructor Chris Denwood was invited to teach a seminar for the Kendal Chojinkai Dojo...
The kids had fun exploring some basic kakie drills and the adults/teens focussed on the universal movement pathways of Kihon, incorporating related applications from both Naihanchi and the Pinan Kata.
It was really nice to catch up with old friends and meet a few new ones too!
Thanks go out to Elaine Sensei for the kind invitation (and the tasty homemade cake ), and to E.S.K.K instructors John, Lewis and Terry for assisting Chris.
If you're interested in hosting Chris for a seminar at your dojo then please feel free to get in touch 👍
Chris Denwood was invited to Ayr last weekend to teach on behalf of the Karate for Mental Health movement, alongside fellow instructors, Jamie Gray and Ben Eayrs. The event raised a total of £1,500 for charity.
He expressed his passion for the cause, stating, “Mental health is an increasingly pressing concern, and karate training offers an excellent way to cultivate physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. Besides fostering a supportive community network, karate promotes a holistic balance of attributes that positively impact various aspects of everyday life. To me, this embodies the true essence of ‘self-defence’ and makes it a valuable activity for people of all ages.”
The Karate for Mental Health movement is a national programme divided into different regions across the UK. Regular seminars are organised throughout the year to raise awareness and support local charities. The recent Northern seminar was dedicated to raising funds for The Ayrshire Women's Hub.
Local News Article >
We are very proud to be able to support the Karate for Mental Health movement here in Cumbria, and Chris felt privileged to be part of such a positive and successful event.
Big thanks to everyone involved 🙏🙇♂️
On Saturday 9th September, we were very proud to host James Pankiewicz Sensei, all the way from Asato Dojo in Okinawa, for a special seminar on Tomari Te Karate Concepts...
James Sensei has been a friend of our dojo for many years and has been a huge support during our group trips to Okinawa. Chris Sensei has also taught at Jame's dojo in Naha, so it was a pleasure to return the favour and offer him a warm welcome to Cumbria.
James Sensei is currently ranked 5th dan in Matsubayashiryu karatedo (under Arakaki Toshimitsu Hanshi).
He has been practicing martial arts for 30+ years including Wadoryu karate, Shorinryu karate, Jujitsu and Okinawan kobudo. He first came to Japan in 1996 to study Japanese language, culture and martial arts.
James opened The DOJO Bar in 2011 in Naha, Okinawa as a place for like-minded local and visiting karateka to meet and share knowledge.
He also conceived the 100 Kata for Karate Day Challenge event in 2014 to promote the spread of traditional karate practice and connect karateka around the world to Okinawa, the birthplace of karate.
The dedicated junior session explored a selection of basic techniques and age appropriate training drills that we trust inspired lots if new learning. James also talked to the children about the history of karate, the Okinawan language and his experiences training on Okinawa, inviting them to ask lots of questions.
The general theme for the adults/teens seminar was on Tomari-te, seizing, trapping and striking skills. It also included elements on kakie (connected hands), meotodi (working two hands together), koshi (hip work), makidi (wrapping hands), Naihanchi and Passai bunkai (kata analysis) and close-range tactics.
A smaller group of us also enjoyed a special Bojutsu (6ft staff) workshop early on Sunday morning, which focussed on the unique form and analysis of Shiromatsu Nu Kun. James recapped the form a number of times and broke each section down to share some more detailed pointers.
As well as the seminars, James Sensei managed to also squeeze in a little sightseeing around Whitehaven, plus we had some time to eat together, catch up and share stories. One of the great things about pursuing a 'karate life' is the amazing people you meet and befriend along the way. What a wonderful weekend!
We'd like to thank everyone who so kindly supported the event, to the Cumbria Academy for Autism, for use of their excellent venue and of course, to James Sensei for his excellent teachings and taking the time to come and visit us. We look forward to hopefully catching up again soon in Okinawa 🥋🙏🙇♂️
We're very happy to announce that E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness have now completed their annual health check with The Safeguarding Code in Martial Arts to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to safer sport.
We are always enthusiastic and proud to help support procedures like this, which help provide some extra confidence to anyone looking to start martial arts training, especially parents seeking classes for their children.
As those who know us will confirm, our commitment to provide safe, high-quality professional and community driven classes for our members is our utmost priority and has been since we opened our doors almost 20 years ago.
Interested in joining us? We have classes suitable for members of the whole family in locations across West Cumbria...
We're very pleased to announce the following rank promotions after our karate grading earlier today...
Upwards of sixty members challenged their next rank by taking to the dojo floor to present their quality of technique, level of effort and show of determination to our black belt grading panel, headed by chief instructor, Chris Denwood.
Grading requirements included pre-requisite knowledge questions and etiquette, a variety of basic techniques and combinations, kata, partner drills, pad work, plus different types of live drilling and sparring.
Special congratulations to Jude Ponsonby, Daniel Brooks, Judith South and Jessica White, who all earned first-class passes for what were outstanding gradings for their rank 🥇👌
Regardless of individual result, we're always very proud of everyone who stands up to be counted. And as always, the recommendation for everyone in karate is 'more training', so we look forward to seeing everyone in class again soon to progress further on this valuable lifelong journey.
Sincere thanks to the grading panel, plus of course all our amazing club instructors/assistants for their time, expertise, advice and support 🙏🙇♂️
We are now taking on new beginners at our clubs in Egremont, Whitehaven, Workington, Cockermouth and Cleator Moor...
Over the weekend, we held our 2023 Weekend Training Camp and the 4* Crown Hotel in Wetheral...
Despite two unfortunate absences due to injury and illness, everyone else arrived in good health and so began three days of intensive martial arts and fitness training.
Topics covered included karate fundamentals and kata, padwork drills, ground fighting, kettlebell lifting, bo staff training, bodyweight conditioning, full body mobility, rope work, Pilates and Enduro-Strike, principles of joint attacks, limb control drills from Naihanchi plus much more!
Experience spanned wide across participants, from those with only a few months training under their belts, to veterans of over 30 years. Everyone worked enthusiastically together, supported each other and gave it their all.
As instructors and organisers, we were very proud to witness numerous challenges being faced, valuable lessons being absorbed and strong friendships being forged. It was an absolute pleasure to work with everyone, share the weekend together and we hope to see you again next year 🥋🙏🙇♂️
A big thank you to everyone who came along to participate in our seminar yesterday afternoon with Paul Enfield Sensei...
It has been around four years since Paul's last seminar with our dojo, so it was lovely to catch up with him again and to have the opportunity for our members to benefit from his world-class teachings.
The three hours flew by and topics covered included stance and structure, core activation, connector drills, kata applications and grappling escapes. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the seminar.
We are very grateful for Paul's time, experience and friendship. We wish him a safe flight home to California and hope to catch up again soon!
It was a real pleasure today to present our 2023 Student of The Year Awards to John Hopkins (senior) and Dylan McDowell (junior).
Both members have shown dedication to karate for a number of years. They have consistently demonstrated admirable traits that make them strong ambassadors for our karate, our dojo and the principles we stand for.
I’m sure you’ll join us in congratulating John and Dylan on this well deserved recognition.
Their first job will be to help us choose a local charity based on member votes, to receive a donation from our Community Fund. We'll share more details on this soon!
You can find out more about our Student of the Year Award and past winners via the link below, which has been running since our dojo first opened back in 2004...
For those who may be interested in reading what our members and parents think about their experience at E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness, we've now collated all our Facebook, Google and Yell reviews together on a single page!
Our members are everything to us and we consider them literally part of the family. A massive thank you to everyone who's take a moment from their day to leave us a nice review - we're just so happy to know that our classes are having such a positive impact on people's lives.
You can check out our reviews and leave us one too via the link below...
Thanks again and best wishes,
Chris & Jenny x
A huge well done to everyone who graded today - we had 65 members challenging their next rank!
No matter the outcome, it is the learning and growing that matters and you have our utmost respect for giving it your all.
If you have achieved a new belt today then our sincere congratulations. But be sure to stay humble and use your promotion as a platform for further improvement.
If you have not quite made the required standard this time, then we understand it's disappointing. But the actions you take now will determine whether today contributes positively or negatively to your ongoing development. So be sure to move forward positively.
Simply put...We are very proud if you all and you should be too!
And remember...the way forward from today is the same for everyone...
Big thanks to members of the grading panel for giving up their time and helping to make the day run as smooth as possible 🙏🙇♂️
Official results and some group pictures below 👇
Yesterday we delivered our Pre-Act Workshop to a team from Cumbria CVS…
These wonderful people do some incredible things and are totally invested in helping others. It was a privilege to be able to provide some personal security, risk assessment and de-escalation training, which we trust they found both relevant and valuable for the work they undertake.
Do you have a job role where you travel for work or directly engage with members of the public?
Maybe you or your team may also find our Pre-Act Workshop of value…
On Sunday, we held our first focus workshops of 2023 - and they were a great success!
Juniors covered flexibility, kicking and blaze pod reaction drills. Adults and teens covered Naihanchi kata analysis and applications for self-defence.
Big thanks to everyone who participated - you all did great and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!
Can't wait for the next one 😊
Would you like to get involved in our award winning martial arts and fitness classes here in West Cumbria?
Free tasters are available for everyone...
Karate, like many other martial arts, has traditionally always been a male dominated activity. However, in recent times there has been a clear shift, as more females are now taking up the art and enjoying the many benefits that being part of a karate dojo has to offer.
Our organization especially is fortunate to have a high percentage of female students plus instructors, and it is always our priority to listen to the opinions and inclusive needs of all our members. Plus, we want all our karate members to be entirely focused on performing to the best of their abilities whilst training in class.
As such, we feel it's important that in addition to our traditional or 'standard' all white karate uniform, we also offer the option of wearing split colours (i.e. white jacket with black trousers), for those members who'd prefer them at times during regular dojo training.
These may of course be purchased privately, but we have also added these as items to our member-only store for your convenience...
Please note that black leggings or tracksuit bottoms etc, are not suitable as their construction is insufficient for the requirements of karate training.
The option of wearing black karate trousers is in addition to the standard all white karate suit (that all members should have) and is approved across our clubs with immediate effect.
Happy New Year 🎉🍾
At E.S.K.K Martial Arts, we don't sit on our laurels and are constantly seeking to evolve and grow. That's why this month we've introduced a brand new curriculum, stronger instructor team designation and improved class schedule to help best support our valued members!
We are also offering new beginners in our karate dojo the choice to enter either a junior focussed class, or a more mature adults and teens focussed class. This will help better support younger children and at the same time, provide older beginners a more appropriate environment for inspiration. Furthermore, any parent and child duos can still train together in the same class if that's what they prefer...
The Benefits of Practicing Karate?
If you're considering taking up this martial art, then you're in for a real treat. Karate is a discipline that offers numerous physical and mental benefits for practitioners of all ages and skill levels. Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect to experience as you embark on your Karate journey:
Overall, Karate is an enriching and rewarding discipline that can benefit you in countless ways. Whether you're looking to get in shape, learn self-defence, or simply find a new hobby, Karate is an excellent choice.
So why wait? Book a free taster class today and we look forward to welcoming you!
Well done to everyone who challenged themselves today at our winter grading day!
Around 50 members took to the dojo floor and performed to their best in front of a panel of black belt teachers, headed by our Chief Instructor, Chris Denwood.
We are very pleased to congratulate the following list of members, who all successfully earned their next rank. Omedetougozaimasu!
To those who were unsuccessful - we understand that it may be disappointing, but please try to use this outcome as a positive learning opportunity and as motivation to improve in preparation to resit your grading in March. We always acknowledge and respect your efforts, so remember that it matters not how slow you go, so long as you do not stop climbing toward your goals. Every step matters!
Best wishes and see you all back in the dojo again soon :-)
It is my honour to announce the results of yesterday's black belt examination...
Huge congratulations to dojo members Millie, Euan, Alison, Warren, Stuart, Simon and Shaun on earning Shodan!
Each candidate wrote and submitted an essay on a chosen subject relating to karate before even being invited to challenge the grading and arrived in the morning to sit a panel interview.
The physical grading itself lasted over four hours and included a plethora of fundamentals, combinations and kata, pre-arranged exercises, flow drills, combative application, self-defence, pad-work, fitness, clinch work and ground fighting, surprise stress tests, various types of sparring, board breaking and more. They finished by being asked to push their exhausted body and mind a little more, to present their views on what attributes are important for black belt and to consider whether they themselves met them.
Each candidate pushed themselves extremely hard, maintained a strong mind throughout and adapted well to whatever was thrown at them. Most of these individuals have been training at our dojo for the best part of a decade, they have remained steadfast throughout and witnessed so many equally capable members beside them join and give up during the process.
As chief instructor, I couldn’t be happier. It is an honour to be associated with these individuals. To be given the opportunity to share my karate with them. To have them place their trust in me to guide them. To watch them grow over many years into the fine martial artists they’ve become. You have all earned my deepest respect and it is a real privilege to be your teacher.
Big thanks go to fellow panel members Kelvin, Tom, John and Terry Sensei on taking the day out to support this event and to offer their valuable counsel.
See you all in the dojo soon to continue with your karate journey!
🥋 👊 🙏 🙇♂️
As is our tradition, yesterday evening we celebrated World Karate Day 2022 with a 100-Kata Challenge, plus an optional 100-Burpees for those with some extra energy!
We had two groups running. Group One performed 100 repetitions of our most important kata, Naihanchi. Group Two consisted of advanced members and those currently preparing for their black belt grading in a couple of weeks. This group performed multiple repetitions of the following 10 kata...
Tachigata / Kihongata Ichi / Kihongata Ni / Naihanchi Shodan / Pinan Shodan / Pinan Nidan / Pinan Sandan / Pinan Yondan / Pinan Godan / Passai Sho.
Both groups ran up to 90 repetitions and then we pulled back together as a single group for the final 10 repetitions of Naihanchi Kata.
Big thanks and congratulations to everyone involved, especially those who had travelled a long way to be with us and to the juniors who all worked exceptionally hard! Thanks also to everyone who made a donation to go towards our Community Fund, and the Market Hall in Egremont for kindly hosting us.
Until next year...Happy Karate Day!
A massive well done to the 55 candidates from today’s grading…
We had members from 5 years old to 58 years old come together to test themselves in karate’s fundamental techniques, combinations, kata, pad work, self-defence and sparring.
The list of rank awards has been published below. If you've been successful then congratulations on this way point along your journey, stay humble and keep pushing forward. Your new belts and certificates will be presented in class soon.
If unsuccessful then we understand it’s disappointing, but please don’t be discouraged! Dust yourself off and use the panel’s feedback as fuel to improve for next time. Remember you only really ‘fail’ when you give up trying. So we urge you to keep trying and when you do earn that belt, then not only will the reward taste even sweeter, but your journey will have become even more valuable.
Long story short…we are very proud of you all!
Big thanks to panel members and venue staff for their time and kind support in helping to make the event run smoothly 🙏🙇♂️