Congratulations to everyone who took on their challenge today at our summer karate grading in Whitehaven. A wide range of grades were tested and a mix of results were awarded, but one thing was common - everyone gave it their all!
It's always a pleasure to witness shy kids coming out from under their shell, older children growing into fine teenagers before our very eyes, young men and women expanding their perceived limits and members of a 'certain vintage' finding new and inspiring qualities about themselves that they never thought had even existed. As well as the purely physical attributes, this is the real beauty of karate - it forces you to look inside, face discomfort, push boundaries, grow tenacity and explore new horizons.
Whether you made the cut today or not - 100% effort and enthusiasm always equals success in our book and for this, we couldn't be prouder!
As always, big thanks to grading panel members, admin officials and individual dojo instructors/assistants for all their efforts - as without you all, our level of success would simply not be possible.
Grading results as below...
Today, I took a small demo team to my old school (Moor Row Primary) to conduct a karate demonstration and taster session for the children.
The demo consisted of some basic techniques and combinations, kata, padwork and breaking. After the demo, we invited all the children to have a go. We taught the basic punch and kick, plus some fun pad work drills to put those techniques into practice. We finished with a short lecture on respect and closing with the traditional karate salutation.
We were very impressed by the behaviour and enthusiasm of the children at Moor Row Primary and would like to thank everyone for making us feel so welcome. Special thanks also to members of my demo team, plus parents who helped transport them there and back.
After the demo, I was treated to a guided tour of the school, which brought back some wonderful memories from 30 years ago. I was at this school when I first began to practice karate, so it felt great to be able to have the opportunity to 'come full circle' and give something back to the place where my martial arts journey began.
On Saturday 18th May, selected member of our E.S.K.K Team performed a karate and fitness demonstration for “On The Red Carpet” - a show we were invited to do to help raise money for Whitehaven Theatre Group & Friends.
Starting the show off with a choreographed fight scene, leading onto basics and kata, we then showcased all the different fitness classes we teach, finishing off with equipment training, kata application and even weaponry skills.
All in all it was a very successful performance and we’ve have lots of positive feedback from many of the spectators who were there on Saturday night.
We would like to thank everyone on the demo team for their hard work and commitment, including parents, as it would not have been achievable without them. Having only three weeks to prepare for this, you should all be very proud!
A special well done to some of our younger junior members. We understand how challenging and nerve wrecking it is to perform on a big stage and in front of so many people – you are not only a credit to yourself but also to our club.
Another truly amazing experience we can add to our list…here’s to more adventures that will teach us more about confidence, hard work, goals and above all working together and supporting each other as a team. Cheers!
On Saturday evening at our 15th Anniversary celebrations, we we proud to present our 2019 Student of the Year awards to Emmie Ling (junior) and Stuart Rigg (senior).
Our Student of the Year Award has been running since we first opened our doors in 2004, where each year our members vote for who they think most deserves this prestigious honour. The results of the members poll are then discussed by a committee of club instructors before our Chief Instructor, Chris Denwood, authorises the final decision.
You can find our more about our Student of the Year Award by clicking here >>
Both Emmie and Stuart have worked extremely hard over the past 12-months and shown a number of special qualities that make them fitting role models for the rest of our membership. Now they have the important responsibility that comes with this special honour - to continue developing themselves and inspiring others to grow according to the fine values we stand for.
As part of our presentation, the newly crowned Students of the Year were asked to draw a ball from a bucket to determine which two charities we will be donating to from our Community Fund. Emmie selected CADAS (Cumbria Drug and Alcohol Advisory Service) and Stuart selected MIND (mental health) - both very worthy causes.
So please join us in congratulating Emmie and Stuart on their well deserved awards and we wish them all the very best in their new role as Student of the Year!
On Saturday evening, we were very proud to celebrate both our 15th Anniversary, plus our chief instructor's 30th year in karate!
Over 100 guests joined us at Whitehaven Golf Club for a special evening that included food, speeches, awards, presentations, charity donations and raffle, live music and disco.
We'd like to thank everyone for all their amazing support and congratulate all our award winners for what were well deserved honours. We hope you all had an amazing time celebrating these significant milestones with us.
But of course we've only just got warmed up - so let's see what we can achieve together in the next 15 years!
Below are just a few pictures from the hundreds taken on the evening...
Wow - what a fantastic grading today!
Around 60 members took to the floor in order to challenge their next rank and every single one of them put their heart and soul into what was a sterling performance indeed.
Grading panel members were very impressed with the standard and although there is always room for improvement, today was a living example of the quality, hard work and dedication we should all strive for.
As chief instructor, I was extremely proud to see so many wonderful performances today, as well as witness the re-birth of some inspiring role models for less experienced members to look up to. It really goes to show how strong we can be if we all work hard both individually and together as a family. Now in our 15th year, the level of achievement across our membership just keeps getting better and this puts us in an even stronger position to continue sharing the benefits of our karate both to and far beyond the West Cumbria Community.
Congratulations to everyone who stood up to be tested today and long may our success continue!
Late yesterday evening, Sensei Chris and Sempai Stuart travelled to Newcastle to pick up Tyler Tanti from the airport and welcome him here in the U.K.
Tyler is a dedicated karate practitioner from Malta who’ll be spending the next three weeks training with us in the dojo, in addition to a number of private sessions at Chris' garden dojo. Tyler's background is heavily based in sport karate (a former international competitor), so at request to help widen his experience, this visit will aim to focus on both the traditional and practical aspects of our curriculum.
Tyler is a skilled, thoughtful and open-minded martial artist, who has been planning this trip for over a year now. We are very much looking forward to sharing our approach to help support some of his goals and I hope that members will make him feel like one of the family.
There's no time to waste - he’ll be in the dojo from tonight!
Yesterday evening at our Great Clifton club we were visited PCSO Catherine Keevil from Cumbria Police to give some of our junior members a personal safety presentation.
Catherine taught the children about personal awareness, stranger danger and who to contact when they need help. All the things we aim to instil in all our younger members here at E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness.
A big thank you to Catherine for giving up her time to come and talk to us and also to our Great Clifton instructor Sensei Garet for organising the event.
We look forward to arranging similar events at our other clubs in the near future that will all help supplement the content we deliver in our classes around West Cumbria.
Here's a brief newspaper report on our recent trip to Okinawa...
A group of local martial artists have recently returned from the trip of a lifetime to Okinawa, The Birthplace of Karate.
Organised by Whitehaven based group E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness, participants included 13 members from their West Cumbria clubs and 6 members from their overseas branch in Malta. They spent 10 days learning directly from some of the most distinguished masters on the island and taking part in special demonstrations to commemorate World Karate Day.
E.S.K.K member John Hopkins said, “This was both an unforgettable and emotional trip to the spiritual home of karate. Working with some of the top teachers was an incredible experience and I feel very lucky to have been part of it.”
The group’s Chief Instructor, Chris Denwood, himself an internationally renowned practitioner and Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee, was also honoured to teach his approach to karate in Okinawa as well as to represent one of the most historic dojo on the island during the World Karate Day performances.
Chris said, “I feel very privileged to have been given such an amazing opportunity and even more so to have been able to share it with my students. I’m also incredibly proud of the positive feedback our group received from esteemed teachers in Okinawa. My sincere thanks to everyone who helped make this trip possible and we now look forward to passing on some of the valued learning we’ve gained to the rest of our membership here in Cumbria.”
As well as their intensive daily training schedule, the group also dedicated time to visit important historical karate sites, tombs and memorials in order to pay homage to the original creators of what has now become one of the most popular martial arts practised around the world.
E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness are dedicated to sharing the benefits of traditional karate to members of the whole family and offer free no obligation taster classes at all of their clubs. To find out more, please call 01946 694751 or visit www.eskk.co.uk.
Yesterday evening we held a grading for our karate members at our Cleator dojo. This was for those who were unsuccessful at our main grading in November and have been working hard to re-sit, or for those who had prepared for the November grading, but weren't able to attend due to extenuating circumstances.
We are pleased to report that everyone passed and this also included two first-class performances! Congratulations to everyone who graded yesterday - taking on this challenge regardless of result always earns our utmost respect.
Results as below...