Stuart Rigg from Beckermet has been a member of our group since April 2015 and has become regular face at many of our classes. Last year he successfully completed the application process for our invitation-only closed dojo, as an uchi-deshi (inside student) under our Chief Instructor, Chris Denwood.
Stuart was also awarded a first-class pass for exemplary performance at our most recent grade examination, where he achieved 4th Kyu (Purple Belt) and now enters the advanced ranks in strong fashion, continuing his progressive journey towards our coveted Black Belt.
In addition to his regular thirst for training, Stuart also acts as a dojo prefect at our Gosforth club and is making great progress in building the skills necessary to move into our dedicated coaching programme. We're very much looking forward to seeing how Stuart develops over the coming months/years and privileged to share his member's spotlight here on our website
Why did you start karate?
I’ve always had an interest in martial arts, I tried a few clubs over the years but none gave me the type of training I was after. I always preferred functional based training, pushing yourself for a purpose, rather than competition based training. I’ve trained in other martial arts, from a local MMA club to visiting China to train in kung fu, however I’ve always returned to karate as a foundation martial art.
What do you enjoy most about our club?
The atmosphere is amazing; everyone pushes each other and helps one another with whatever their journey is, either be gaining new skills, increasing fitness, or building confidence. The type of training suits me perfectly as the concentration of each session shifts to develop your training, so it can go from working on form and structure to strength and control. The training varies from intense physical exercises to technical training to develop the dynamics in techniques. A good characteristic of E.S.K.K is that you can share these additional skills with each other, all levels and capabilities are welcome, and it allows you to further develop them and incorporate them into your karate.
What benefits have you gained from regular training?
I have gained physical fitness and it has helped with my confidence. My strength and flexibility has gone up, with added bonus of balance with better body control. It’s introduced me to some great people, and made me feel really welcome, which makes all the exercise and training more enjoyable.
What goals do you have for the future?
I’m going to continue my karate training, whilst linking it with other forms of martial arts. I have already trained some kung fu in China, and found numerous links between karate and kung fu, with more trips to come in the years such as Thailand to gain some skills from Muay Thai. My goal is not to restrict myself to a single discipline, however karate I have found to be a good base for building the skills and attributes I am after.
What message would you give to others who may be looking to start martial arts?
If anyone is considering starting martial arts, the advice I would give is to just go for it. The worst that could happen is you find out it’s not for you, but you wouldn’t know unless you tried. After all, it’s what we don't do in life that we end up regretting the most!
Fancy giving one of our classes a try?
Well done to everyone who stood up to be counted today for belt testing. Karate is no easy path to follow and our ranks are never given out lightly, which is why no matter what the outcome everyone who faces this challenge always deserves our deepest respect.
Congratulations to everyone who was successful (listed below) and to those who didn't manage to earn their grades today, remember that the key to success is tenacity - so be sure to come back, keep working hard and use this experience as a positive platform for growth.
Successful or unsuccessful, the reward is the same - more training. So we'll see you back in the dojo again soon :-)
Special congratulations go to Ian Sessford, Stuart Rigg and Sarah Hobbs for achieving first class passes for what were exceptional performances.
Big thanks to panel members and assistants who helped make the day run safe and smooth. Your enthusiastic support is always very much appreciated.