E.S.K.K Martial Arts and Fitness celebrated it's 10th birthday just a few weeks ago. For every one of those years the group has voted for a "Student of the Year". For the first 8 years, this was for senior students only, but last year a second award for juniors was introduced.
So, what's so special about this award? Well, it's special because it's voted for by all members of our karate clubs and the "winners" reflect the overall feeling of the club. While Founder and Chief Instructor Chris Denwood has the final say, it's always a real honour to be selected by your peers.
Unlike the formal grading system, where rank is awarded based heavily on technical examination, this award is more about how the student trains, how they support their fellow students, how they represent the dojo and how they consistently push through perceived limits to be the very best they can be.
At our 10th Annual Celebrations Evening, Kelvin McDonald (5th Kyu) was announced as our new Senior Student of the Year. Kelvin has progressed well over the past year and performed as part of our demo team at the Martial Arts Expo in Coventry. He had also recently travelled to Okinawa with us to train karate with some of the senior masters on the island.
As his name was announced, Kelvin was pretty much lost for words. Fellow students had been impressed with Kelvin's dedication to the art and his attitude in the dojo. For instance, one of our new beginners said that Kelvin had made them so welcome and offered such selfless support that they didn't feel like a white belt at all. This is truly the the spirit that E.S.K.K engenders.
The Junior award was announced at the Whitehaven class on Saturday 17th May and it was young Dominic Mills' turn to be surprised!
Dominic also performed in our demo team last year in Coventry and had reached 5th Kyu rank with an exceptional grading performance. Dominic is a rare young man, with the dedication he shows each week in the dojo standing as a fine inspiration for other members. As one of our members commented, "Dominic is a ray of karate sunshine that always makes me smile!" Indeed, if he continues on this path he will have a very bright future in karate.
On behalf of us all at E.S.K.K Martial Arts and Fitness, we'd like to extend our congratulations to both Kelvin and Dominic on awards well deserved!
For more information about our Student of the Year Award and to see our 'Hall of Fame', please visit the link below...
On Saturday 10th May, around 3,000 walkers set off from Keswick to make the 40 mile journey on foot to Barrow and in doing so, raising lots of money for various charities. Among the masses were a team of 10 ladies and gentlemen from E.S.K.K Martial Arts & Fitness, including Founder/Chief Instructor Chris Denwood and Fitness & Lifestyle Manager Jenny Ling.
Only one of the team (David Forsythe) had done the walk previous so it was an unknown challenge for everyone else. We hoped for good weather or at least dry weather to make the walk as pleasant as possible, but unfortunately, luck was not on our side.
The weather did it's worst with heavy rain for the first 5 hours or so, with frequent heavy showers after that. It didn't go to plan! However, since Mother Nature was trying to do her best to ensure us a tough challenge, we decided that we'd pull together our E.S.K.K team spirit (which is second to none by the way) and meet the course face to face, leaving no one behind. We were undertaking the walk in aid of the local "Give us a Break" charity, which helps very sick children and their families with some respite. Therefore, short of having injuries to prevent us putting one foot in front of the other, no one was planning to give up.
Thoughts of chasing a "good time" had to be forgotten early on after blisters began to appear due to wet feet from floods. Existing injuries began to make themselves known and our pace dropped to a hobble.
The aim for the walk was to start and finish as a team, no matter how long it took. In typical E.S.K.K manner, everyone in the team (including the 'gazelles' selflessly stuck together as we helped each other get to the end.
Although our finishing time won't be breaking any world speed records, we were one of the few teams who took every step together and official results showing our ten names consecutively over the line.
The picture above captures the spirit of our walk. After Emma Louise Nicholls met us at the 18 mile mark with food and hot drinks, Julie Wilson's parents brought their camper van out to Lowick for a welcome break with 5 hours walking still left to go! We certainly couldn't have completed this challenge (and finish together) without each other's help and the kind support from fellow members. This is 'how we roll' and is something that makes us so proud!
We'd like to say a BIG THANK YOU to the following people...
David Jones: for driving his minibus at 3am (!) to collect us all and get us safely to the start.
Emma Louise Nicholls: for meeting us with food and drink at Coniston and support at the finish.
Julie Wilson's Parents: for food and drink at Lowick and welcome lifts home.
Kara Smallman: for meeting us all for the photo call and lifts home at the end.
The Wonderfull K2B Volunteers: who kept us safe along the way.
The Fantastic First Aid Crew: our feet wouldn't have got to Barrow without your help!
And...not forgetting the crazy fools who decided to take on this challenge for the "Give us a Break" charity. From the sponsorship so far, we're anticipating a total of over £2000 going to this fantastic cause. We'll update you all of the exact figure once every penny has been collected and counted.
Congratulations to Team E.S.K.K...
and yours truly...David Forsythe.
On Saturday 3rd May, Whitehaven-based group E.S.K.K® Martial Arts & Fitness held their prestigious 10th Anniversary evening at The Whitehaven Golf Club.
Members and supporters all attended to help celebrate their growth and development that over the past decade has seen a single karate class in Arlecdon evolve from a dozen original members, to an internationally recognised association, specialising in providing some of the very best tuition in traditional martial arts and self-defence, functional health and fitness, anti-bullying and life skills for children, plus seminars and courses both here in the UK and overseas.
Since 2004, E.S.K.K® Martial Arts & Fitness have had many people from the local community walk through their doors and take something very positive from their tuition. They've travelled to Japan on multiple occasions, performed demonstrations and workshops at international expos, plus their regular charity work has seen many thousands of pounds raised for worthy causes.
Founder and Chief Instructor Chris Denwood, who recently gave up a twenty-year career in engineering to teach martial arts full-time said, “It’s simply fantastic to look back and see how much we've all grown together and every single member has had a positive part to play in our history so far. Plus, with lots more planned for the future, we’re really excited about moving forward into the next decade!”
As part of the evening, special appreciation awards were presented to acknowledge the support of key individuals who have helped make the group what it is today. Fitness and Lifestyle Manager Jenny Ling said, "Our success is the product of dedicated and committed support given by our fantastic team of instructors and assistants. Our group has always had a special ‘family feel’ about it and it's this close camaraderie that makes us so proud and appreciative."
An auction was also held where funds were raised to add to the groups charity efforts this year, which included a group of ten members, including Chris & Jenny, completing the 40-mile Keswick to Barrow challenge on Saturday. The accumulated total will be presented to the 'Give Us A Break' local charity later in the year.
Special thanks to the local companies who donated products and services for the auction: Swains Hairdressing, Cheryl Hinde Homoeopathy, The Cumberland Lodge Stables & Riding School and Arnold Clark-Carlisle.