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...
Around 70 of our dojo members faced their grading challenge yesterday in Whitehaven, from beginner ranks through to brown belts. The place was packed with parents, partners, family members and friends, who all came to watch and offer support. This was great to witness :-)
We make no apologies for holding high standards, which not only makes all our awards very well deserved, but inevitably means that some don't quite make the grade. However, whether successful or not, standing up to be counted always wins our sincere respect and regardless of outcome, what you do from this day forward (win, lose or draw) will go to define your ongoing journey in karate. The reward is the same for everyone (more training), so be sure to make your next step a positive one and we'll see you back in the dojo soon!
Special thanks to panel members and assistants who all helped to make the day run as smooth as possible. None of this could be achieved without everyone's support.
Successful results are listed below along with a small selection of photos from Facebook...
Over the summer we held our very first E.S.K.K Fitness Fiesta. This was a sponsored 3-hour charity event which included everything we teach in our fitness classes and much more. As well as exercises from Kettlebells, Pilates and Enduro-Strike, we also had tyre flipping, battle ropes, log and keg lifts, just to name a few.
In the final section of the event we all headed outside to conquer the Eliminator which was a circuit and obstacle course. Everyone’s spirits were high even though it was cold and pouring with rain, the energy was electric. There was laughter, teamwork, camaraderie and we even had a water balloon fight just to make sure that everyone definitely got drenched!
The event was very well supported with 27 people taking part. We would like to thank all participants and supporters who not only made our very first Fitness Fiesta a complete success, but have helped us create fond memories which we can add to our growing collection.
And what's more is that we managed to raise an amazing £1230.00 for our Community Fund!
Special thanks to Stuart Rigg who helped organise the event and sourced all the new and exciting equipment we trained with on the day.
We would also like to give big thanks to Sylvia Ling and Kelly Scott who were both amazing, making sure we were all fed and watered and capturing the whole event by taking photos and videos in the pouring rain. You are both super stars and we couldn’t have done it without you!
Thanks again everyone and we look forward to doing it again next year!
This is Sam. Sam is 13-years old and a member at our Workington dojo. Recently, Sam recently walked with his family from Workington to Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary for 'Jack's Journey', who was diagnosed with leukaemia at 18-month old. They traced the journey Jack took in the ambulance on foot. Plus he completed this task proudly wearing our E.S.K.K logo!
Walking from Workington all the way to Newcastle is no easy challenge for anyone, let alone a 13-year old! Therefore, we wanted to write a little news article just to raise some awareness and congratulate Sam on a job well done. We think he's set a great example for children his age and we're proud to have him in our dojo.
If you'd like to support the charity that Sam has worked so hard for by offering a small donation, then you can do so by hitting the link below. And for our members who recognise Sam from class, please take a moment to pat him on the back...he deserves it!
Tonight we held a catch up grading at our Cleator Dojo for the small number of members who could not challenge their rank at our July grading due to extenuating circumstances, or were unsuccessful and required a period of focused training and mentorship before attempting to resit.
We're pleased to report that everyone passed and we would like to congratulate those members listed below who all prepared hard for their challenge.
Special congratulations go to Zack Evans and Simon Marley, who have both faced failure at previous gradings and come back with great determination in order to succeed today, where under the same circumstances many others have given up around them. This in our eyes shows the true spirit of karate and earns our deepest respect.
See you all back in class again soon!
A few months ago, our chief instructor, Chris Denwood, was asked to be part of a unique book project alongside a selection of highly respected karate teachers from around the world.
Each contributor having a chapter of their own, they were asked to write about the five most important points to consider when training 'practical karate'. The chapters themselves are anonymous with author credits at the back. The idea is for readers to enjoy and consider each chapter on their individual merits, without being 'swayed' the the name(s) attached. You can of course cheat - but that would spoil the whole point (and fun) of the book!
As you can imagine, the result is a treasure trove of information and viewpoints that will surely become a valued part of many personal martial arts libraries across the globe. Andi Kidd, who has compiled this work (and contributed a chapter too) has done a fantastic job pulling it all together and the book is available now from Lulu - hit the link below for more details...
The Problem of Practical Karate >>
Chris' contribution is actually an adapted chapter from his own upcoming book - Naihanchi Vol.2. So those who can't wait can get a pretty good taster for what it's all about by grabbing a copy of Andi's book now!
The exceptionally hot conditions here in Cumbria today didn't stop over 60 of our members take their grading test today. Despite the weather and lack of air flow in the dojo, the grading panel were happy to witness some strong performances and came away confident that our high standards are still continuing to grow.
Our gradings are not easy and today members covered a whole host of aspects such as pre-requisite knowledge, basic techniques, combinations and kata, pre-arranged sparring, self-defence based applications, pad work, joint attacks, throws and take downs, grappling skills, limb control and a range of dedicated sparring drills to deal with/escape from both single and multiple opponents, plus managing a specific disability.
Whatever the outcome, everyone who challenged their rank today tried their very best and as always, showed the true spirit of karate. For that they earn our deepest respect and we hope to see you all back in the dojo again soon ready to take the next step of the journey!