Dear BKG members and friends,
As Christmas approaches and 2016 draws to a close, our Karate club is going from strength to strength. Student numbers as usual fell off in the summer months, but lifted again as the ‘back to school’ months came, happily we end the year with very healthy numbers regularly attending all the clubs. Certainly our Bottesford Junior group is breaking all records….
I have been trying to think of a name that we can give to our ‘Junior members groups’ but my creative juices aren’t working so, if any of you can think of a name let me know. There will be a prize for the winning name!! Examples might be ‘Tigers’ or ‘Dragons’..Email me your ideas.
I expect a very busy and exciting year from the start off!
I am very pleased to announce our first (Open to all) seminar of 2017. On Saturday 28th January we are honoured to have (6th Dan) Sensei Eleni Labiri Suzuki visiting us. Sensei Eleni is the wife of the late Wado Ryu Master Prof. Tatsuo Suzuki. I have attended a couple of her classes and I can promise you an action packed day filled with traditional Wado Ryu Karate. It is an ‘open seminar’ but BKG members get preferential fees. Look out for the poster as all the info’ will be on that…………..This is definitely one not to be missed!
I hope to get other guest instructors over the following year from other styles of Karate which always broadens our knowledge, information will follow later in the year.
There will also be our next group grading Feb/March time.
Black belt grading dates are: February 25th – May 13th – September 16th – November 11th. These will take place in Manchester with Sensei Brian Seabright (8th Dan Chairman of the British Karate Association).
We have opened a new Dojo at Long Bennington which is growing at a steady pace, with the first of it’s students getting a 100% pass at their first grading. Well done to Olivia, Becks, Evie & Jack.
A surprise for the end of the year is the opening of BKG’s fourth Dojo starting in January at Waltham on the Wolds. Waltham is an existing club who’s instructor decided not to continue and although there will inevitably some changes for its members, they won’t be significant. I look forward to working with them to make the ‘new look’ Waltham club a great success.
Sensei Claire tells me she will be focussing on training towards her Yondan (4th Dan), whilst (hopefully) continuing to support us instructing.
I will continue to rely heavily on Sensei Peter Connolly at Marston. It was on Sensei Peter’s suggestion that we open Marston several years ago which proved to be a great idea. Both me and the club owe him a great deal as without his invaluable help, the club wouldn’t be the success it has become. So a heart felt thank you to him.
After a long break, we have seen the return to Karate of Sensei Uwe Neugebauer and Richard Dickens, who have both been a great help through the year instructing. Both are training with their daughters Bonnie and Rebecca, which is very cool.
Also, the return of Sensei Gerald Tuckwood to the UK after living in the Far East, now based in Derbyshire, was great news. Sensei Gerald was one of my first instructors in the late seventies and was influential when Sensei Gary Musson started ‘Cougar Karate Kai’ all those years ago.
It is true to say that without both Sensei’s Gary and Gerald, Belvoir Karate Group would not exist. The philosophies and standards Sensei Gary instilled in ‘Cougar Karate’ remain at the core of our own training. I hope that both will visit us next year and perhaps take a lesson or two.
As for me, In 2016 I set out to open a new Dojo and have ended up opening two, so I will be busy establishing them whilst developing our Bottesford and Marston clubs.
I will continue my battle with ‘Kururunfa Kata’ which at present is eluding me, mostly due to lack of personal training time, something I hope to rectify. I also intend to take some regular lessons with Sensei Eleni.
We have developed a ‘Junior Sylllabus’, belt and grading structure which, along with a more fun based approach to Karate training, I hope will encourage our young membership to grow.
I intend to improve our senior training, with Black & Brown belt training sessions throughout the year, although the exact format of this is yet to be set.
I would also like to see BKG get it’s ‘Competition Squad’ off the mark, possibly entering a team in the upcoming ‘British Karate Open’ which is on the 25th June 2017. Anyone interested should let me know ASAP but….be aware this will mean even more commitment and additional training, possibly at the weekend.
It is a pleasure to see our students, new and old improve and progress and it is an honour that you choose Belvoir Karate to help you on your Karate journey. I hope you enjoy the coming months and keep supporting us.
I am incredibly proud of our group and all our members who continue to amaze me as they train with commitment and energy but remember…you must have fun as well.
As always, our Instructors have my deepest gratitude for their commitment and enthusiasm but my sincerest thanks go to our members, as without your support we are nothing.
Thank you and have a great Christmas & a Fantastic New Year!