Dojo udate

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It has been some time since I last wrote on here.  A lot of things have been happening with work, family and life in general.  On the martial arts front, after a couple of months reflecting on my club I have reached the conclusion that it is time to suspend my classes.  My decision to do this is based predominantly on the fact that the attendance numbers have dropped dramatically and so I feel that it is not worth continuing.  After consultation with my friends we have decided to start fitness boot camp sessions on Thursdays instead.

In contemplating the reasons for my club’s failure I think the main cause is that I had lost a clear vision of the arts that I had been teaching – one session would be Karate, the following may be wrestling, another may be boxing or self-defence etc.  While I feel it is important to have a holistic appreciation of martial arts, I think this lack of consistency led to a loss of club identity.   I have also embarked on different paths in my life and so have drifted away from martial arts to explore new things.  I believe this lack of focus did not help me in delivering quality instruction for my students.

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In my opinion a dojo cannot be run by an instructor who lacks motivation and from a student’s point of view, training in a club without a consistent identity is confusing.  All of this led me to take the decision to stop classes for the time being.  Now that I have had a two months break from teaching and have been able to consider what I really want to do with martial arts I am starting to get some clearer ideas emerging from my thoughts.

For now my aim is to attend a variety of seminars and go back to my roots, taking me back to the beginning of my martial arts path to my beloved and recently, slightly abandoned, Karate.  Where this will take me I don’t know.  I’m not worried about this.  I just look forward to enjoying the journey and all of the experiences that will come with it.

I have been asked to teach Karate again by a few people and I think that in the near future I will do some informal sessions once a month outdoors just to enjoy the experience of performing kata and applications, which is the part of martial arts that is of interest to me at the moment.  I will soon be going for a week to train with my main teacher, which always gives me some inspiration.

Let’s see where this part of life will take me

Thanks for reading!

British Karate history 1956-1963: Questions, facts and answers

Very interesting read

Classical Karate & Jujutsu magazine

Vernon Bell's very first Karate club in Essex Vernon Bell’s very first Karate club in Essex

Background to the introduction of Karate to England

By the time Vernon Bell introduced Karate to England in 1956, the arts of Jujutsu and Judo had already been taught here some 60 years. The Edwardian musichalls were no strangers to the sight of Japanese Jujutsu players grappling with wrestlers and strongmen and eventually, thanks to masters like Gunji Koizumi and Yukio Tani, these arts spread through cities like London and Liverpool. It was not until the 1950s however that Karate appeared. A Frenchman, Claude Urvois and a French-Algerian Jean ‘Jim’ Alcheik trained in Shizuoka, Japan at the Yoseikan Dojo of Minoru Mochizuki, a master who has studied all of the main Japanese martial arts (mostly with the founder of each of these arts no less) and they convinced Mochizuki to introduce the arts of Karate and Aikido to Europe. Urvois and…

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