25th July 2019
At the end of the group grading where we saw 3 students awarded their next grades, a special award was announced by complete surprise to the awardee.
Richy has been with the club since the beginning of 2012 and has been a great student, assistant and friend. He has been assisting me with the running of the classes for most of that time now, and after being awarded his Shodan back in 2016 has been helping in the classes even more and has since run complete classes on his own under assessment as part of our instructor program.
For those of you that know and train with Richy you will know how supportive he has been to the club and to your own training, you know that he inspires a friendly, lighthearted yet hard working atmosphere into the dojo.
This latest award is very well deserved and I am proud to announce that IJR Karate now has its second instructor, Sensei Richy.
After a few years we have
decided introducing a new club badge, I wanted to have a badge that had a
deeper meaning behind it, our old badge was just a similar design of a generic
Shotokan badge but with my name it katakana running through it to signify that
it’s the karate of Ashley. I decided I wanted to take my name out of it, and
wanted a design more unique for us.
The new badge is comprised of three things; The Enso Circle, a silhouette of a karate-ka in seiza, and the kanji for Karate-do. The Enso Symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). The Enso is drawn in one fluid expressive stroke (when drawn in Japanese calligraphy) the brushstroke is especially swift, and once drawn cannot be changed by its creator and can be considered a spiritual practise.
The circle may be open or closed,
being open the circle is incomplete, allowing for movement and development as
well as the perfection of all things. Zen practitioners relate to the idea to
the beauty of imperfection. When the circle is closed it represents perfection.
We hope you all had a lovely Christmas! We are back in the dojo and ready to see what this year has in store for us!
I am looking forward to another year of karate and see our club and students continue to grow. Remember to think about what you want to set out and achieve this year. Your goals don't have to just be about your karate journey, think about what you might want to achieve outside of the Dojo too!
We attended the SRK Winter open, held in Basildon. Senpai Richy competed in the open kata event, Sensei Ash competed in the open kumite event, and Hollie came along to show support and drove us to the competition. First to compete was Senpai Richy in his kata event, he was drawn up against a high dan grade in the first round, and he put in a solid performance of Sepai resulting in him being awarded a flag from a Goju Instructor, which is impressive in itself. He should be very proud of how he performed and held himself- he did great!
Next (much later on in the day) was Sensei Ash to compete in the open kumite division, he was drawn up against the same competitor that Richy had in the kata. It was a very close fight, both not really seeing an opening to score a point, in the end the score was 1-0 against Ash, this may have been a match better suited for the final, especially as Ash's opponent went on to win the competition.
October 18th 2018
Today we had a big grading at the Dojo, everyone has been working hard for this and deserved their grades, so a big congratulations to Hollie and James for grading to their Orange belts, Georgia for grading to Green belt, and Matt for grading to his Purple.
Throughout the whole grading there was a great energy, and I'm proud of everyone of you for working hard and achieving your next grades.
Thanks to Richy for assisting with the running of the grading, and to Matt for taking pictures at the end of the grading for us, we look forward to seeing you back in the Dojo!
3rd June 2018,
Today we saw our newest recruits (James and Hollie) work hard and earn their yellow belts, this is their first step on the grading ladder and they showed great effort and determination!
On Sunday 15th Of April we attended the SRK Spring open championships, held in basildon three of us (James, Senpai Richy and Sensei Ash) competed in the kata events, James in the 10th-4th kyu 15-17 years old. Senpai Richy and Sensei Ash were in the 3rd kyu and above 18 years and older. I was happy and proud of how everyone did. This was James' first tournament, a major step outside his comfort zone, so a big well done to him. I remember how nervous I was competing for the first time, and still am now! I was nervous myself on Sunday! Senpai Richy performed a great kururunfa, he didn't let the pressure get to him and it didn't matter who his opponent was, he went up there and did his thing, well done!
Here is a picture of our fantastic support team, Steve and Tracey (not pictured) also came along and supported along with those pictured right: Matt, Georgia, Hollie and Joe. Coming along and supporting us proves that we truly are a club, a club that trains together, learns together and succeeds together! Having you guys out there supporting us really does make a difference and gives us a boost, so thank you!
Also, thank you to Joe who took on the role as our club coach for the day, although next time I want to see you in the ring competing! Next tournament is in November, and I would like to take a bigger team along, so get training and lets see what we can do!
25th Feb 2018,
We saw Joe grade to his 2nd kyu brown belt! After a long grading where the soul focus was on him, quite possibly being one of the most demanding Kyu gradings we have run, Joe pushed on through to achieve his well earned grade! , he has come a long way from when he first started with the club 5 years ago! Apart from Richy, Joe is the longest serving member of our small club so it's great to seem him earn this grade and get another step close to black belt!
21st Jan 2018
First grading of the year!! We saw our father-daughter duo grade to their 7th Kyu Orange belts! great effort and focus throughout the whole grading!
For quite a while we have just been focusing on our training, but for those that wish to think about competitions we started looking around at different events, (see our last news post below)
So on the 19th of November 2017 we had Joseph Rogers compete in the 16-17 year olds 3rd Kyu and above for Kata, considering he is a 3rd kyu, lowest grade in the division which had mostly black belts doing much more advanced kata, he didn't let it phase him and performed a very solid performance of Bassai Dai in the first round, but unfortunately didn't get through. He remains positive and I'm sure will step up his training to try and get further in the next tournament.
Sensei Ashley Aldworth also competed in both Kata and Kumite in the 18 year old and above, 3rd kyu and above. Despite having a break from tournaments the last few years, was excited yet nervous to get back into the ring, unfortunately only just missed out getting through the first round of the kata but had more luck in the kumite. Winning his first fight with a comfortable score of 5-1.
Overall it was a good day out, and had some great support from friends of the club, Janet and Dave, As well as other students such as Richy, Matt and Georgia who may possibly compete in the future.
On the 17th of May, Sensei Ashley and Sempai Richy, visited the 10th SRK Spring open Championships run by Seitou Ryu Karate to observe how well organised the event was (In the past we have gone to events that weren't very well run, so we wanted to see the event in action before committing to anything)
We are pleased to report back that the event was well run, and we saw a decent standard of karate so will be a tough competition! They host a tournament twice a year in Basildon which isn't too far away either. the next event is going to be in November where I plan to enter a few students that are interested, maybe even compete myself! So please let your instructor know if you are interested or want to know more about it.