Shotokan karate club welcomes new members

By GEM Community Correspondent in Martial Arts

The Llantwit Major and St Athan Shotokan Karate club is pleased to welcome our four newest members, and the first to successfully complete our ‘Introduction to Karate’ beginners course.

We are please to say that, despite having limited chance to advertise the course, the first of these has proved successful with four students signing up and all four completing the course and becoming full members of the club.

The effort, dedication and attitude they have shown are testament to their desire to pursue karate to the best of their abilities and they should be immensely proud of their achievements so far.

We are pleased to welcome them into the wider karate family!

This year we have embarked on a new method of encouraging new students to join. Previously, we allowed potential new students to come any time, but we found that retention of students was difficult as the environment and length of the lessons could be both intimidating and overwhelming.

To combat this we now recruit five times per year using limited space beginner courses. Our intention with this approach is to overcome the trepidation of this alien environment, encourage an introduction to the environment and to expose new students to a wide range of aspects of karate-do.

It was our hope that this would prove more effective in inspiring and intriguing potential students to give confidence for continued involvement.

The course runs in parallel with the regular class, each lesson being alternatively being taught by club sensei’s Simon Dodd (4th Dan) and Kirsty Stuart (2nd Dan).

This gives new students the chance to meet and socialise with the rest of the class, begin and warm up together, but then separate to get specific focus and training.

Feedback seems to confirm our hopes that this approach made the environment more comfortable and always left the beginners wanting more!

Over their eight lesson course, our new students learnt a progressive range of skills. The syllabus for the course covers the 3 K’s of karate - Kihon, Kata and Kumite.

Also fundamental to their physical development, the students learnt about the cultural importance of Japanese etiquette and practices that prevail in the karate dojo.

Curiosity towards such significantly different practices often act as a catalyst for further learning about Japan and its people, and we have enjoyed many conversations on this topic.

If you are interested in trying Shotokan Karate we are starting another beginner’s course on May 3, with final sign up date on April 26.

For more information please contact Simon Dodd on 07917441138, email simondodd89@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook @LMandSAKarate.

The club meets on Wednesdays and Fridays, 6.30pm-8pm at the Gathering Place, St Athan.

The Welsh Karate Union is a non-profit, volunteer run, organisation dedicated to the development of karate in Wales.

SD

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