Martial arts academy autumn places available

Whitby Martial Arts Academy members, back row from left: Rod Howarth, Craig Brion, Nigel Parkes and Andy Gardener; front: Christine Howarth, Richard Brewster and Alasdair Maxfield

Whitby Martial Arts Academy members, back row from left: Rod Howarth, Craig Brion, Nigel Parkes and Andy Gardener; front: Christine Howarth, Richard Brewster and Alasdair Maxfield

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WHITBY Martial Arts Academy’s autumn membership is open to applicants wishing to learn the skills of Chuan Shu kung fu from this month - and the first lesson is free.

Senior instructors John Howe (7th degree black sash), Alasdair Maxfield (4th degree black sash) and Richard Brewster (5th degree black sash) have more than 30 years’ experience each in various martial arts and welcome anyone to join the club to develop their skills.

All that is needed is an open mind and a willingness to learn. No prior knowledge or specific level of fitness is required.

There are two membership sections within the club, one for junior and one for senior members.

Junior membership is open for students aged 11 upwards. The syllabus is smaller in terms of the numbers of techniques; these are studied in depth, to provide students with a sound basis for the longer and more demanding senior syllabus.

The senior section is from age 16 upwards. Gradings normally take place three times a year, allowing a diligent student to pass their junior black belt in around two-and-a-half years.

Mr Maxfield said: “Most people have a basic idea of what is meant by martial arts but they may be surprised to learn there are many different approaches to the subject.

“The aim is to help promote the positive aspects of self- protection, self-confidence and self- control by the individual and also help physical and mental development in a friendly, relaxed but structured environment.

“It is our belief that kung fu and martial arts are a journey through life and not simply a set of very effective fighting techniques.”

Chuan Shu, which is a classical style of kung fu with its origins dating back more than 2,000 years, is taught in a way that is easy, efficient and effective and appropriate to the modern day student of all ages.

Mr Maxfield said: “We believe that it is quite possible for a child or a pensioner to learn and then apply it in a practical situation should one be forced upon them.”

sThe club is affiliated to the National Budo federation and attends and teaches at regular seminars and courses with them.

The club meets on Wednesdays at Hawsker Village Hall at 7pm. Lessons cost £3 juniors and £4.50 adults.

All instructors are black belt qualified and fully insured.

The first lesson is free. Tracksuit bottoms and trainers are fine. Call (01947) 880656 for further information.