Whitby Shotokan Karate

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EIGHT members of the Whitby Shotokan Karate Club were invited to Sneaton Village Hall by the ladies of the Yorkshire Countrywomen’s Group.

Ian Henderson, 1st kyu brown belt, gave a talk on the origins and development of karate over the centuries and where Whitby Shotokan Club fits in to the history of karate.

Sensei Chris Watmouth (2nd dan black belt) explained the benefits of those practising karate, which includes raised levels of fitness, self esteem, confidence, respect and awareness of surroundings.

The ladies group were also informed that the physical and self defence elements to karate are a by-product of the main aim to teaching, which is to develop good character, spirit and benevolence in students.

There then followed a demonstration of different aspects of karate training. Simon Abbott, Nikita Smith, Alex Ingles and Luke Richardson performed forms of kata, which are set moves depicting imaginary attacks by several opponents where the students must defend and then counter to the attack.

Sensei Dan Howard and sensei Sally Smith, both 1st dan black belts, performed advanced 2nd dan and 1st dan kata respectively.

All club members then gave a display of kumite or sparring working in pairs with commentary by sensei Watmough.

Sensei Howard gave a brief talk on how he came to study karate from the age of 8 and what it gives him, which culminated in his dan grade last year age 15.

Sensei Smith then gave an insight into how she came to karate and its benefits for girls.

Sensei Watmough brought the session to a close by highlighting the positive attitude of young students who attend junior sessions at the Whitby club, who range in age from five to 14 years.

A short question and answer session followed.

Sensei watmough then thanked the ladies group for the invitation and contribution to the evening. Members of the ladies group presented a donation of £25 to the karate club’s chosen charity which was Cystic Fibrosis.

The evening finished with club members enjoying refreshments and chatting with members of the ladies group.