The blog is a combination of several things: a Thank You, a Christmas Card, a look back at a year of teaching and training and general reflection of what everyone has achieved. Think of it as a round robin letter about kicking and punching.
I started thinking about this blog a couple of weeks back – how best to capture all that we as a club and the HKA have done this year. Relying upon my memory is definitely not the best method, so I turned to Facebook to see what events Fife Karate have held and attended. So, sit back, pop a cold one and reflect:
January – Heian and Kanku Dai Kata Workshop. After a false start (centre was closed that morning due to a burst pipe) we relocated to Duloch, and with a packed hall, we spent 4 happy hours training. With thanks to a surprise guest appearance from some of our Inverness friends!
This was followed two weeks later with a Self Defence Workshop. I distinctly remember getting thrown, bitten and kicked in the groin by Mrs Slaney!
February -together with Kanzen Karate, we hosted Sensei Trimble on his first trip to Scotland for 2016.
March – Sensei Hazard course in Inverness. Sensei Phil Owen promoted to 6th Dan.
April – Sensei Ross course, focusing on the senior grades; ahead of a wee Dan grading or two later in the year.
June – our 15th Anniversary course with Senseis Hazard & Trimble. Of equal importance and pride, was seeing Colin achieving 4th Dan and Andy reaching his 3rd Dan.Both gentlemen invested years of work and research towards their gradings. For Colin, it must have seemed like decades!
It was a great weekend of training, finished off with the successful Dan grades and a great Kyu grading.
Two weeks later, we trained with our friends as Kanzen Karate, on the Jesse Enkamp course.
August – HKA Instructors course. I was delighted to be invited to teach at Charleston Karate club and run a competition class. Remember – don’t discuss the Ronnie Punch!
September – I think I hold the record for the longest travel to get to a class, when I trained in a Goju Ryu club in Perth – Western Australia! Many thanks to all at the Academy of Traditional Fighting Arts for their warm welcome.
HKA Competition in Inverness – 60 competitors took part in a great day, which even ran to time!
October – HKA Brown and Black Belt Course and Sensei Hazard also returned to Inverness.
November – Fife Karate Kids Competition.
A few of the club seniors trained with Kaicho Amor, of Ryukyu Karate. A fantastic martial artist and true gentlemen; who was extremely gracious with his time and knowledge. And, we held our own First Aid training course, which was very well received.
A few new phrases have entered the club’s lexicon:
“Block with timing, hit with lighting”, “Educational Speed”, “Structural Integrity”
and we still get to roll out the ole FCAO from time to time.
One of my favourite memories will be seeing someone’s gran, crying whilst watching her grandson fight in the competition. “I didn’t know they could get hurt!” she blurted out, but you could see how proud she was of him. That was probably worth as much as his medal.
It’s December now, with only 1 class remaining before we hang up our gis for a couple of weeks. It’s only when I look back at the list – and you take into account the regular training sessions, the pre-grading classes, the squad sessions AND the occasional off-piste classes, that you appreciate how busy we all have been.
I am immensely proud of everyone in the club – the effort and commitment have been outstanding. I’ve also seen an improvement in the standard – as you could all see from this year’s competition results. All of this is down to a combined effort, from the seniors who help instruct, everyone who trains and of course, parents and family members.
And finally, a thank you to my instructors – for keeping me on the path and keeping me learning.
But most of all, to Larissa – for giving me the time to go off and play in my pyjamas as much as I do.
Have a great Christmas and New Year, everyone. Enjoy your break and Lang may yer Lum reek! We’ve already started planning 2017 events and I hope to bring some news about this very soon.
Oh, and remember – we start back training on the 9th January!