Latest News (06/02/2018)
First Half Term 2018
We are on half-term break, first classes back;
Thursday 1st March, Wanstead Library Hall (usual times).
Friday 2nd March, Wanstead Sport Centre (usual times).
Saturday 3rd March, Covent Garden (usual times).
Please see the 'Photo Gallery' page for pictures from this years Summer School.
Kata Video See the Grading page for a link to a Facebook video of an excellent team kata.
Sensei Trish was featured in Ippon Magazine's Hall of Fame Spotlight - Patricia Duggin. Read the interview in full on the Photo Gallery page.
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Patricia Duggin - an introduction
I have been practicing karate for twenty-eight years, both as an instructor and as a fighter. I started karate when I was ten years old and obtained my first Dan black belt when I was sixteen. It was at that time that I began to assist my instructor in teaching other students. I continued to work as an instructor throughout the time that I was also very actively competing internationally.
In 2002, I largely retired from competition and focused on teaching karate. I then opened my own karate school, in association with the United Karate Association.
As a competitor, between 1988 and 2002, I fought as a heavyweight all over the world, from South Africa to Malaysia, as well as France, the Philippines, Finland, Spain, the Netherlands, Czechoslovakia among many other places. I won the World Championship in the Ladies heavyweight division both individual and team, World Cup and World Games competitions, numerous European championships as well as Gold in a number of British national championships.
I am now a Fourth Dan Black Belt and I continue to be involved in all aspects of karate, including teaching, coaching, refereeing and occasionally, competing.
What is karate?
Karate is a traditional Japanese martial art centered on unarmed self-defence.
It is a blend of a number of martial arts found in Japan, China, Korea and other areas of Asia.
The Wado-Ryu style was founded by Hironori Ohtsuka and was recognized as a distinct karate style in 1934. Ohtsuka’s principle innovations were to borrow techniques from judo, kendo, and aikido and to adopt a less formal, more flexible, fighting style.
Karate is a fighting system with a broad repertoire of blocks, strikes and kicks, whose effectiveness is based on speed, technique and targeting rather than brute strength. Often we strive to evade rather than encounter and to use and turn the opponent’s attacks to the defender’s advantage.
Karate is practiced both as a sport and as self-defence training. The levels of physical contact during sparring vary considerably. Some styles uses full power techniques but the usual sport karate is structured, with light contact or semi contact and points are awarded by a referee.
Does a person need to be really fit to learn karate?
No, provided that the person does not have serious medical problems and is not substantially overweight. However karate involves strenuous exercise and students should expect to train vigorously during practice.
Who can come to your classes?
Almost anyone can come to karate classes, young or old, man or woman, boy or girl. Students range from as young as five years old to over sixty years old. Children and younger teenagers are taught in one set of classes and adults and older teens in another set of classes.
How do I get started?
All you need to do is turn up a few minutes before one of the classes wearing loose fitting clothing such as track suit bottoms and a T-shirt. We train in bare feet so no need to worry about footwear. There are changing rooms, lockers and showers at all venues. The first class is free. Do bring a bottle of water.
Where are the classes?
There are classes in both Covent Garden and Wanstead. The Venues/Classes tab above shows the locations, days and times of the classes.
What is a typical class like?
Classes always begin with warm-up exercises and stretching. After that, classes vary considerably from week to week, some involve practicing basic techniques, bag work, pair techniques, kata training or sparring. Out-takes from a typical session can be found by selecting the Class Sampler under the Video tab.
Is karate expensive?
No, it is not. there is no equipment to buy. The karate uniform, the gi, is inexpensive and will last for years. The only expenses are a small annual license fee and modest fees for lessons.
Is karate a competitive sport?
Karate can be a competitive sport but for many people it is primarily an interesting and challenging way of keeping physically fit. People who are mainly interested in maintaining fitness compete against themselves by noting their improvements in their skills, strength, agility and endurance. They also have the opportunity to periodically measure progress through grading by their instructor.
What are Gradings?
These progress assessments or gradings are a traditional part of karate training. Everyone begins as a white belt and, as they become more skilled at
karate, they may earn red, yellow, orange, green, blue and brown belts. The most serious students, after years of training, may even become black belts!
Are there opportunities to compete?
Yes, there are. For younger students, there are Junior League competitions, which are held six time a year. The Junior League tab above explains these events in more detail. For older students and adults, there are many opportunities to compete, at a variety of venues, all over the country. Students should expect to train extensively before entering competitions.
Are you affiliated with any karate association?
Yes, this karate school is a member of the United Karate Association. The UKA tab above will link you to their website.
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