By Community reporter Dan Marles
A newly established Knowle West karate club has just achieved 19 awards in only three competitions.
The Karate Club, based at Filwood Community Centre, has only been running for 18 months and practises the traditional style Shukokai.
Members are all local and their ages range from five to adults – but it is the youngsters who have been clocking up the awards.
In June seven students, all aged under 13, came away with 12 medals – in Gold, Silver and Bronze at the Gloucester Open.
Six students also achieved first and second in Team Kata in the World United Martial Arts earlier this year. And they also shone at the Gloucester Invitationals with three pupils aged nine and under winning five awards.
Instructor Val Davies said; “They’re a good club because they train together and they support each other. They really do work hard. They’re not medal chasers – they just want to please.
“The Instructor is only as good as their students… I teach children with disabilities such as autism, ADHD, epilepsy… but it doesn’t stop them achieving
“The benefits are self-discipline, self-awareness and self-defence as well as confidence, motivation and a feeling of belonging to a family…”
Mum, Dawn Brooks, says the club has really helped her autistic daughter Breanna (nine) who has been training for two years.
She says: ”it has made her more social and helped her with body co-ordination… she can read it in Japanese and tell you what the words mean as it is taught in the language.
Brothers Kadan and Findley Wheeler (ten and six) are both Yellow Belts and have been members for six months. Between them they have six medals and one trophy.
Kadan says; “It’s fun and you get to learn new stuff and defend yourself when you are older.”
The Karate Club meets at Filwood Community Centre in Barnstaple Road on Wednesdays from 5-6pm and Sundays from 3:30-5pm. For more information contact Dawn Brooks on 0797 094 8006.