Last month I set myself a challenge; to try as many new sporting activities in and around Sudbury and Hadleigh that I could!
My first challenge was a hula-hooping class, which was brilliant. My next challenge, set by Sudbury local, Emma Quin, was to attend her karate class held on Thursday evenings at Ormiston Sudbury Academy.
Sensei Trevor White is a SEFKA (South East Freestyle Karate Association) chief instructor who takes his inspiration from Korean and South-East Asian martial arts, as well as traditional Japanese karate techniques. Trevor has been teaching karate for 36 years, and I don’t think I could have asked for better and more patient teacher.
This was my first ever attempt at Karate. Ever. But I had a fantastic 90 minutes!
We started our class with the all-important warm up; jogging on the spot and stretching leg muscles, before starting some basic punches and kick combinations and gradually building up the routine. This repetition helps with muscle memory, and starting off with simple moves is a great basis from which to build up to more complicated routines.
Next we moved onto round kicks, kicking the hand of our opponents. This teaches focus and control, learning how to hit a small target with minimum damage. This is a semi-contact sport, but there’s no whacking to the head!
We were taught a series of waves used to deflect punches, with the class finishing with Kata. This involves demonstrating a series of moves, using three-to-four imaginary opponents. Because it’s in front of everyone, there’s pressure to perform and get it just right, but if you move onto competitions, then this is part of the criteria. Also it looks very impressive!
So why is karate so popular?
Trevor explained that not only is it a great way to keep fit both aerobically and physically, it’s also great for self-discipline. What appeals to me is that there is so much more to karate than just the moves you’re taught in class; there’s the history of the martial arts, the knowledge of power points and the physiology of the body - allowing you to potentially disable an opponent simply by pinpointing a specific part of the body. Karate is also great for children; it teaches focus, helps them use both sides of their bodies, and reinforces that self-discipline. If you have dyspraxia, it can also help with body control and balance.
But ultimately I think it’s great because it’s just so much fun. And whilst you’re focusing on kicking that hand, how therapeutic to think of that ex-boss…
Member since: 17th March 2014
Hello! I'm Penny from thebestof Sudbury, shouting about the best local businesses from Hadleigh through the Clare. When I'm not doing that, you'll find me knitting socks or tending to my 6 chickens