Dear Parent/Student

Welcome to this year’s 1st newsletter.  I am pleased to announce with covid restrictions lifted that Elite Karate Academy is returning to more like its former days.  We have a lot coming up over the next few months that I need to tell you about.

SEMINARS

As Ireland’s 1st and only World Combat Association Combat Coach I’m delighted to announce a series of in-house Seminars over the coming months on a range of topics that will be of interest to non-martial artists and martial artists.  These topics will be on a range of subjects such as dealing with multiple attackers, protecting other from violence, personal security and awareness, blunt weapons, and knife defence. 

While most of these seminars will be aimed at the over 12’s, I will also be running some seminar/courses for children including, Anti-bully and Assertiveness Seminar and a Children’s Self Defence Seminar closer to the Summer.

We have 2 seminars coming up in March.

Personal Security & Awareness Seminar – Saturday 26th March 2022 10am-2pm €30 per person.

Aim of the course is to teach a set of awareness, assertiveness, verbal confrontation skills alongside safety strategies & physical skills that enable someone to successfully, avoid, escape, resist & survive a violent attack.  Personal security is not about fighting, fighting is what happens when everything else has failed.  I firmly believe everybody should learn this especially teenagers.

Dealing with Multiple Attackers – Saturday 5th March 2022 10am-2pm €30 per person.

Aim of this course:   Fighting multiple attackers is hard, escaping can be taught and should be practiced.  40% of all attacks on the street involve more than one attacker and statistics show that these are where the most injuries come from.  This seminar builds on the personal security seminar and leads into the protecting others seminar nicely.

Contact me if you wish to book either seminar…

St Patrick’d Day Parade

Also in March the Academy will be taking part in Clondalkin’s St Patrick’s Day Parade.  I will give more details closer to the date.  But any students, their families and friends may join us to walk in the parade.  The more the merrier.

ELITE KARATE ACADEMY EXPO

Finally after a two-year hiatus our Annual Elite Karate Academy Expo is back. The aim of the Expo is to allowing students demonstrate their skills and abilities to their family and friends, whilst educating parents about the aims and ethos of Elite Karate Academy, in a relaxed fun environment.  This year’s Expo will include;

  • Grading
  • Club Sparring Competition (semi-finals and finals only) This is voluntary but students must have protective gloves and boots to compete
  • Demonstrations (Instructor & Students)
  • Award Ceremony (Grading, Competition, and Special Awards)
  • We will also be celebrating Elite Karate Academy’s newest teenage black belts
  • Bake & Cake Sale
  • Raffle

More about the Expo once I have confirmed a date and venue…

Character Education Program

We are nearer the end of our Character Education Program – word of the week.  These our 14 words Courtesy, Growth, Courage, Sincerity, Honesty, Obedience, Humility, Perseverance, Honor, Loyalty, Self-Control, Knowledge, Respect, Integrity. Each class has a 3-5minute matt chat explaining some aspect of that week’s word.  Elite Karate Academy teaches character not just technique. 

Later in the year we will run our Anti Bullying Program and Fight Fat Program this program teaches the importance of diet and exercise.

ELITE KARATE ACADEMY APP ‘TO BLACK BELT & BEYOND’

  This revolutionary video tutorial app is the perfect tool for students to train at home and is an ideal way to prepare for a grading.  New members should check out the new member’s section.  There is a game there for parents to play to help teach their children at home.  Juniors should check out the Wado Ryu Syllabus and their relevant grade.  Up to blue belt is already up.  Teen/Adult students should check out the practical karate syllabus.  There is a kick improvement section, personal protection section among others.  New videos are added every week.

If you have not already downloaded the app, please contact me and I can forward you another email and pin number to access the app. 

Junior Black Belt Club (JBBC)

The ‘Junior Black Belt Club’ is an advanced extra class for those students who have already shown incredible dedication and made notable progress in the art and spirit of Karate do.  This extra class is designed to assist students achieve a black belt, by giving them more personal advanced instruction in a range of areas not covered in their normal classes, such as weapons, throws etc. and a deeper understanding of karate.  Any child over 12 may join the JBBC and students under 12 must be over green belt.

I will give more details to all of the above closer to the events.  As always thank you for your continued support of Elite Karate Academy.

Sensei Gareth

Elite Karate Academy Newsletter

December 2021

Happy Christmas Everyone!!! 

We are coming to the end of another crazy year, and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and thank you all for your support throughout these difficult times.

Christmas Holidays

Elite Karate Academy will close for Christmas on Wednesday 22nd of December 2021 at 10pm and will reopen for classes on Monday 3rd of January 2022.  Any class credit will be carried over into the new year.

Christmas Grading

For those students eligible to grade, the gradings will take place in normal classes on Wednesday 15th, Thursday 16th and Friday 17th of December, with their results being given in the following weeks classes.  Which in most students case will be their last class before Christmas.  More details will be sent next week.

Black-Belt Grading

We are lucky this year to have two students grading for black belt.  Sean (14) will grade on Friday 3rd of December and Orla (16) will grade on Friday 17th of December.  These are public gradings and students are welcome to come watch.  Doors open at 8pm and close at 8.20pm with the grading starting promptly at 8.30pm and should finish at 9.30pm.

Karate Suits & Equipment

Due to Brexit, Covid and supply chain problems, Karate uniforms are in extremely short supply but my wholesaler has informed me they are getting a supply toward the end of November.  The moment the uniforms hit the website I will be putting in a large order including more gloves and boots.  And I will inform you when the suits arrive in stock. 

In the New Year while sparring (points fighting) will always be voluntary.  Gloves and boots will be mandatory to protect students.  Suits and equipment can be bought in the dojo or as click and collect through our website shop.

Elite Karate Academy App ‘To Black Belt & Beyond’

That so many of you are using the app on a regular basis is a great source of pride and I can see the improvements in technique of those students who are using the app.  Now is the ideal time to use it coming up to the gradings. 

Beginners go to the new member’s section of the app and study the videos there.  Alternatively go to the Wado Ryu Syllabus section and check out the relevant grade. 

Teen/Adult students check out the yellow belt grade of the practical karate syllabus section. 

Any student/parent wishing to access the app, please email me and I will forward the relevant details or passwords.  There will be no app updates over the Christmas break.  I need a break too lol.

The Life Lesson Book Series

I have written 3 books available here on Amazon in either paperback or download. 

The first “Martial Arts & Mental Health” is ideal for older students or those interested in or improving their mental health or for parents to better understand the mental benefits of the martial arts. 

The second book “Lessons from the Mats” covers life lessons and character education learnt from the martial arts.  This covers our current programme of ‘Word of the Week’ and previous programme “Dojo Kun” and is ideal for parents or younger students. 

The third book in the series “Love You Love Life” looks at different areas of your life and simple changes you can make to improve them.

•Reclaim your authentic self and become a shining light to others
•Motivate and inspire health goals and the mindset that guarantees success
•Change your beliefs about wealth and how to create it
•Develop positive lifestyle habits, including mindfulness and meditation
•Change perceptions and explain basic life laws
•Live with gratitude and flow with the universe

2022

In line with my continuing goal to always improve Elite Karate Academy, this year was becoming a World Combat Association Combat Coach, the 1st in Ireland, and developing our App and new practical syllabus.  In 2022, Covid permitting, I will be rolling out a schedule of seminars covering a range of topics, such as:

  • Woman’s Personal Security & Awareness
  • Personal Protection & Security
  • Self-Defence for Martial Artists
  • Protecting Others and Multiple Attackers

And two new courses for children who are non-members.

  • Anti-Bullying and Self-Esteem Course
  • Children’s Self-Defence & Personal Security

These courses will be run in the dojo but can be run for schools, groups, or other interested parties.  I will roll out the schedule in January.

Thank you again for your continued support.  If you have any queries or questions do not hesitate to get in touch.

Sensei Gareth

Just a general news update for Elite Karate Academy October 2021

I would (once again) like to thank each and every one of you for your support of Elite Karate Academy throughout these challenging times. That so many students returned after lockdown is great source of pride. As this is my sole source of support and full-time job your support is greatly appreciated.

Elite Karate Academy App -‘To Black Belt & Beyond’

I launched our app during the last lockdown with the goal of helping students progress faster and help them continue to train outside the Academy. For those students that use the app I can see the progress in their techiques. An example of this is Patrick, a yellow tip, who recently used the app to teach himself the 1st 7 katas, including a black belt kata. An incredible achievement for one so young which resulted with his advancement to Yellow Belt.

Our Elite Karate Academy App – ‘To Black Belt & Beyond’ is a growing video archive of every technique, skill, drill, game or exercise a student could need to achieve black belt & beyond.  This is a game changer for our karate students and/or their parents.  Something that was not available when I began Karate but to have your instructor teach you what you need to learn by video all available on your phone 24/7 would ensure more rapid progress.

The app has new uploads every week which follow the course of the respective classes.  If students learn a new technique, skill or drill, the instructional video will be on the app the following week, if not already there.  All lessons taught by Sensei Gareth. Both the children’s syllabus (Wado Ryu Syllabus) and the teen/adult syllabus (Practical Karate Syllabus) are available on the app and we will fill in all the grades over time. There is content there for all ages and levels.

Anyone not currently using the app on their phones and would like a new log in email, please contact me and let me know. And I can forward a new pin number to you. Non Academy members can sign up for a free 7 day trial here.

Dojo Kun

We are currently coming to the the end of our Dojo Kun Programme in the children’s beginner’s classes. This programme is 25 life rules that teach students how to make your dreams come true. Parents or students can read more about this programme on our website here. Once this programe ends we will be starting our word of the week programme. 14 character values that are the backbone of the martial arts. Read more here.

Seminar/courses/schools

As many of you know I am now Ireland’s only World Combat Association Combat Coach and now that restrictions are lifting I am teaching Self-Protection Courses and Seminars again. These seminars can be designed to fit your needs and are ideal for schools, groups or businesses. For more information click here. If anyone would like to host a seminar or course please contact me.

I will be running a Womans Only Personal Security Course on Saturday 30th of October between the hours of 10am-2pm. This is not a martial arts class but a presentation on personal security issues that will allow any female feel safer and more secure and is a life skill similar to 1st aid, one you may not need today but maybe in the future.

The course is open to any female over the age of 15 and costs €30 for the day. Places will be limited so please book early.

Children’s Courses

Over the coming months I will be launching two special courses for children. the first will be a an Anti-Bullying Children’s Course to give non-members the confidence and skills to deal with bullies in a non violent manner. This course I will be running in normal classes within the Academy once we finish the current dojo Kun programme. The second course will be a children’s self-defence course teaching awareness, avoidence and escape drills from common grabs and situations.

Once these courses are launched if you or anybody you know is interested in running a course please let me know.

Special offers,

I have some imited numbers of Academy t-shirts in aged 5-6 with the old logo in stock. i am doing a special offer on this size only, 2 for €10. This discount cannot be availed of through the website only in the dojo.

Karate Suits

My suppliers are currently out of stock of karate suits, this is a combination of Covid and Brexit. I will order in new uniforms once they are in stock and will inform when I have them. Sorry for the inconvience and bare with me.

Orders for Christmas

With the uncertain in England of transport and Brexit issues If you are considering purchasing items for Christmas I would suggest you buy them as earlier as you can. I would recommend all child students going forward have a pair of gloves and protective boots. These are currently in stock in a range of sizes both child and adult.

I also have a limited number of paddles and focus mitts in stock. Paddles I would recommend for smaller children, and are ideal for parents to train along with their child at home. Foxcus mitts I would recommend for older children, teens or adults. In these Covid times it is highly recommended that students use their own equipment.

Christmas Grading

There will another grading in the run up to Christmas for those eligible to grade. I will supply more details closer to the time.

Teen/Adult grading

The beginner’s Teen/Adult class will have a grade in class the 1st week of November. I will be in contact with the relevent students and parents shortly.

YouTube/Facebook/Instagram

Please follow us on social media. Click the following links YouTube, Facebook, Instagram.

The Life Lessons Series

As many of you know I wrote 3 books during lockdown on various aspects of martial arts and its connection to mental health. These books were not written only for martial artists and would be of interest to anybody interested in mental health. I would also suggest parent would enjoy understanding more of the benefits their children will receive in studying the martial arts. All 3 books are available in paperback or e-book on Amazon. Click the link to read more.

Martial Arts & Mental Health:

How they help us heal and grow

Most people have a basic knowledge of Martial Arts, usually derived from their portrayal in the cinema.  Karate chops, flying kicks, funny noises, and wise old men.  Maybe they have seen the violence of a UFC or MMA event or Judo/karate/boxing tournament on television. Many believe that Black belts are special people (which we’re not, we just don’t quit) and have special powers (which we don’t) like ninjas in the movies.  Many laypeople see black Belts as Mr Miagyi types, the wise old man, or some sort of walking saint, never losing their calm, always in control.  Which is the goal every day.

True practitioners of the art of karate (and it is an art), recognise that, similarly to Yoga or Meditation, Karate is something that improves the quality of your life, and should be trained for the duration of your life.  It is this aspect of the art which I wish to talk about and explain how the proper teaching of karate or any martial art can be an effective tool in counselling and/or personal development.

With the number of knives and guns in society today, defending oneself by hand is becoming less and less practical as a means of survival, and very few people, want, or need to engage in fighting daily. Violence is an ugly thing, and unless you have a psychotic personality, you will not walk out of a violent altercation without suffering some psychological or emotional damage.  Avoidance is the best policy.  So why then, spend years training and learning to fight, especially if you plan to go years hopefully without every using it.  Stress management, mind control, self-confidence, self-discipline, mind-fullness, and relaxation are all other reasons for practising as well as the above mentioned, self-defence, fitness and as a sport.

The Japanese usually refer to people having 3 masks or faces. The first mask (public) is the one we show the world. The second mask (private) is the one we show to the people closest to us. And the third mask is who we are inside. This is our authentic self. Our true self. The one with all our strengthens and weaknesses, all our good points and bad, all our desires, loves and hates. When your authentic self, behaves in-line with your public and private masks then you will be at peace, you will be happy, and life should feel easy. However, if your authentic self is at odds with the mask you show, then life may feel like you are swimming upstream not with the flow.  Sometimes a person may not be aware that there is a disjoint between who they are and who they pretend to be. As Karl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”  Most people live their lives in an almost automatic mode, never looking internally and seeing what drives their behaviour, both good and bad.  Sometimes, even without any major trauma, people become aware of a feeling, maybe of not being happy, a feeling life is not going their way, or just an empty feeling inside.  This feeling, whatever its cause, can lead someone to counselling, or if they are lucky like I was, into the martial arts with a great instructor or Sensei.

In life we are born pure and unsoiled. As we grow and experience life, these experiences shape us, both the positive and negative experiences. They shape the person we become. Two individuals could grow up in the same house and experience the same events but process them in two completely different ways. That is what makes each of us unique. That is what makes YOU unique. Nobody in this entire universe can see the world the way YOU see the world. Nobody thinks the way YOU do. Nobody can affect the world the way YOU can.  This may be on a global scale or maybe on a much more personal scale, maybe you will not be a world leader or billionaire but instead it means being the best parent you can be, or the best friend, or the best at whatever hobby you have chosen.  Or simple the best version of you on this planet. And when I say the best version of You, I mean the happiest.

In his book Karate-do by Tatsuo Suzuki (1967), he states the true meaning of “Karate is basically a training to bring a person back to the natural state of mind he was born with, dispelling delusions”. Delusions such as doubt, fear, attachment, and anger,

“An example of this would be a baby does not have a complex of fear. A person who narrowly escapes being run over by a car will remain motionless, his limbs frozen by fear. But a baby would continue to move innocently because he has no fear complex.”

One emphasis of karate therefore is to develop and maintain a healthy mind. “That inborn, pure mind unsoiled by evil thought and impressions through the experiences of life.”  Life can wear you down. Proper traditional Karate training teaches a student life-skills and a code of conduct which benefits their life outside the dojo (Training Hall).

Delusions such as doubt, fear, attachment, and anger. can control our lives either consciously or unconsciously. Every decision we make in life either moves us towards or away from pain or pleasure. Accept that. Every decision. The conscious or the unconscious ones. As human beings we gravitate towards pleasurable experiences and doing everything in our power to avoid pain. Every choice you have made has been made to satisfy that goal. Every choice you are still making is doing the same thing.  Martial arts training allows us to become more aware of our decision-making process and control it better, just like counselling.

In a traditional Karate class, your every movement is controlled from start to finish. You are told how/when to stand, sit and move. Because everyone is doing the exact same thing simultaneously it allows students to be less self-conscious about their bodies.  A student with low self-confidence can train to act confidently for the duration of the class, while a student with a large ego can train humbly, meaning each student is training their mind for their own purposes. No matter where a person is on the spectrum and we are all somewhere on the spectrum between low self-confidence and too much confidence, training correctly allows us to train to improve ourselves.  Too shy we can practice being confident, too cocky we can practice being humble.

When Michelangelo revealed his famous statue “David”, people told him he had created a masterpiece. Michelangelo said that the statue was always there, and all he (Michelangelo) did was chip away the pieces of rock to reveal the beautiful masterpiece within the stone.  His genius was seeing the statue within the stone. This is the effect the techniques and training practices within Karate have on Your soul. In Karate we strive to strip away the attachments, the negative, the opinions, to reveal the beauty of the person inside. In Karate we train the same techniques thousands of times, up and down the floor, over and over and this training coupled with the correct mindset has the same effect of chipping away at out imperfections. Patience, self-discipline, mental focus, calmness, determination, concentration all these things can be trained while practising these moves. You may enjoy your martial arts training, but enjoyment should never be the sole motivation. Repeated practise can be boring by its essential repetitive nature. The very act of repeating the same thing over and over allows students to train internal aspects such as perseverance, discipline etc. It also develops these techniques into lethal techniques.

Martial Arts has a profound effect on the psychology of students.  In his book “Theory and practice of Counselling and Psychotherapy” (Corey 1996), Corey states that the two goals of Freudian psychotherapy

          “Are to make the unconscious conscious and to strength the ego so that behaviour is based more on reality and less on instinctual cravings.  Successful analysis is believed to result in significant modifications of the individual’s personality and character structure.”

What psychoanalysis tries to achieve through conscious reconstruction, discussion, interpretation and analysis, Martial Arts achieves in an unconscious process using physical and mental training drills, in order to (Corey 1996) “develop the level of understanding that is assumed to be necessary for a change in character”.  Basically, true Martial Arts works as a kind of psychoanalysis without the talking. 

Shoshaku Jushaku. 

Understanding this concept is the road to achieving a black belt or beyond.  Shoshaku Jushaku means one continuous practice, mistake upon mistake.  On the mats, as in life, people make mistakes.  How you deal with the mistakes of life determines how successful you on or off the mats.  And how successful your mental health is.

Shoshaku Jushaku implies recognising when you make a mistake, learning from it, and continuing to make new mistakes.  This is how winning is done and leads to a successful life.  Most people either refuse to acknowledge their mistakes or are too critical of themselves when they make mistake.  Shoshaku jushaku means to recognise your mistake, acknowledge it, learn from it, and try not to repeat it, however this mind set allows compassion towards ourselves.  We do not condemn ourselves but endeavour to be gentle on ourselves.  Because we know improvements in life cannot be made without mistakes.  In life there is no failure only feedback.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness means we become present in the moment, aware of one’s actions and environment.  Like many concepts in the martial arts this is extremely easy to say and much harder to put in practice.  Becoming mindful we begin to see the world as it is, not as we expect it to be or what we fear it might become.

As students, we aim to be mindful, in our training, at-all-times, and to extend that mindfulness to all areas of our everyday lives. It starts with being mindful of your breath, and then your posture, being mindful of your techniques and eventually your mind.  It takes continued practice to make this become second nature. Proper correct training leads to increased mindfulness, ideal for daily living and being aware of threats around us.  Good mindfulness can be used to decrease the risks of ever having to use your martial art skills for self-defence.  Being more mindful helps counteract the state that many people find themselves living in, being on a type of “automatic pilot.”  Being mindful also means to be without judgement.  Experiencing the moment for how it is.  The reality not the way we want it to be.

Bowing can be a way of practising mindfulness.  To bow is to bend. This requires flexibility, otherwise things might crack or break. When one bows as an act of the heart, this is humility. You are not bowing down before someone but before your own buddha nature, your own authentic self.   We are all capable of wisdom, kindness, patience etc to some degree and in one way bowing points back to one’s own buddha nature.

On entering the Dojo (training hall) you should bow.  This sets up a point of stopping, of recollection, “I am in this room, relating in this way, at this time.” You are taking a moment out of your life, a moment to space, a moment of mindfulness. 

When bowing to others, this requires a sensitivity and presence of mind, “I am Junior/Senior, what is this situation now, what is the time.”

Now I want to introduce you to three new terms, Zanshin, Shoshin and Mushin.

Zanshin in English is often translated as Awareness. A better translation would be Remaining Mind or Lingering Mind.  Zanshin is the accumulated information already processed by the brain, as well as the presence of your character and spirit within the current environment. It is not enough to be an observer in the world.  A warrior must always be a part of their world.  A warrior has a moral obligation to interact in the world.  To make that world better.

Warriors with Zanshin have an innate sense of their surroundings and the ability to reach out into the environment to capture information that others might find insignificant or irrelevant. The ever-present need for more information is why Zanshin appears to be most present at the end of a technique or Kata. The mind remains present and hungry. It searches for more information and perceives any changes as it occurs.

Zanshin is to fit exactly within one’s environment, ever present and in harmony. Perceiving threats before or after an attack, snatching that seemingly irrelevant piece of information that gives insight into relationships both business and personal, being aware of your own body and emotions and how it responds to the stimuli from the environment around you. Zanshin is an experiential experience. It must be felt not thought, lived not taught.

Zanshin is free of fear, worry, emotion and prejudice. Words may describe the experience but never fully convey the true experience. I know how a pear tastes to me, but we may disagree over our description of its taste.  The more we describe it, the further from the experience of tasting it we go.  Once experienced it may be recognised in others.  Training in martial arts especially those from a Japanese background, students begin to learn about Zanshin, and incorporate it into their lives.  They become more aware or mindful of their body, their surroundings, and their relationships.  This allows students to start living their lives in their immediate present.  This has huge health and therapeutic benefits.  Becoming more present means students learn to deal with the reality of the world that’s presented to them.  Depression is often associated with thought processes that are focused on the past, while anxiety is often with thought processes that are fixated in the future.  Having Zanshin means we train our brains to deal with the immediate world around us.  I am reminded of the following story.

You drop something into a hole in the ground. Too deep for your arm to reach it. It remains just out of reach. You ask people passing by for help. Those that try all claim the hole is too deep. This story teaches us to come back to ourselves. Ask 100 people and the majority of people, will say the hole is too deep. Very few, if any, will acknowledge that their arm is too short. As human beings it is easier to blame outside forces for the failings in our life, rather than admit our own hand in it. (pun intended).

Zen/Karate teaches us to come back to ourselves, to expand from the centre and return to the centre. To acknowledge our short comings. We are the centre of our universe we must take responsibility on and off the mats for the life around us. We teach people how to treat us, our own subconscious beliefs determine our worth, our levels of determination and perseverance determine whether we settle or make our dreams come true. So, breath, return to centre, accept responsibility and if you’re not happy with some aspect of your life, CHANGE IT… Placing the blame outside ourselves, is a victim’s mentality, and as warriors we choose not to be victims.

If the goal of the martial arts, beyond fighting, is in self-improvement and seeking perfection of oneself.  Then there is no better example of this concept in the martial arts then Shoshin, or beginner’s mind.  No matter how advanced a practitioner you may become, there is always more too perfect or master within the martial arts.  Perfection can never be achieved.  Staying humble enough to always see yourself as a student.  It is the attitude of Shoshin that allows much self-improvement.   Remember the old zen saying,

“In the Beginner’s Mind There Are Many Possibilities, In the Experts There Are Few”.

The goal of training is always to keep beginner’s mind. An empty mind is a ready mind, it is always ready for anything and is open to everything. No matter how advanced you may become one should always aim to maintain a beginner’s mind.

It is easier for an expert to defeat someone with a few years training then a novice beginner. The beginner is untrained or unconditioned, to a particular style of movement that the expert expects within their style so is unpredictable.  A good example of this is the follow story from Japan.

A judoka and a kendoka agreed to fight each other in their respective arts.  The judoka lost in the judo fight and the kendoka lost in the kendo fight.  The reason is because both forgot Shoshin.  Both expected the other to play within the rules of the game they knew.  The other not knowing the rules of engagement rushed in and either threw their opponent or hit him with the sword thus winning. 

In feudal japan, in Tokyo, a sword fencing school where having their students killed and could not understand why even high-ranking students were being killed with a simple sword thrust to the chest.  When the killer was found he explained that the school trained a technique repeatedly when the sword was drawn from the scabbard and raised above the head before delivering a downward cut.  Because it was a basic technique it had been trained thousands of times.  And students where conditioned to block the downward strike.  The Killer simple switched his sword in his hands, raising the scabbard high in the air, forcing the students conditioning to kick in.  The student blocked the downward scabbard strike, while the killer stabbed them in the heart from below.  A complete lack of Shoshin.  The students expected, a particular strike and responding accordingly. 

Martial Arts focuses your mind, giving it something to concentrate on, to allow our thoughts to settle and stress to melt away.  The purpose of training is to develop Zanshin (awareness) or mindfulness and later to develop Mushin (No Mind). 

Mushin

Mushin translates as No Mind.  It is a mental state into which trained martial artists are said to enter during combat. They also practice this mental state during everyday activities.  This is the focus of long-term martial arts practice, beyond the ability to protect oneself.

Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from thoughts of anger, fear, or ego during combat or everyday life. There is an absence of discursive thought and judgment, so the person is totally free to act and react towards an opponent without hesitation and without disturbance from such thoughts. At this point, a person relies not on what they think should be the next move, but what is their trained natural reaction (or instinct) or what is felt intuitively.  Years of correct training to make each technique natural and instinctive is required, as well as training of the mind.  It is not a state of relaxed, near-sleep, however. The mind could be said to be working at a high speed, but with no intention, plan, or direction.  Sensitivity and flow training combined with Zanshin practice in Kata helps train this mindset.

Mushin cannot be grasped by the intellect; it must be experienced. A Mushin mind has no Ego and no substance; it is pure Enlightenment and is the perfect realization of the self.  Bringing you back to your most authentic self.

This state of mind takes years and years of practice to achieve. Mushin is achieved when a person’s mind is free from anger, fear, judgment, or the ego during combat or everyday life.  It is something to practice every day.  It is a living thing, sometimes strong, sometimes weak, sometimes it feels easy to achieve and at others like the impossible.

Mushin implies a state of mental clarity, awareness and enhanced perception known as pure mind, produced by the absence of conscious thought, ideas, judgments, emotion (fear and anxiety), pre-conception, or self-consciousness. It is a state of total awareness and reaction not impeded by higher mental function or emotion, a mind more open and reactive to subtle sensory input, intuition, and spontaneous action. It is a mind that is totally calm — a mind not influenced or caught up in events or others emotion, thus a mind more able to freely perceive and respond.  The mind is not fixed on anything and is open to everything; a mind expanded through the whole body with total awareness of and focus on everything.  This relates back to any technique in karate, as the body tries to reflect the spirit.

Mushin is not about automatic reactions or lack of thought.  Mindfulness and Mushin may appear to be mutually contradictory.  Mindfulness in the context of martial arts refers to being present in the moment, aware of one’s actions and environment.  Mushin is the instinctive response within the environment that is correct at the time.

In conclusion

Hopefully by now you can see the benefit of the martial arts not just physically but also mentally.  And I have demonstrated that like Yoga or Meditation, the martial arts are something that adds to your life, for your whole life.  As an instructor, I feel, you have a duty of care towards your students.  To train them properly, however you teach, physically, mentally, or spiritually.  An instructor has the ability, to educate someone on how the live physically, changing their fitness, activity levels or diet.  Martial arts instructors are not trained counsellors or psychologists, but they do have the ability to instigate huge mental changes in their students.  To inspire them to be more than they were.  To show them a path worthy of following for the remainder of their lives.  We learnt that the aim of karate was dispelling delusions and attachments, such anger, fear, or doubt.  And we know that training martial arts is good for anger management and stress relief.  Resulting in a calmer, well balanced person with a clearer understanding of the reality of the world around them. We saw the mental benefits of the long-term study of martial arts.  Improved presence in the moment through being mindful, the heightened awareness that comes from Zanshin, the ability to stay young at heart and see the world as a beginner that comes from good Shoshin, and how a mind of Mushin can lead to more instinctive living, always choosing the correct response in every situation.  With the goal of being at one with yourself and your environment, always in the moment, living as your most authentic self in the best version of your live.  Martial arts training can have a huge impact on a student’s life, while the increased ability to defends ones-self increases self-confidence and the improved self-esteem that comes from being fitter and winning in a sporting environment. Through the practice of martial art, we can become fitter and stronger physically.  Healthier and happier mental.  With more control over ourselves and our interactions.  We learn to see the world clearer for what is, it rather than how we want it to be.  But we also become more self-disciplined and goal orientated, and more successful in our lifestyle choices.  We live more in the moment, being more aware and open to new opportunities and growth.  We handle stress better.  Are less controlled by our pasts and more adept at shaping our futures.  We face and overcome our insecurities or weaknesses all the time building on our strengths.  We become more dedicated, passionate, and humble with a never-give-up spirit.   We learn a philosophy and code of conduct that shapes our daily lives and the relationships around us.  We effect change in others by example or our interactions with them.  Thus, improving the world around us.  We become influencers and leaders and the type of person people look up to, admire and emulate.  All this for 2-3 hours practice a week.  And you thought the Martial Arts was simply kicking and punching and making funny noises.  I hope we meet on the mats someday,

Sensei Gareth Fitzgerald is a 6th Degree Black Belt in Wado Ryu Karate-Do.  He runs the full-time Elite Karate Academy in Dublin, Ireland.  His book, “Martial Arts & Mental Health: How they help us heal and grow” expands on the issues covered in this chapter and is part of a three-book series “Life Lessons” is available on Amazon. 

27th February 2020

Lesson 1

Dictionary says it means “soundness of character”. Character is the typs of person you are, good or bad, trustworthy or not, loyal or not.

Integrity is our last word of the week because it has to do with how well your using everything you learned about all the words of the week. If you have integrity you are someone who is courteous, respectful, honest, and humble etc.

We teach our students that “Actions speak louder thsn words”. You cant always tell what type of person someone is by what they say, but you can bt watching what they do. Someone without integrity will say one thing but do another/

Lesson 2

Having integrity means people will respect you and look up to you. But only you can make yourself a person of integrity. Its not what you do when everyone is watching, but what you do when no one is watching.

EELITE KARATE ACADEMY NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2020

Welcome to our New Year Newsletter for what will be a special year for our Academy which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

This email newsletter will hopefully keep you up to date with all you need to know about what’s going on in Elite Karate Academy over the coming months of 2020.  Please feel free to share this newsletter with family and friends, I hope you find it informative.  Feel free to comment on our Facebook page with comments and be sure to like our page while you’re there.  Or follow us in Instagram here.

News – Updates – Events At A Glance

  • Elite Karate Academy Expo on Sunday April 5th, 2-6pm, Clayton Hotel, Liffey Valley.  All students including beginners will be taking part on the day, with either/both gradings and demonstrations.  See below for more details.
  • Sparring Competition in March more details next month
  • St Patricks Day Parade.  Come walk with us.  Find out more below.
  • Raffle & Cake Bake Sale.  Can you donate a prize?  Bake something?
  • Academy 10th Birthday Party in September

Elite Karate Academy Expo

Our 10th Elite Karate Academy Expo will take place on Sunday 5th of April between 2pm-6pm, in the Clayton Hotel. Liffey Valley.  Doors open at 1.30pm. All students will be taking part, those not grading will be involved in demonstrations.  All students must wear their karate uniform.  The aim of the Expo, as always, is to allowing students demonstrate their skills and abilities to their family and friends, whilst educating parents about the aims and ethos of Elite Karate Academy, in a relaxed fun environment.  This event is open to anyone, so extended family and friends are welcome, this year’s Expo will include;

  • Grading (students will be informed closer to the date)
  • Club Sparring Competition (semi-finals and finals only)
  • Demonstrations (Instructor & Students)
  • Award Ceremony (Grading, Competition, and Special Awards, including Student of the Year)
  • Unveiling of Elite Karate Academy’s 1st Junior Black Belt?
  • Bake & Cake Sale. Why not bake something to bring on the day?
  • Raffle (asking parents to donate a price if they can, donations can be brought to the dojo)

Grading

For those few students who were unwell and missed their Christmas Grading or those that are eligible to Grade. The next grading will take place within class the week of 27th January 2020.

Finn Murphy, Amelia O’Reilly, Sean Power, Courtey Gorman, Niko Popardowski, Gloria & Adonai Vey, Marco Li, Eva Kelly, Aleksander Samatyja, Fares Okasha, Douglas & Zack Martin, Amberleigh Dowman, Oscar McNeive, Alberto Cimpoesu, Ronan Beech, Markas \Koskus.  If your child’s name is not and the list and you think they are eligible, please contact Sensei.

Sparring Competition

The early rounds of this non-contact 3 points-wins tournament will take places within your child’s normal classes and is completely voluntary.  With the semi-finals and finals taking place at this year’s Expo.  All students must have their own sparring gloves & boots,  which can be bought in the dojo, this is for your child’s safety. Only students who have graded Yellow belt or higher, may take part in this tournament.  All details will be given out in February

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Once again this year the Academy will be walking in this year’s Clondalkin Parade.  Students, families, and their friends are all invited to join us on the day.  So put it in your

Character Education Program

Once again, we are running our Word of the Week program in class.  Our specially designed word of the week program teaches 14 core values to your child in a 5 minute ‘mat chat’ within their normal class. Your child will grow as people not just stronger and fitter.  No other club offers this type of program.

Our 14 words are: Courtesy, Growth, Honesty, Obedience, Courage, Sincerity, Humility, Perseverance, Honour, Loyalty, Self-Control, Knowledge, Respect, Integrity.

Each week these lessons will be posted on our Facebook page or the full course can be viewed here in our blog section of our website.  I strongly urge parents to get involved with their child’s learning by reading these posts or discussing after each class what they learnt.

Website

Check out our blogs on our website.  Click the link to read about them

Dojo Kun Programme – Most club’s dojo rules consist of no shouting, no chewing gum etc. Our Dojo Kun program teaches your child 25 rules of life. These rules teach your child how to follow and make their dreams come true, through hard work, passion, and dedication.

Elite Mental Training – This program teaches students the mental strategy of fighting, topics introduced can be used in all areas of life, reducing stress, and increasing mental wellbeing. Read some lessons covered in our blog section below.

Anti-Bullying Programme – We teach your child how to deal with bullying in a non-aggressive way without having to resort to violence. A great program for boosting confidence and self-belief. 

Online Self-Defence Course – Information on realistic self-defence, mentally, tactically, psychologically.

Newer material will be shared weekly on our Facebook page, much will be of interest even to those who don’t train.

Coming later in the Year

Other events coming up this year after the Expo, will be our 10th anniversary Summer Birthday Party in September.

Testimonials Request

That so many of you praise our Academy is huge source of pride to me.  Please write a review/testimonial here.  They will then be added to our website.  Student / parents or both may write a review and you may write a new one if you wrote one before.

Zen Tip

Thoughts Are Not Facts

You are walking down the road. When you see your friend on the other side. Unable to cross the road, you wave and call their name. Your friend continues to walk on. How do you react? Many people have different reactions when told this story. Some accept that their friend simple did not see them and thus continue their day. And if they remember they may mention to their friend that they saw them, the next time they speak. Other people feel slighted and ignored. Wondering what they did to their friend to deserve being ignored.

Convinced their friend is not talking to them. They race off upset, determined to phone their friend and find out what they did. Thoughts are not facts. That you think something does not make it true or real. Put emotions, feeling, rationale, and assigning motivations to people without the full facts, makes you react to situations that are not happening. Recognize that thoughts are not facts and learn to respond rather than react for a calmer heathier life

Christmas Newsletter

Welcome to our Christmas Newsletter.  Just a few brief notes on up-coming events between now and Christmas and into next year.

Firstly, I wish to thank you for your support and loyalty in choosing Elite Karate Academy.  Our Academy has grown so much this year, with a new Adults intermediate class starting and a return of our adult’s fitness boot camp on the timetable and once again the standard has risen across the board. 

Christmas Holidays

Elite Karate Academy will close for Christmas holidays after classes on Friday the 20th of December and reopen with classes as normal on Monday the 6th of January 2020. Paid for classes will roll over into the New Year.  May I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Christmas Grading

The final grading of the year for those eligible to grade will take place within normal classes on Monday – Wednesday 16th-18th of December.  Gradings cost €25 for under 18’s and €30 for 18+ and must be accompanied by an up-to-date Grading Passport.  Relevant fee must be enclosed within the passport and must be presented at the same time on/before Friday 13th December 2019.  Failure to pay fee or produce grading passport by this date will mean students will not be eligible to grade.  Payments cannot be made by card.

If you need to buy/replace a grading passport it costs €10 and must be accompanied 2 passport photos, with the student’s name and a contact number on the back of one photo.  Any student who does not have a grading passport can purchase one whenever they wish prior to them grading.

If you wish to renew an out-of-date passport it costs €10 and must be presented with the out-of-date passport.  Check the back page of your Grading Passport for its expiry date.

Those eligible to grade at Christmas are listed at the bottom of this newsletter.

If you are not sure whether you or your child is eligible to grade, please email me or speak to me in class.

2nd Dan Grading

Our Assistant Instructor Eric will be grading for his 2nd Dan on Friday 13th December at 8.30pm. Students and Parents are welcome to attend this grading.  Doors close 8.20pm

Elite Karate Academy 10th Anniversary Expo

Our Elite Karate Academy Expo will take place once again on a Sunday in April next year. The date will be confirmed in the New Year. This year’s Expo is an important one as it celebrates the 10th anniversary of our Academy and my 30th anniversary of teaching. The aim of the Expo, as always, is to allowing students demonstrate their skills and abilities to their family and friends, whilst educating parents about the aims and ethos of Elite Karate Academy, in a relaxed fun environment.  This event is open to anyone, so extended family and friends are welcome, and I can assure you this year’s will be the best.  More details in January.

This year’s Expo will include;

  • Grading
  • Club Sparring Competition (See below)
  • Demonstrations (Instructor & Students)
  • Award Ceremony (Grading, Competition, and Special Awards, including Student of the Year)
  • Possible unveiling of our 1st Junior Black Belt
  • Bake & Cake Sale
  • Raffle

Sparring Competition Special Offer

We will be giving full details for the competition in February but any student taking part will need gloves and boots in order to take part and be graded above yellow belt.  With that in mind I’m offering a special Pre-Christmas Special Offer, get a pair of child gloves and boots and a pair of focus mitts to use at home or in the Academy. Only €60, save €15.

Individual Prices For Christmas Gifts: 

Children’s Gloves €20,

Children’s Boots €25,

Karate Suits €25/€30,

Focus Mitts

Children’s €30

adult’s €40   

Black Friday Special Offer

Sign up for our Children or Adult 3-month memberships (new students only) and get 10% off and a free karate suit. Sign up before the offer ends on 20th December 2019 and start your training in January 2020. 

Cardio Combat Fitness Boot Camp

Unleash your inner warrior. A HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) boot camp featuring martial arts pad work, core and circuits training. If fitness is a battleground, welcome to the front line. Ideal for beginners, as every participant pushes themselves as hard as they want. You don’t have to be a champion to train like one. Ideal for weight loss or general fitness, watch your confidence grow as you get fitter, push yourself regardless of fitness level and watch the calories burn off. New Class Monday 7-8pm €10 per class.  Special Offer coming in January.  Want to try a free class???

St Patrick’s Day Parade

The Academy will be walking in next year’s Clondalkin Parade.  Hopefully you and your family will join us.

Character Education Program

Once again, we start our Word of the Week​ program in class.  Our specially designed word of the week program teaches 14 core values to your child in a 5 minute ‘mat chat’ within their normal class. Your child will grow as people not just stronger and fitter.  No other club offers this type of program.

Our 14 words are: Courtesy, Growth, Honesty, Obedience, Courage, Sincerity, Humility, Perseverance, Honour, Loyalty, Self-Control, Knowledge, Respect, Integrity.

Each week these lessons will be posted on our Facebook page or the full course can be viewed here​ in our blog section of our website.  I strongly urge parents to get involved with their child’s learning by reading these posts or discussing after each class what they learnt.

Website

We have other unique programmes available on our website​.  Click the link to read them

Dojo Kun Programme​ – Most club’s dojo rules consist of no shouting, no chewing gum etc. Our Dojo Kun program teaches your child 25 rules of life. These rules teach your child how to follow and make their dreams come true, through hard work, passion, and dedication.

Elite Mental Training​ – This program teaches students the mental strategy of fighting, topics introduced can be used in all areas of life, reducing stress, and increasing mental wellbeing. Read some lessons covered in our blog section below, we are currently running this in intermediate and senior classes.

Anti-Bullying Programme​ – We teach your child how to deal with bullying in a non-aggressive way without having to resort to violence. A great program for boosting confidence and self-belief.  This starts in September.

Online Self Defence Course​ – Lots of information on how to avoid trouble, threat management, fight psychology and tactical training.

Go to www.EliteKarateAcademy.com

Click on the student zone/blog tab.

Click on “word of the week” or “elite mental training” (this directory may be at the bottom of the page if using mobile phones) 

Newer material will be shared weekly on our Facebook page, much will be of interest even to those who don’t train. 

Follow us on Facebook or Instagram

https://www.facebook.com/ClondalkinsEliteAcademy/

https://www.instagram.com/elitekarateacademydublin/

Testimonials Request

That so many of you praise our Academy is huge source of pride to me.  Please write a review/testimonial here​.  They will then be added to our website.  Student / parents or both may write a review and you may write a new one if you wrote one before.

Referral Competition

In January we will be starting out referral competition and I will give details of how to enter and prizes.

Those Eligible For Christmas Grading

Daniils R, Aidan W, Eoghan R, Angel F, David A, Daniel A, Vanessa L, Millie D, Anagha P, Claudia S, Finn M, Charlie M, Sean P, Mia Mc, Daria C, Sean K, Miya D, Justin L, Sebastian L, Markas K, Ferdia O, Miriam K, Peter K, Yanina G, Ben P, Mark M, Cian U, Derek M, Amelia R, William N,, Marcus O, Eva K, Marco L, Rian O, Chloe O, Sean O, Amber O, Lia O, Karlene O’C, Dylan C, Darragh G, Darragh L, Oscar M, Marcas M, Eric De, James W, Kai K, Liam W, Calibe D, Paula C, Indre C, Ignas C, Niko P, Leo L, Niall L, Adonai V, Gloria V, Fares O, David P, Konstantin G, Courtneu G, Drake F, Lukas O, Markian P. Millie C, AJ E, Charlie W, Aleksander S, Marco L, Evan H, Ryan H, Amberleigh D, Evan G, Ben P, Kayla Mc, Alberto C, Lucy M, Declan B. 

Merry Christmas

Sensei

ELITE KARATE ACADEMY NEWSLETTER MARCH 2019

Elite Karate Academy Expo

Our 8th Elite Karate Academy Expo will take place on Sunday 14th of April between 2pm-6pm, in the Clayton Hotel. Liffey Valley.  Doors open at 1.30pm. All students will be taking part, those not grading will be involved in demonstrations.  All students must wear their karate uniform.  The aim of the Expo, as always, is to allowing students demonstrate their skills and abilities to their family and friends, whilst educating parents about the aims and ethos of Elite Karate Academy, in a relaxed fun environment.  This event is open to anyone, so extended family and friends are welcome, this year’s Expo will include;

  • Grading (students eligible to grade below)
  • Club Sparring Competition (semi-finals and finals only, entries closed)
  • Demonstrations (Instructor & Students)
  • Award Ceremony (Grading, Competition, and Special Awards, including Student of the Year)
  • Unveiling of Elite Karate Academy’s newest Senior Black Belt
  • Bake & Cake Sale. Why not bake something to bring on the day?
  • Raffle (asking parents to donate a price if they can, donations can be brought to the dojo)

Grading

Those eligible to grade must pay their grading fee (€25 for below 18 and €30 for over 18) before 31st of March to insure they receive their certificate at the Expo.  Students names are listed below if eligible to grade.  Students may only grade at the expo.   Students may only grade if they are eligible and hold a current up to date grading licence, which must be presented with their grading fee.  If passport is out of date the yearly fee is €10 to renew.

If you need to get a new passport the fee must be accompanied by two passport photos.

Tickets

Tickets are now on sale for the Expo.   Buy them before 12th April to avail of the cheaper rate. Grandparents, family or friend’s tickets can all be bought before the day.  Presold tickets simply check in on the day.

Tickets cost:                                                    Before 12th April         On Door

Adult Ticket                                        €8                                €12

Child Ticket*                                      €5                                €8

*Current students only or under 5’s do not need to purchase tickets.

Family Ticket (2 adults & 2 children)            €20                              €30

 

Bake sale and raffle

Once again, we will have a bake sale in aid of Barretstown and a raffle.  Parents/students are encouraged to bake or bring something for the day.  We need your help in getting prizes for our raffle!!!  Give a prize or a voucher from your work.  Please bring your donations on the day or as soon as possible to the dojo.

 

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Once again this year the Academy will be walking in this year’s Clondalkin Parade.  Students, families, and their friends are all invited to join us on the day.  Assemble point is 1.30pm in the car park of Clondalkin Sports and Leisure, Old Nangor Rd on (obviously) 17th March 2018.  If the weather is poor, please wear normal clothes under your karate uniform.

Character Education Program

Once again, we start our Word of the Week program in class.  Our specially designed word of the week program teaches 14 core values to your child in a 5 minute ‘mat chat’ within their normal class. Your child will grow as people not just stronger and fitter.  No other club offers this type of program.

Our 14 words are: Courtesy, Growth, Honesty, Obedience, Courage, Sincerity, Humility, Perseverance, Honour, Loyalty, Self-Control, Knowledge, Respect, Integrity.

Each week these lessons will be posted on our Facebook page or the full course can be viewed here in our blog section of our website.  I strongly urge parents to get involved with their child’s learning by reading these posts or discussing after each class what they learnt.

Website

Check out our Student Zone /blogs on our website.  Click here to read about them

Dojo Kun Programme – Most club’s dojo rules consist of no shouting, no chewing gum etc. Our Dojo Kun program teaches your child 25 rules of life. These rules teach your child how to follow and make their dreams come true, through hard work, passion, and dedication.

Elite Mental Training – This program teaches students the mental strategy of fighting, topics introduced can be used in all areas of life, reducing stress, and increasing mental wellbeing. Read some lessons covered in our Student Zone /blogs section below.

Anti-Bullying Programme – We teach your child how to deal with bullying in a non-aggressive way without having to resort to violence. A great program for boosting confidence and self-belief.  This starts in September.

Newer material will be shared weekly on our Facebook page, much will be of interest even to those who don’t train.

Coming later in the Year

Other events coming up this year after the Expo, will be our Elite Karate Academy Summer Camps

Testimonials Request

That so many of you praise our Academy is huge source of pride to me.  Please write a review/testimonial on our Academy Facebook page.  They will then be added to our website.  Student / parents or both may write a review and you may write a new one if you wrote one before.

Students eligible to grade.  If your child is not on the list and you think they may be eligible to grade please talk to Sensei

For Yellow Tip

Adonai Vey, Aubree Marshall, Cian Union, Conor Magee, Gloria Vey, Joaquin Pitt, Justin Luca, Leo Li, Miya Dong, Niall Li, Paula Cretu, Sean Kearns, Sebastian Luca, Zoe li

For Yellow Belt

Karlene O’Carroll

For Orange Belt

Alex O’Neill, Bobby Sneyd, Calibe Devereux, Chloe Lynch, Derek Mulligan, Eric De Luca, Gabriel Bernardez, Kai Keegan, Louise Foley, Zoe Sneyd

For Green Belt

Aoife Richards, Callum Mooney, Chloe O’Dowd, Darragh Grikss, Darya Grikss, Eva Kelly, Marco Li, Markas Koskus, Niamh Kelly, Rian O’Dowd

For Blue Belt

Alex Reilly, Miriam Kimani, Peter Kimani, Ben Pitt, Henry O’Brien

For Purple Belt

Dylan Carolan, Oscar Mungai,

For Brown Belt 3rd Kyu

Lucy Fairweather. Matthew Kavanagh

For Brown 1st Kyu

Sean Smith

 

 

ELITE KARATE ACADEMY NEWSLETTER JANUARY 2019

Welcome to our January Newsletter.

This email newsletter will hopefully keep you up to date with all you need to know about what’s going on in Elite Karate Academy over the coming months of 2019.  Please feel free to share this newsletter with family and friends, I hope you find it informative.  Feel free to comment on our Facebook page with comments and be sure to like our page while you’re there.

News – Updates – Events At A Glance

v  Congratulations to all those students who graded before Xmas.  Click the following link to view the child’s syllabus or adult’s syllabus, to view what you need for your next grade.

v  Elite Karate Academy Expo on April 14th, 2-6pm, Clayton Hotel, Liffey Valley.  All students including beginners will be taking part on the day, with either/both gradings and demonstrations.  See below for more details.

v  Sparring Competition in March

v  St Patricks Day Parade.  Come walk with us.  Find out more below.

v  Raffle & Cake Bake Sale.  Can you donate something?

v  Elite Karate Academy Summer Camp

Sparring Competition

The early rounds of this non-contact 3 points-wins tournament will take places within your child’s normal classes and is completely voluntary.  With the semi-finals and finals taking place at this year’s Expo.  All student’s must have their own sparring gloves & boots, , this is for your child’s safety. Only students who have graded may take part in this tournament.  Follow the link for a special offer on getting safety equipment.

Entry costs €10 per student and must be registered before 9pm on Friday 1st March 2019.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Once again this year the Academy will be walking in this year’s Clondalkin Parade.  Students, families, and their friends are all invited to join us on the day.  Assemble point is 1.30pm in the car park of Clondalkin Sports and Leisure, Old Nangor Rd on (obviously) 17th March 2018.  If the weather is poor, please wear normal clothes under your karate uniform.

Elite Karate Academy Expo

Our 8th Elite Karate Academy Expo will take place on Sunday 14th of April between 2pm-6pm, in the Clayton Hotel. Liffey Valley.  Doors open at 1.30pm.available.  All students will be taking part, those not grading will be involved in demonstrations.  All students must wear their karate uniform.  The aim of the Expo, as always, is to allowing students demonstrate their skills and abilities to their family and friends, whilst educating parents about the aims and ethos of Elite Karate Academy, in a relaxed fun environment.  This event is open to anyone, so extended family and friends are welcome, this year’s Expo will include;

·         Grading

·         Club Sparring Competition (semi-finals and finals only, entries close Friday 1st March 2019)

·         Demonstrations (Instructor & Students)

·         Award Ceremony (Grading, Competition, and Special Awards, including Student of the Year)

·         Unveiling of Elite Karate Academy’s newest Senior Black Belt

·         Bake & Cake Sale. Why not bake something to bring on the day?

·         Raffle (asking parents to donate a price if they can)

Grading

Those eligible to grade must pay their grading fee before 31st of March to insure they receive their certificate at the Expo.  Students may only grade at the expo.   Students may only grade if they are eligible and hold a current up to date grading licence, which must be presented with the usual fee of €10 before 31st of March.

Tickets

Tickets will be on sale in March.

Bake sale and raffle

Once again, we will have a bake sale in aid of Barretstown and a raffle.  Parents/students are encouraged to bake or bring something for the day.  We need your help in getting prizes for our raffle!!!  Give a prize or a voucher from your work.  Please donate your price before 12th of April, if possible.

Character Education Program

Once again, we start our Word of the Week program in class.  Our specially designed word of the week program teaches 14 core values to your child in a 5 minute ‘mat chat’ within their normal class. Your child will grow as people not just stronger and fitter.  No other club offers this type of program.

Our 14 words are: Courtesy, Growth, Honesty, Obedience, Courage, Sincerity, Humility, Perseverance, Honour, Loyalty, Self-Control, Knowledge, Respect, Integrity.

Each week these lessons will be posted on our Facebook page or the full course can be viewed here in our blog section of our website.  I strongly urge parents to get involved with their child’s learning by reading these posts or discussing after each class what they learnt.

Website

Check out our blogs on our website.  Click here to read about them

Dojo Kun Programme – Most club’s dojo rules consist of no shouting, no chewing gum etc. Our Dojo Kun program teaches your child 25 rules of life. These rules teach your child how to follow and make their dreams come true, through hard work, passion, and dedication.

Elite Mental Training – This program teaches students the mental strategy of fighting, topics introduced can be used in all areas of life, reducing stress, and increasing mental wellbeing. Read some lessons covered in our blog section below.

Anti-Bullying Programme – We teach your child how to deal with bullying in a non-aggressive way without having to resort to violence. A great program for boosting confidence and self-belief.  This starts in September.

Newer material will be shared weekly on our Facebook page, much will be of interest even to those who don’t train.

Coming later in the Year

Other events coming up this year after the Expo, will be our Karate Summer Camps

Testimonials Request

That so many of you praise our Academy is huge source of pride to me.  Please write a review/testimonial here.  They will then be added to our website.  Student / parents or both may write a review and you may write a new one if you wrote one before.

Zen Tip

Our own worst enemy cannot harm us as much as our unwise thoughts.  No one can help us as much as our own compassionate thoughts.

Fitness Tip

Myth Buster – Cardio is the best method for fat loss.

Not only does strength training or our Cardio Combat add more definition to your entire body (hello, abs!), but it has a ton of other health benefits too. My favorite: It increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which means you’ll burn more calories throughout the day—even when you’re not working out. The result is more lean muscle mass and less body fat, and that’s something you can’t get that with just cardio.

And because I like lists, here’s one full of other health benefits you get from strength training:

·         Increased bone density

·         Better balance, coordination, agility, power, and mobility

·         An ability to do everyday activities without worrying about getting hurt

·         Fewer symptoms associated with arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, heart disease, obesity, and back pain

·         Improved sleep patterns, mood, and stress levels

As you can see, strength training does more than make you look—and feel—confident . And the benefits only multiply as we get older. As we age, our bodies are at an increased risk of sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and osteoporosis (decrease in bone density). A regular training plan can help to combat those losses. Luckily, women are starting to make their way into the weight room—so now it’s your turn.


Coming up to Christmas now is the perfect time to be thinking about getting some new equipment for those dedicated students in your life.  I should have new uniforms in stock very soon.  Below is the list of equipment students should have in order of importance.  All items can be purchased from our website and then collected in the dojo.  I can arrange collection outside of your class times.

Karate Gi

Junior €25

Senior & Junior Black Belt Club €30

T-Shirts

Child €10

Adult €12

Black T-shirt medium size Only €12

Gloves

Junior €20

Senior €25

MMA €40

Boots

Junior €25

Senior €30

Junior Kicking Paddle €30

Focus Mitts €40

From 2019 all students wishing to spar must have gloves and boot protectors.

Place your orders early for Christmas

Sensei