Latest news

Press release: Three national medals for Nailsea & Backwell

8 December

Backwell Karate team kata medallists, November 2013 Precision kata and gutsy punching saw Nailsea & Backwell Karate clubs take home three medals from the JKS Open National Karate championship on Sunday 24th November.

The competition, held at Nottingham's Wildcat Arena, drew some of the biggest and best clubs from across the UK and Ireland. With over 800 individual entries and 100 team entries, the event ran for 11 hours solid. As a growing club, with a growing reputation, Sunday's championship was a massive test for Nailsea & Backwell Karate clubs.

Brown belt, Nicole Tanner took home a brace of medals in the below black belt senior events. With a sharp Tekki Shodan kata earning her the silver behind Joe Bulmer of Leeds, Tanner then went on to take bronze in a final fight that went to overtime, with the win coming from a quick body punch against her Sheffield competitor.

Backwell Karate's elite senior kata team (Devon Troskie, Steven Connell and Tim Griffiths) added another bronze to the medal tally, beating teams with exceptional reputations along the way to qualifying for the final. The Gold went to a team representing the TSKUK association (made up of 26 clubs in the South-East of England) whose final kata was delivered with exceptional precision and impeccable timing. But a solid performance of kata Ji'in gave Backwell the edge and saw the trio take third place.

Nicole, seen here picking up bronze in the brown belt senior female kumite, November 2013 At the end of the day, Tim Griffiths, Chief Instructor of the clubs said: "To take away any medal from a competition of this size is a phenomenal achievement, but to take away three was fantastic! There were so many good performances from the whole team and the team spirit from all those that travelled was fantastic.

"In particular, Nicole Tanner performed really well. Having just moved up to the Seniors this year it's a great achievement. Off the back of today's performance we're now looking forward to seeing her knuckle down and develop her skills so she's taking medals in the black belt categories in the future. She's definitely shown the potential."

Press release: National coach visits Nailsea & Backwell

16 November

Sensei Price demonstrates a kick, November 2013 Karate practitioners from across the South West were treated to a morning of instruction from the world renowned coach, Sensei Matt Price, this weekend.

Sensei Price, who coached the JKS England team at the World Championships in Japan earlier this year, taught students from orange belt to black belt the skills that he coaches his elite team and own club. With techniques ranging from strikes, chokes, throws and scorpion kicks, those attending were treated to a master class which left the class buzzing by the end.

Sensei Price was the second senior instructor to visit the Nailsea and Backwell clubs this year, following on from Sensei Andy Sherry, 9th Dan, in July. This was the latest in a series of guest visits to help build the clubs into a centre of excellence for Karate in the region, and with the club winning another national bronze in September adding to the Southern Region Championship earlier this year, it seems to be working.

Says Sensei Matt Price: "The club is a very good standard and it is a pleasure to see the progress everyone has made since my visit in December last year. The improvements are only achievable through good, honest time in the dojo with the correct instruction."

Press release: Nailsea & Backwell impress at Memorial competition

10 November

Competitor at the Bill Winfield Memorial competition, November 2013 Nailsea & Backwell Karate club juniors put in a sterling performance at the weekend's Bill Winfield Memorial competition in Bristol.

Under 16s from the clubs took 7 out of 9 trophies on offer at the competition, which saw youngsters from across Bristol and Bath compete in both kata (forms) and kumite (sparring) categories.

Dylan Mateer was awarded best overall competitor, after winning his kata category against 2nd place Dayne Troskie (also from Backwell) and coming 2nd in his kumite event, while Sam Henley pipped club mate Ben Lee to first place in another all Backwell kata final before Charlie Carter picked up another first place for the club in above 6th kyu kumite. Competitor at the Bill Winfield Memorial competition, November 2013

Club instructor Tim Griffiths was proud of the performance by the Nailsea & Backwell members: "Everyone at the club put in a phenomenal effort! All of the club's instructors were impressed by all the performances – from those that built up the courage to compete for the first time through to the trophy winners – there was a great attitude by all. All the parents and senior club members help make the club what it is by being so supportive and so the atmosphere at the club is fantastic at the moment. Well done to everyone and thanks to all those that put in the time and effort to keep us moving onwards and upwards!"

Grading success!

10 November

Coloured belt grading in Bristol, November 2013 Congratulations to the 21 Nailsea & Backwell Karate students that passed their grading in Bristol on Sunday 10th November.

Our final coloured belt grading of the year took place in Oldland Common, Bristol, hosted by the Bath Shotokan Karate Club. Before the grading, Sensei Bob Poynton took a two hour class for members of the clubs in attendance.

The Nailsea & Backwell Karate instructors would like to offer our congratulations to all those that passed their gradings, and a special mention to Lainey, Yannis, Dayne and Arabella for skipping from white belt straight to red belt.

Sensei Matt Price to teach Nailsea & Backwell Karate students

26 September

Sensei Matt Price, 6th Dan, to teach in Nailsea once again in November. We're pleased to announce that Sensei Matt Price will once again be joining Nailsea Karate & Backwell Karate for a special course on Saturday 16th November.

Sensei Price is a former ESKA European Kumite Champion, KUGB Grand Champion and WSKA World Team Champion. He is now the JKS England national squad coach, having recently returned from Japan where he coached at the JKS World Championships. Sensei Price passed his 6th Dan this year in Japan.

Training times are as follows:
10-11.30am: all grades
12-1.30pm: dan grades only

The course will take place at Scotch Horn Leisure Centre (the auditorium) in Nailsea. It's £10 per class if booked in advance, and £12 on door if there are any spaces remaining on the day.

The only way to guarantee your place is to book and pay for your place in advance. Bookings can be made at Nailsea & Backwell Karate classes or by sending confirmation of the class you're booking and your training fee to Backwell Karate, c/o 71 Bryants Hill, Bristol, BS5 8QZ. Cheques should be made payable to 'Backwell Karate'.

PRESS RELEASE: National medal for Nailsea & Backwell

17 September

Shotokan Cup kata medallist, Tim Griffiths Nailsea Karate & Backwell Karate's Tim Griffiths picked up a national medal this weekend in the Karate Union of Great Britain's 38th Shotokan Cup tournament.

Griffiths competed in the Male Senior Kata event, which saw competitors from across the UK and Ireland perform advanced katas, judged by a panel of referees and judges, in the hope of winning the prestigious Shotokan Cup trophy.

After a close elimination round and semi-final, the evening's final was contested by the same four competitors as the 2012 event.

Tim Griffiths, who teaches Karate in Nailsea & Backwell, said, "To get through to the final of a national event two years in a row is something I'm really proud to achieve. But this year's event was so tight that I can't help feeling that with another push over the next few months we can bring back a national medal of another colour to the club over the coming months and years.

"As well as our normal lessons week-in-week out, the plans for the clubs are to continue to bring in some of the best competitors and coaches for special seminars to help everyone improve both their traditional and competitive Karate. Having picked up golds at the Southern regions earlier this year, we’ll be pushing for improvement in all areas over the coming months. And with such great attitudes from everyone at both of the clubs I know we’ll keep moving forward."

Friday 20th September training moves to Nailsea

17 September

This coming Friday, 20th September, the Parish Hall will be unavailable so training is moving to Nailsea School Auditorium.

Please use the School's Community Entrance and follow the signs. For those of you that train at Nailsea School for the Nailsea Karate classes, the Auditorium is the hall we use that's furthest from the entrance.

Our training times will be the same as usual. 5.50-6.30pm for Bushido Warriors, 6.30-7.30pm for below brown belts (including beginners) and 7.30-8.30pm for brown and black belts. The full address is Nailsea School, Mizzymead Road, Nailsea, BS48 2HN.

Coloured belt grading and Bill Winfield Memorial competition

17 September

The final coloured belt grading of the year is scheduled for Sunday 10th November at Sir Bernard Lovell School, North Street, Oldland Common, Bristol, BS30 8TS. There will be no training in Backwell that morning. Training will take place from 12-1.30pm and will be followed by the grading soon after. After the grading the Annual Bill Winfield Memorial Children's Competition will taking place. We would encourage all under 16s to take part, which gives a great introduction to competing in a friendly, safe environment.

Those training or grading will need an up-to-date KUGB licence which needs to be brought in your red KUGB grading record book on the day. If you're not sure whether you'll be eligible to grade, please speak to one of the club instructors at training.

Press Release: British Karate pioneer visits Backwell

21 July

British Karate’s foremost Shotokan Karate pioneer, Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan, KUGB) was the guest of honour at Backwell Karate's Parish Hall dojo this weekend.

Sensei Andy Sherry visits Backwell Karate Sensei Sherry, who recently celebrated his 70th birthday, was the first person in the UK to be awarded a black belt in Shotokan Karate and was the first ever all-styles European Champion in 1968.

The Karate Union of Great Britain's chief instructor taught a special course for 40 karate practitioners from the Nailsea and Backwell Karate clubs, as well as visitors from Bristol and Bath. After a class dedicated to coloured belt students, club members took a belt exam, with 22 out of 22 students from the club passing, including the club's youngest ever orange belt, 6 year old Holly, who recently graduated the club's Bushido Warriors children's Karate course.

A separate black belt class followed, with 14 students from 1st to 5th dan benefiting from the expert knowledge of Sensei Sherry.

Backwell Karate are currently riding high, having won the team title at last month's KUGB Southern Region Championships and a visit from the national chief instructor and squad coach has delighted the club's students even more.

Club instructor and national squad member Tim Griffiths was thrilled by the visit: "Everyone in British Karate knows who Sensei Sherry is, so to have such a special guest agree to come down to North Somerset is a real honour for us. I was so pleased to hear our chief instructor be so positive about the overall standard and even point out a few students to really keep an eye on in the future.

"Continuing to offer opportunities to train with the very best Karate exponents is part of our continuing strategy to lift the club to be seen as one of the top traditional Shotokan clubs in the country. Having won the Southern Region Championships last month and then having such a high profile visitor this month, we're certainly heading in the right direction."

Both Nailsea Karate and Backwell Karate stay open throughout the school holidays and are currently accepting new members.

Press Release: Youngsters demonstrate Warrior spirit

30 June

A dozen North Somerset youngsters were beaming with pride after they received certificates for completing a special two month Karate training programme.

Bushido Warriors - our youngest martial artists receive their certificates Five, six and seven year olds from Backwell through to Clevedon completed the Backwell Karate Bushido Warriors course, which put the little Warriors through 8 weeks of Karate training in a programme especially designed for their age.

Friday night saw the culmination of this training, as the children demonstrated to parents and relatives everything they'd learned throughout the programme, from bowing to basic kicks, punches, stances right through to partner work in an end of course test.

Backwell Karate run the course as part of their support of the national Change For Life campaign, an NHS initiative to encourage people to eat well and move more. The club has been a Local Supporter of Change for Life for over two years, with the scheme recommending children from age 5 are active for at least 60 minutes every day.

Club instructor, Tim Griffiths said, "it's great to see our Junior Warriors exercising with us week-in, week-out and learning a new skill at the same time, as part of our specialist children's Karate course. Bushido Warriors introduces kids to fun but disciplined exercise which builds confidence, helps develop attention and gets them moving and I’m really proud of how they’ve all done.”

The club's next Bushido Warriors course begins on Friday 6th September, and spaces are strictly limited. As soon as places are full we operate a waiting list for future courses. For more information about the Bushido Warriors programme, visit our dedicated page.

Nailsea & Backwell take Southern Karate Championship

16 June

Backwell Karate's medallists at the 2013 KUGB SOuthern Region Championships

Nailsea & Backwell Karate clubs hit new heights this weekend at the Karate Union of Great Britain Southern Region Championships, taking three regional titles including the blue riband event, Team Kumite (free sparring).

The gold for the prestigious team event, where clubs from across the south of England put their best fighters into teams of three plus a reserve, was won in a gripping final against the 2011 and 2012 champions, Egham Karate Club. Tim Griffiths, Devon Troskie and Dan Henley lined up for Nailsea & Backwell, but after three tight matches the scores were tied at one fight each and a draw. The fight went to one more deciding match, which was won on judges' decision by Backwell karateka Devon Troskie after dominating throughout an intense final bout.

Steven Connell picks up gold As well as the team event, Backwell competitors Tim Griffiths and Devon Troskie took Gold and Silver, respectively, in an all-Backwell Senior Male Kumite final, which was won by Griffiths in overtime with a spinning back kick to the stomach.

In all, the clubs came away with an impressive 11 medal haul from the championship, which took place in Reading. After moving up into the 16-17 age category Steven Connell picked up his 2nd straight Southern title with a confident performance in the final. There were also impressive performances in Kumite by Nicole Tanner, Ayla Moore and Fergus Puddy and in Kata by Sam Henley, who each picked up medals in their respective events.

We're really delighted at how well each and every one of you performed on the day. All those that represented the club did us proud, with so many great performances! Here is our full list of results: One of our younger fighters keeps an eye on his opponent

Male Team Kumite 1st: Tim Griffiths, Devon Troskie, Dan Henley, Steven Connell
Male Senior Kumite 1st: Tim Griffiths
Male Junior Kumite (16-17) 1st: Steven Connell
Senior Team Kata 2nd: Tim Griffiths, Devon Troskie, Steven Connell
Male Senior Kumite 2nd: Devon Troskie
Male Senior Kata 2nd: Tim Griffiths
Girls' Kumite over 5'3" 2nd: Nicole Tanner
Female Kyu grade Kumite 3rd: Ayla Moore
Boys' 10-11 Kumite 3rd: Fergus Puddy
Children's Kyu grade Kata 3rd: Sam Henley
Male Senior Kata 4th: Steven Connell

Full list of competitors: Tim Griffiths, Devon Troskie, Dan Henley, Steven Connell, Ian Connell, Dan Salter, Fergus Puddy, Jim Mateer, Sam Henley, Nicole Tanner, Kevin Hooper and Ayla Moore.

Backwell Karate: Southern Region Team Kumite Champions 2013

KUGB Chief Instructor to visit Backwell

24 March

Sensei Sherry, 9th Dan We are delighted to announce that the Chief Instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain, Sensei Andy Sherry, will be paying a special visit to the Backwell Karate Parish Hall dojo on Friday 19th July.

Sensei Sherry will be taking a Kyu grade training session, Kyu grading and a special Dan grade class. This is the first grading to be held at the club in our 35 year history, and we could think of no better person to be our first in-club grading examiner!

Sensei Sherry is an inspiration to those who train under him. He has recently been promoted to 9th Dan of the KUGB – 47 years after passing his 1st Dan under the auspices of the late Karate legend, Sensei Enoeda. Sensei visits us just ten days after celebrating his 70th birthday and he certainly shows no signs of slowing down.

The evening will run as follows:

Kyu grade training: 6.00-7.00pm
Grading: 7.00-8.30pm
Dan grade training: 8.30-10.00pm

As usual, the combined training and grading fee will be £20. Training only will be £10. Training is only open to students of Nailsea Karate, Backwell Karate and invited guests of the clubs. Please note that the start time is earlier than our usual Friday night training time.

We hope as many of you as possible will be able to join us for this momentous occasion for our club. It is sure to be an evening to remember!

Kyu grading passes in Bath

24 March

Club members at Kyu Grading, Bath Congratulations to all those members that graded today in Bath under Sensei Bob Poynton, 7th Dan.

After a training session for all grades, twelve members from both Nailsea Karate and Backwell Karate took their grading with all achieving full passes. A special congratulations to our five members who graded for the first time: Toby, Josh, Archie, Sandra and Matt.

Dan grading

16 March

Dan Henley and Dan Salter pass 2nd and 1st Dan, respectively Congratulations to both Dan Salter and Dan Henley who passed their first and second dan gradings, respectively, today in Egham.

Both Dan and Dan have put in a lot of hard work and dedication to reach an excellent standard and we are all very proud of their achievements.

Dan Salter joined Nailsea Karate as a 1st Kyu a year ago and has quickly become a valued member of both Nailsea and Backwell. Dan Henley is only the fifth person at the club to have been awarded Nidan level, but is the third within a year, showing the strength of the club at the moment.

We will be delighted to see their continued progress over the coming months and years, and hope that their achievements prove an inspiration to those looking to take their black belt gradings in the future.

Closed for Easter

16 March

Please note that there will be no training on Good Friday or Easter Sunday.

Friday 29th March and Sunday 31st March are our only scheduled breaks from training until Christmas. Training will be back to normal at our sister club in Nailsea on Wednesday 3rd April and at Backwell on Friday 5th April.

Next Kyu Grading date announced

9 February

The first coloured belt grading of 2013 for Backwell Karate members will take place on Sunday 24th March, hosted by Bath Shotokan Karate Club.

The grading will be held at a new venue: Culverhay Sports Centre, Rush Hill, Bath, BA2 2QL. Sensei Bob Poynton (7th Dan) will be the grading examiner.

Because the grading is on a Backwell Karate training day there will be no training in Backwell that morning. A class taken by Sensei Poynton will take place from 12-1.30pm and will be followed by the grading soon after. Those training or grading will need an up-to-date KUGB licence which needs to be brought in your red KUGB grading record book on the day. For those training and grading the cost is £20 and for those just attending the training session the cost is £5.

Only those who have completed the minimum number of training sessions and are at the required standard will be able to grade. If you're not sure whether you'll be eligible, please speak to one of the club instructors at training.

Friday Night Kumite Development class

9 February

Friday Night Kumite Development After a successful first Friday Night Kumite Development session last month, we're announcing our next two dates for February and April.

  • Friday 22nd February
  • Friday 5th April

These sessions open up our usual 7.30-8.30pm 3rd Kyu and above class and are only open to Nailsea or Backwell Karate members who are at least 6th Kyu and over 15 or are brown belt and above and any age. Remember that if you are below brown belt you must attend the previous 6.30-7.30pm class to be allowed to train in the Kumite class. For these people there will be no additional charge for the 2nd class.

Those attending should be prepared for a tiring class and must also bring a gum shield and sparring mitts to be allowed to train. Groin guards and chest protectors are recommended.

National Kata Squad selections

2 February

KUGB England Kata Squad After taking part in squad selections, overseen by Sensei Andy Sherry (Chief Instructor of the KUGB), Sensei Tim Griffiths was selected for the KUGB England Kata Squad.

After selections, Tim took part in the first squad training of the year - a three hour Kata class, going through the finer points of katas required for competition from the Heian katas right the way up to advanced katas. We hope this is the first of many successes for club members this year - here's to a great 2013!

Christmas training times

8 December

Mt Fuji earlier this year With Christmas around the corner, we wanted to let you know that our last training session of 2012 will take place on Sunday 23rd December, after which we take a one week break. But we'll be starting back in Nailsea on the 2nd January and in Backwell on Friday 4th January for those keen to get back to regular training.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and to thank all our members for their continued support and hard work over the last 12 months. We look forward to picking up where we left off in 2013 for another successful year.

Backwell Karate Bushido Warriors complete course

8 December

Our new Bushido Warriors with the rest of the club. Congratulations to those that successfully completed the Winter 2012 Backwell Karate Bushido Warriors programme last night. Everyone did brilliantly in the final session, where we reviewed everything that the Warriors learnt over the 8 weeks.

Backwell Karate are currently accepting new members at all age levels, including for their latest Bushido Warriors special course for children aged 5 to 8.

The Bushido Warriors beginners’ course (which starts up again on Friday 25th January) is designed especially for Primary School aged children and is a great way to have fun and learn something new in an environment that’s especially for your child’s age. Over the eight weeks of the course, your child will learn the basics of Karate-Do, from bowing, to kicking, punching and also basic partner work.

Through regular training, students will improve their balance, posture, self awareness, self confidence and self esteem. Parents and teachers continually report on the improvement in the behaviour of children who train regularly.

If your child is keen to give Karate a try then get in touch by emailing for more information or to enrol.

Press release: Sensei Matt Price coaches in North Somerset

2 November

Sensei Price explaining one of many drills at Scotch Horn Leisure Centre, Nailsea Nailsea & Backwell Karate practitioners were buzzing this weekend after a visit from European Shotokan Karate Champion Sensei Matt Price.

After a surprise appearance at the Backwell Karate dojo on Friday night, Price taught two seminars at Scotch Horn Leisure Centre in Nailsea where he shared both competition and traditional Karate techniques and drills that have not only taken him to a European title but have also seen him coach a new generation of champions to their own Euro titles in Italy earlier this year.

Saturday's lessons saw Nailsea & Backwell Karate members put through their paces with drills to improve punches, kicks, sweeps and submission techniques over the course of three hours.

Chief Instructor at both Nailsea & Backwell Karate, Tim Griffiths, said, "We are delighted to host guest instructors of the calibre of Sensei Price here in Nailsea as part of our strategy and ethos for continuous improvement for the area. The progress we've made as a club this year has been fantastic, having won medals at regional and national competitions and also having seen numerous outstanding performances at belt examinations.

"The instruction at special courses like this – along with the hard work and dedication from club members week in, week out – help us to keep improving. I’m really proud to be part of something that feels so special right now."

Karate is an excellent way to get fit at the same time as learning a skill that improves concentration and discipline. Nailsea & Backwell Karate are currently accepting new members.

Latest Kyu grading

17 June

Today's grading saw over 60 people decend on Sir Bernard Lovell Sports Centre in Bristol for a training session with Sensei Bob Poynton followed by a coloured belt grading.

This is the first grading since Nailsea Karate opened its doors so it was good to see the first of Nailsea's students join those from Backwell to make up a third of the attendees. The training session was a fun mix of basics for gradings and combinations to keep us on our toes!

Congratulations to all those who passed, especially for those that managed to double grade - an excellent standard and spirit from both Nailsea Karate and Backwell Karate members (full list in the Summer newsletter, due out shortly).

Easter training schedule

1 April

Please note that Easter Sunday is the only day we will not be training over the Easter school holidays. We will be training as normal on Good Friday and we have our special course with Sensei John Bruce and Sensei Holly Sterling on Saturday 7th (for details see news article below). We will be back to training as usual the following week.

PRESS RELEASE: Backwell Karate celebrate three dan grade passes

24 March

Left to right, Sensei Andy Sherry, Ian Connell, Devon Troskie, Steven Connell and Sensei Bob Poynton

Three local Karate practitioners reaped the rewards from putting in the hard yards as they all passed black belt 'dan grade' tests this weekend in Surrey.

Backwell resident Ian Connell was delighted to pass his black belt after years of hard training while Ian's son Steven and also Devon Troskie both passed the advanced 2nd Dan black belt examination.

The trio were put through their paces by Karate Union of Great Britain Chief Instructor Sensei Andy Sherry in exams which covered advanced combinations, kata (or forms) and free sparring before they were awarded their coveted grades in front of around 100 other Karate practitioners from across the southern region.

All three train at Backwell Karate where the team of instructors were all delighted at the outcome. National squad member and club instructor, Tim Griffiths, said, "What a day! Dan gradings are always very hard, so for three out of three club members to pass at the same time is especially pleasing! We're all really proud of Ian, Devon and Steven's achievements which are the result of their continued hard work and dedication."

The instructors from the club are launching the new Nailsea Karate dojo from Wednesday 11th April, where new members will be encouraged to follow in the footsteps of the Backwell trio. Classes are open to children and adults from 7 years upwards.

Next coloured belt grading date announced

16 February

The next Kyu grading is scheduled for Sunday 4th March at Sir Bernard Lovell School, Oldland Common, Bristol, BS30 8TS.

Prior to the grading, Sensei Bob Poynton (7th Dan, KUGB) will be taking an all-grades training session, which starts an hour later than normal at 12 noon. There will be no training in Backwell that morning. After training finishes at 1.30pm there will be a short break before the grading commences.

If you're not sure whether you'll be eligible to grade, please ask at your next training session.

England Kata Squad selections

4 February

KUGB Kata squad

On Saturday 4th February, the KUGB's England Kata squad selections took place at the famous Liverpool Red Triangle Karate Club, under the watchful eye of Chief Instructor Sensei Andy Sherry.

Sensei Tim Griffiths was once again selected for the England Squad. He was in good company - of the 23 selected there were at least four competitors who have previously won the KUGB National Championships and also placed at European and World Championships.

Tim is not only proud to be representing Backwell Karate but pleased that he can continue to train at the very highest level so he's able to pass on his knowledge to members of the club.

We look forward to this being the first of many highlights for the club in 2012!

Press release: European Champion visits Backwell

19 December

Sensei Matt Price lines up with the class for a photo Karate practitioners from across the region got an early Christmas present on Sunday when former European Karate Champion, Sensei Matthew Price, visited Backwell for a special training course. Sensei Price shared some of the techniques and training methods that helped him build an international reputation both as a competitor and instructor – including some of the latest thinking being taught at both his successful home club, Leeds Karate Academy, and to international competitors on the all-styles English team.

On top of this, the class was put through their paces with some groundwork and grappling techniques that Price has incorporated into his own training regime.

National squad member and club instructor, Tim Griffiths, said, "Over the last couple of years in particular, we've really developed the club so that Karate here is not only fun, but that our members get constantly inspired to do better. Having guest instructors like Sensei Price helps us do just that."

Backwell Karate have recently announced the extension of their beginners' classes – held at Backwell Parish Hall - into 2012. Classes are open to children and adults from 7 years upwards.

For more details, visit

Press release: Backwell youngsters in the medals

28 November

Successful club members Under 16s from Backwell Karate club had a reason to celebrate last weekend as they brought home the medals from a youth Karate competition in Bath.

Club members Aaron, Fergus and Jake took home all the coloured belt first and second place trophies between them at the Bill Winfield Memorial competition, which saw children from clubs from across the Avon area take part.

Both Aaron and Fergus were awarded as ‘best overall junior competitors’, winning a place each at a week-long special training course next year.

National squad member and club instructor, Tim Griffiths, said, “The success of all members is testament to the hard work they've put in since we introduced our beginners classes at the start of the year, so it's great to see everyone perform well in both the competition and the coloured belt grading earlier that day.”

Backwell Karate have recently announced the extension of their beginners’ classes – held at Backwell Parish Hall - into 2012. Classes are open to children and adults from 7 years upwards.

Change of venue on Friday 16 September

13 September

Map to temporary training venue On Friday 16th September the Parish Hall will be unavailable, so training is moving to the Backwell Budokan Hall at our usual training times of 6.30-7.30pm for below brown belts and 7.30-8.30pm for brown and black belts. To get there, use the Rodney Road entrance to Backwell Recreation Ground. The Budokan is immediately behind the Scout and Guide Hut. Take a look at the map to see where it is in relation to our usual dojo.

No other training times are affected.

Date announced for next coloured belt grading

13 September

We're pleased to let you know that the final coloured belt grading of the year will be on Sunday 20 November, again hosted by Bath Shotokan Karate Club. The venue and times will be confirmed nearer to the time.

At the last grading of each year, a small, friendly Karate competition - the Bill Winfield Memorial - is held for junior club members. We'd encourage all our students to take part, so if you're interested, please speak to one of the senseis before or after one of our training sessions.

Backwell Karate club members train with the champions

8 August

Club members with senior KUGB instructors Last week, club members Toby Ballard, Jim Mateer, Aaron Mateer and club instructor Tim Griffiths took part in an annual Karate Summer School, held at Lancaster University. The course saw Karate students from around the country train with English Karate pioneers, Senseis Sherry, O'Neill, Poynton, Rhodes, Higgins and Brennan.

The course was a week long, consisting of nine Karate sessions, two 'bo' weapons classes and a brace of lectures on the physical aspect of Karate and also its history.

Club members threw themselves into the week, with Jim Mateer and Tim Griffiths also taking part in an extra grappling session, kindly given by former European Karate Champion, Sensei Matt Price.

We would like to thank all the instructors for a week of enjoyable classes, and also to congratulate Toby Ballard for passing his red belt at the end of the course.

Those people wishing to 'train with the champions' closer to home will be interested to know that we expect to host Sensei Price at a session in Backwell later in the year. More details as soon as the training session is confirmed.

Next coloured belt grading

4 June

The next coloured belt grading will be held on Sunday 17 July, hosted by Bath Shotokan Karate Club. As there is an all-grade training session before the grading, we will not be training at Backwell Parish Hall on this day. Training will start at 12 noon, with the grading following after this.

Please note that although the grading will be held at Bath University, as usual, we will be using the Founders Hall, not in the main sports village.

To be able to grade you will need to have completed a minimum number of training sessions and be at the required standard. If you're hoping to grade, please speak to one of the instructors in the next few weeks.

45th KUGB National Championships

14 May

Backwell Parish Hall On Saturday 14 May, the KUGB's showcase event, the 45th KUGB National Championships took place at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham. Clubs from across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland took part in this major event which has to run simultaneously across 12 'tatamis', or mats, to keep this event to just one day.

Three Backwell Karate club members took part, with Tim Griffiths competing in Kata and both Ian Connell and Devon Troskie taking part in both Kata and Kumite disciplines. The standard of the tournament was high, meaning that placing in the event was always going to be challenging. Both Ian and Devon put in guttsy performances in both their events. Tim was eventually put out of the competition by former Welsh champion, Christian Whale.

Backwell Karate would like to congratulate the following winners of this year's KUGB Nationals:

  • Jon Bruce (Sendai Kushiro, Sunderland) - Senior Male Kumite
  • Hisham Saif, (Al Gazahli) - Senior Male Kata
  • Ashley Scott (Leeds Karate Academy) - Senior Female Kumite
  • Holly Sterling (Sendai Kushiro, Sunderland) - Senior Female Kata
  • Excellent effort at grading by Backwell Karate members

    3 April

    At today's coloured belt grading, Backwell Karate members put in a solid performance as they represented the club and took their next step towards black belt. Instructors Tim Griffiths, Chris Denny and Bryan Gideon would like to congratulate all those that passed, with special mentions to both Aaron Mateer and Jake Devereux for grading straight to red belt.

    Well done to the following members;

  • Toby Ballard - 9th Kyu
  • Aaron Mateer - 8th Kyu
  • Jake Devereux - 8th Kyu
  • Fergus Puddy - 8th Kyu
  • Jim Mateer - 7th Kyu
  • Mark Trotman - 2nd Kyu
  • Coloured belt grading

    2 April

    Don't forget that the coloured belt grading takes place tomorrow at Bath University Sports Village, Bath, BA2 7AY.

    As usual, we will holding a pre-grading session in the morning from 10am at the Parish Hall, finishing promptly at 11am, before heading over for a 12 o'clock start in Bath. There will be a pre-grading training session with Sensei Bob Poynton, who will be taking the grading. The training and grading costs £20. For those not grading, the training is £5.

    No training this Friday - club curry night

    12 March

    There will be no training on Friday 18th March, due to the drama club taking our usual booking slot. Instead, we'll be holding a club curry night at Britannia Spice on Backwell crossroads, diagonally opposite from the club.

    All club members are welcome. We'll be sitting down at our usual training time of 7.30pm. If you can email us beforehand we'll be able to make sure there's space for everyone who'd like to come.

    20 December: Christmas break

    We're taking a break over the Christmas period. There will be no training on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day, New Year's Eve or the 2nd January.

    Thank you for your support throughout 2010. Have a fantastic Christmas and we look forward to seeing you in the new year, when training resumes on Friday 7th January (6.30pm for beginners to purple and white belt and 7.30pm for 3rd kyu and above).

    12 November: Training with a Karate legend – Shihan Hirokazu Kanazawa, 10th Dan

    Written by Chris Denny, 2nd Dan (Instructor, Backwell Karate)

    Sensei Chris Denny with Master Kanazawa

    Sensei Kanazawa is the World Chief Instructor of the Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF) and had recently announced his retirement from world travel.

    On Sunday 7th November 2010, I attended Watford Leisure Centre where Sensei would be leading a ‘good bye’ course, joined by his sons, Nobuaki Kanazawa (6th Dan) and Daizo Kanazawa (5th Dan), along with the Chief Instructor of Nara Prefecture, Japan - Sensei Ohigashi.

    The event was ticket only and had sold out well in advance, due to Sensei’s popularity. The venue was completely filled with around 300 students. As soon as the Senseis entered the hall, there was complete silence and everyone bowed with respect.

    Sensei Kanazawa initially addressed the importance and the correct procedure of seiza, using left then right knees and hands.

    The course went on to kihon (basics) starting with correct punching and keeping the elbows in. This progressed to short combinations of punches, stressing the use of hips with each punch and block. All the while, Sensei Ohigashi was walking around, reminding everyone of ‘hikite’ (correct use of your ‘reverse hand’).

    Whenever we were shown a new combination, Senseis Nobuaki and Daizo Kanazawa would demonstrate these with precision timing and flawless technique. We learned combinations with kicks, punches and blocks and used these with a partner before going into groups of three and using four blocking combinations against two attackers.

    Club member, Gareth Davies, with Sensei KanazawaDuring the course, we were privileged to a display of numerous counters to jiyu ippon kumite attacks displayed by Senseis Nobuaki and Daizo Kanazawa.

    Sensei Nobuaki Kanazawa also performed the kata Gankaku Sho. This was a highly intricate kata that included moves I had not seen demonstrated in a kata before. It was absolutely fascinating and I joked with a fellow student that we’ll be doing that next. And then we did! Several times. It was excellent and I was glad Sensei Kevin Leigh (from the hosting club) trained in the crowd near me to show us the moves.

    I cannot express how honoured I felt to have trained with all the Senseis on this momentous day. After receiving a long standing ovation, Sensei Kanazawa and his colleagues made themselves available for everyone to have their photo with them and an opportunity for Sensei to sign his famous signature on books students had brought with them.

    It was truly a memorable occasion and a chance to say goodbye to one of the foremost Shotokan Karate masters in the world.

    12 November: Change of venue on Friday 19 November

    Map to temporary training venue On Friday 19th November we’ll be back at the Backwell Budokan Hall at our usual training time of 7.30-8.30pm, due to a drama performance at the Parish Hall. Use the Rodney Road entrance to Backwell Recreation Ground. The Budokan is immediately behind the Scout and Guide Hut. Take a look at the map to see where it is in relation to our usual dojo.

    No other training times are affected.