2013 news archive

Christmas training times and club Christmas meal

8 December

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Backwell Karate will be taking a short break over the Christmas period, with the last training session of the year taking place on Sunday 22nd December. We'll be starting back on Friday 3rd January 2014, with all classes (including the children's Bushido Warriors class) back to normal. For those that train at Nailsea Karate, the last session of the year in Nailsea will be on Wednesday 18th December, restarting on Wednesday 8th January.

We're also delighted to confirm our Christmas meal will be on Friday 20th December at Britannia Spice, just across from the Parish Hall dojo. This year's meal takes place after a combined beginner to black belt training session from 6.30-7.30pm. Please note that there is no separate brown and black belt class on this evening.

The event is open to club members who are over 16 and any children that are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please let us know if you can make it by joining the event set up on Facebook or by emailing chrisdenny@backwellkarate.org.

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and to thank all the members and parents for their ongoing efforts, support and hard work over the last year.

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!