Our annual ESKA Dinner & Dance was held on 18th November 2017 at the Needham House Hotel in Little Wymondley.

It was great to be back at this venue (Previously called the Blakemore) after many years at the Old Palace Lodge hotel in Dunstable.

The evening was full of drinks, awards, food, dancing and most importantly fun!

Great to be Back

The last time we held our Dinner & Dance at the Needham House Hotel, it was still called the Blakemore Hotel. That was exactly 10 years ago on 1st December 2007, with Sensei Nursey receiving his Hachi Dan that night.

We moved away from the Blakemore due to it being shut for refurbishment and the venue subsequently stopped running events there.

Image result for needhams house hotel

Certificates & Awards

As is usual with our Dinner & Dance, we take this opportunity to present Dan grade certificates, Coaching qualifications and the 2 trophies; Sensei Peter Cox Karate Award and the Sensei Edward Docwra Spirit Cup. Have you checked out our Dan grade register…click here!


Coaching Qualifications

First up was Sensei Tony Stones (ESKA Coaching Officer) along with the rest of the ESKA Coaching team; Sensei John Gillespie and Sensei Paul Grimsey. Congratulations to the following individuals, who were awarded their ESKA Instructor certificate.

  • Sandy Sahota – St. Albans
  • Rennan Tilbury – Ickleford
  • Aidan Tilbury – Ickleford
  • Helen Higgins – Hitchin
  • Steve Pearce – Stevenage
  • Ian Walters – Stevenage

Junior Shodan Certificates

Sensei Nursey and Sensei Gavin Paul next got up to present the junior Shodan Certificates along with the rest of the Dan grade certificates, of which there were a few!

  • Victoria Lear – Hertford
  • Frankie Ciuffa – Hertford
  • Ben Rousell – Knebworth
  • Jamie Biswas – St. Albans
  • Georgina Harris – St. Albans
  • Kate Bridle – St. Albans
  • Kit McDonagh – St. Albans

Shodan Certificates

  • Adam Kent – Stevenage
  • Alan Thomas – Stevenage
  • Sandy Sahota – St. Albans

Nidan Certificates

  • Matthew Passingham – Knebworth

Sandan Certificates

  • Sensei Michael Dodds – Birchwood
  • Sensei Jo Potts – Cambridge
  • Sensei Helen Higgins – Hitchin
  • Sensei Steve Pearce – Stevenage

Godan Certificates

  • Sensei Des Allen – Stevenage

Sichidan Certificates

  • Sensei Gavin Paul – Stevenage


After all of the Dan grade certificates were awarded it was time to move onto the 2 awards. First up was the Sensei Peter Cox Karate Award, which is awarded to a karate-ka under the age of 21. Then we completed the awards with the Sensei Edward Docwra Spirit Cup.

Sensei Peter Cox – Karate Award

  • Matthew Passingham – Knebworth

Sensei Edward Docwra – Spirit Cup

  • Sensei Masaya Yumeda – Cambridge


Then it was down to partying the night away, whether it was dancing to the Macarena on the dance floor, or Jager Bombs at the bar, everyone was having fun! It all finished at the hotel bar with some ‘quiet’ drinks concluding at the early time of 5:30am. I’m sure there were some sore heads in the morning…


Can’t wait until next year!



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