The ESKA Dinner & Dance was held on 27th November 2021 at the Needham House Hotel in Little Wymondley.

The evening was full of drinks, awards, food, dancing and unity

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The long awaited 2021 ESKA Dan Grading finally took place on Saturday 13th November at the usual venue in Little Staughton.

This year, we had 19 students grading for Inter-Dan, Shodan, Nidan and Sandan. One of the busiest Dan gradings in recent times, and without doubt, one of the most successful. By the end of the day, 19 students attempted their Dan Grades, and 19 students passed. Terrific result.

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It is with great pleasure that I make an official announcement to ratify our ESKA technical committee.

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Sadly Alan Thomas passed away last week due to pancreatic cancer

Alan was a team player who assisted me at many of my clubs.
A great supporter of ESKA at Gradings/courses/championships and encouraged many students to attend social gatherings where he also got to know a lot of the ESKA family.

Alan first started karate with me at the Sandy Club around 30 years ago where he graded to Intermediate Dan Grade before having to stop training mainly due ill health.
But over 6 years ago (and after a gap of over 20 years) a blast from the past Alan turned up unexpectedly one evening at the Stevenage club and told me as he was now in his late 50’s and was suffering from a debilitating illness, his goal was to achieve his black belt before it was too late and would I help him, I of course said ‘yes’ – so we made a plan.

Two and a half years later on the 29/04/2017 Alan now being over 60 and on his second attempt passed his Shodan grading.
He had to work extremely hard to overcome the pain he was in. Alan was an incredibly tenacious person with a lot of grit, and I think showed other students that if he could do it they could do it.
To people that knew him, he was a character with great respect and always very enthusiastic. He had opinions on everything and wasn’t afraid to express them.

As Luke told me recently “Alan could certainly pack a punch”.

Rest in peace Alan

Sensei

On Sunday 6th December we held our Winter 2020 Dan grading. This was our first Dan grading since 2019 due to COVID and the May grading being cancelled. The grading was also held in the Knebworth club dojo hall.

It gives me great pleasure to be able to share the results below.

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Today we heard of the very sad news that Sensei Mick Randall passed away.

As you may know, ESKA had a number of founding members of which Sensei Mick Randall was one of them.

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Today we heard of the very sad news that Shihan Hirokazu Kanazawa passed away.

As you may know, ESKA closely follow the traditional teaching’s of Shihan Kanazawa having himself been taught by Masatoshi Nakayama and Gichin Funakoshi.

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Sunday 10th November saw ESKA hold its annual championships at the Stevenage Hombu. This year was a special year, as ESKA celebrated its 40th anniversary, so the competition was bigger and better than ever before. As always, the event was a great success and all that attended enjoyed the high quality of karate on show. From the youngest junior to the oldest adult; everyone showed a high level of commitment and spirit. Judges were particularly impressed with the etiquette of the students participating.

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On Saturday 16th November we held our Winter 2019 Dan grading. As usual it was held at Little Staughton Village Hall.

It gives me great pleasure to be able to share the results below.

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On Saturday 2nd November as is customary for this time of year, a few higher Dan grades and club owners gathered at Sensei & Rae’s house for a BBQ, Firework and Bonfire party!

It was a great evening (albeit a bit wet!) with fun, food, fireworks (big ones!) and lots of laughter…

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