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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

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 Monday 4th February 2019, Sensei Nursey celebrated a very special birthday! With Monday also being the ‘first Monday of the month lesson’ he got the chance to celebrate it along with most of the ESKA black belts.

Before the normal lesson kicked off, Sensei stood out the front of the class and asked if everyone could get together for a group photo. After establishing a group of people that still have working knees to kneel down on the front row, we all put on our best smiles and eagerly awaiting the 10 second countdown of the camera… It quickly became awkward after 20 seconds and still no flash! So Sensei Rae was brought to the rescue to take the picture the old fashioned way.

Here’s the result…

It was great to have so many black belts attend the lesson, with 37 ESKA black belts present. After the photo we all lined up and Sensei Luke took the warm-up.

Before starting the lesson, Sensei John Gillespie stood out the front and presented Sensei Nursey with his present. All the ESKA Dan grades had a whip around, to try and enable Sensei to achieve one of his dreams of flying a Spitfire. Sensei was given a silver model Spitfire and the money collected along with a fabulous card…

We then had a shorter than normal lesson covering the importance of hip movement using a series of Age Uke’s and Gyaku Zuki’s. Alot of the senior ESKA Instructors then split off from the class to head towards the curry house, for Sensei’s surprise meal organised by Sensei Rae.

We all had an amazing curry and a couple of ‘orange juices’ to wash it down with. It was an amazing night celebrating a individual who has devoted 40 years of his life to ESKA and even more to Karate-do.

Happy Birthday Sensei and we all look forward to many more years with you at the helm of the best Martial Art’s association in the UK!!!

Oss!

Pictures

Last night (Thursday 1st November), all students that are aiming to attempt their Dan grading on Saturday 17th November, took their Jiyu Kumite portion of the exam.

With such a large number of students aiming to grade in a few weeks, the whole lesson was devoted to this!!!

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Oss All, You’ve seen the results. Now its time for the official competition pictures… They look great!

Thanks must go to Sensei Angus Pearson, who was our official photographer on the day and Jenny Hanson who added some great shots of her own.

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Saturday 20th October saw ESKA hold its annual championships at the Stevenage Hombu. 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 4th August, the ESKA senior grades and club instructors gathered at Sensei Nursey’s house for a summer BBQ.

We were spoiled with the weather and fun was had all round!

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With May’s Dan Grading fast approaching, its time to share details of the Pre Dan Grading Course.

Everyone who intends on grading in May MUST attend this course to be eligible to grade.

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We have just been made aware that the AMA Championships 2018 have been cancelled by the event organisers.

This is due to the adverse weather conditions currently being experienced and with more severe weather planned to be on the way, this was deemed the best course of action for the organisers.

We will keep you updated if the competition is to be rearranged for another date. Please watch this space.

As you may know, history is a very important part of Karate-do and its important we don’t forget where it all started. With Karate being showcased at the 2020 Olympics it is important that we don’t forget our roots and the teachings of old Karate masters.

To that end I have over the last few weeks/months put together what I believe to be an accurate account of our Karate heritage in the form of a timeline.

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