British Wadokai Students of the Month for 2017!
September 2017 - Philip Clench Hachikyu
October 2017 - Kai Benjamin Gokyu
Name: Phil Clench
Date of Birth: 23rd September 1968
Instructor/Sensei: Gary Swift
Grade: 8th Kyu - Yellow Belt
Why do you Train? For flexibility, exercise and keeping active
Why is it important for clubs to support British Wadokai? To maintain the high standards of the style
How long have you been training? Not long enough to be any good – Since March 2017
How many sessions do you do a week? Once but only because of time pressures elsewhere
What's your favourite technique? Back fist – quick and unexpected !
What's your favourite kata? I only know one – but my favourite will be when I know them all!
What your favourite food? Indian
What's your favourite Film? Lethal Weapon
Sensei’s summary on Student: Phil has only been with us a short time, but he has certainly earned his full place in our Dojo. He may only train once a week, but trains hard enough in that one session to make up for three sessions a week! His etiquette and respect for the Dojo and his fellow students is 2nd to none. I am very proud to have him as one of our students, his tenacity and enthusiasm with his training will take him as far as he wants to go. A very well deserved ‘Student of the Month!’
Gary Swift Kyoshi.
Name: Kai River Benjamin
Date of Birth: 01/11/17
Age: 14 (almost 15!)
Club: Gunnislake Wadokai
Instructor/Sensei: Sensei Gary Swift
Grade: 5th Kyu
Why do you Train?: I train for all sorts of reasons! As well as doing karate for the opportunity to learn a new skill and make myself a better martial artist, I also do it for personal enjoyment and physical exercise. I find that karate provides me with an hour of fun, challenges and learning and is something I look forward to every week.
Why do you think it is important for clubs to support British Wadokai? I think that it's important for clubs to support British Wadokai as it really gives local people an opportunity to learn a very interesting and different martial art. As well as this I think that it is good for new people to learn about Wadokai as I feel that lots of people just think of karate as a single martial art and that karate is purely about fighting. Defining the different styles of karate, especially Wadokai, really shows that karate is so much more than just learning to attack people and is more about finding inner and outer balance with the art. It also follows Japanese style which I believe is important.
How long have you been training? I'm not entirely sure but I think I have been training for around two years now. I aspire to continue with karate and my aim is to become a confident black belt.
How many sessions do you do a week? Only one at the moment but I'd love to do more.
What's your favourite technique? Mawashigeri-ushirogerichudan followed by Urakenuchijodan.
What's your favourite kata? Pinan Go-dan
What your favourite food? Nikuman (Japanese dumplings stuffed with pork).
What's your favourite Film? Lion.
Sensei's personal comments. Kai is a very likeable person and always makes a very enthusiastic entrance to the Dojo. I feel the best way I can put Kai into words is by a letter I created for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, shown below.
Duke of Edinburgh Assessment Evidence.
Reference; Kai Benjamin 5th Kyū British Wadokai.
Kai has been an active and dedicated member of British Wadokai, within the Gunnislake Wadoryu Karate Club, for over two years. He has demonstrated excellent results from both his training and his grading-assessments throughout.
Kai’s enthusiasm is second-to-none and often demonstrates skill levels beyond his grade within many aspects of his training. However, his skills are not limited to just his own development and progression. Kai has been an asset for us especially with his teaching abilities. He scrutinises those who are practising with him and helps them to understand the reasoning of certain techniques that they may be struggling with. He is embarking on his next belt-level, 4th Kyū (one step below brown-belt), and practices very hard (both at the Dojo and at home) to be the ‘perfectionist’.
I have a great confidence in Kai and feel that, with his continued dedication and commitment, he will reap the rewards to become a well-rounded Yūdansha (black-belt) in the future. Kai is well liked by all his classmates, both young & old, with a contagious aura and personality that people are attracted to. I feel that, with his ambitious and positive nature, he will go on to do great things.
Kai has also been nominated as British Wadokai’s ‘Student of the Month’ for September 2017.
Gary Swift Kyoshi. Friday, 13 October 2017
July 2017 - Rahi Balu Shodan, Ankur Sawant Shodan, Daniel Biggin Shodan.
In recognition of the 'Martial Arts Illustrated Hall of Fame Award'.
August 2017 - Malika Ind, Rokukyu
Name: Malaika Ind
Date of Birth: 27th November 2003.
Age: 13 years, 8 months and 14 days old.
Club: Grey Wolf Karate.
Instructor/Sensei: Sensei Mick Adams 6th Dan Renshi.
Grade: 6th Kyū.
Why do you Train? I train because I enjoy Karate tremendously and always look forward to training. To me Karate is a way to relieve stress, gain confidence and discipline and keep me fit. As soon as I walk through the doors of the dojo I forget about everything that’s worrying me and feel better greatly.
Why is it important for clubs to support BWK? Because it is an organisation that brings people together from across the country and even the world and it opens up more opportunities to learn more and become a better martial artist than there would be as a club on its own.
How long have you been training? 1 year and a half.
How many sessions do you do a week? 4-5.
What's your favourite technique? Sokuto-Chudan.
What's your favourite kata? Ku-Shanku.
What’s your favourite food? Lasagne or Ugali and Dagaa.
What's your favourite Film? The karate kid (2010).
Honours to Date: My Family, everyone in the British Wadokai Organisation (especially Grey Wolf Karate), and my friends who support me and my journey through Karate and my brother and the Yudansha especially for never giving up on me, answering all of my questions, not being afraid to give me constructive criticism and just being there with me along the way. Thank you :)
Malaika is a lovely young lady whose ambition is to become a Doctor. She has embraced the Karate Spirit and always trains with focus and discipline and a determination to succeed. Her parents 100% support in providing transport and encouragement has been crucial to her success. With their continuing support and Malaika's willingness to do her very best in everything she undertakes, her future in Karate and the opportunities it brings to her personal development in life is very exciting.
May 2017 - Jakub Wrobel, Yonkyu.
June 2017 - Stephen Pritchard, Yonkyu.
Name: Jakub Wrobel.
Grade: 5th kyu.
Date of Birth: 6th August 2003.
Instructor: Sensei Mick Adams, 6th Dan Renshi.
Where do you Train? at all GWK venues, when I can.
How did you become involved in Karate? having been bullied when I was younger I felt I needed to learn self defence
Why is it important for clubs to support BWK? It is important to meet different people to gain their knowledge and experiences
How long have you been training? 2.5 years approx
Your favourite technique: too numerous to mention
Favourite Kata: Pinan Yodan
Favourite Food: too numerous to mention!!!!!!!!!!
Favourite Film: Avatar
BWK/IWF Honours to Date: Junior student of the year for 2016 at GWK
Sensei’s Comments: Enthusiastic and friendly Jakub always trains when he can. He is a popular partner in pairs work, considerate and helpful to lower grades. When training he is focused and always tries his very best, which has gained him the respect of his instructors, fellow students and those he meets through British Wadokai. Jakub was voted the Grey Wolf Karate Club ‘Junior Student of the Year’ in 2016 and is an excellent example of a Karateka.
Mick Adams Renshi.
Name: Steve Pritchard
Date of Birth: 16/12/1969
Club: Plymouth (Pomphlett)
Sensei: Gary Swift Kyoshi
Grade: 4th Kyu
Why do you train in Wadoryu? I have a life long interest in Martial Arts. I love the camaraderie and have great respect for those who have the discipline to train. Personally I find training good for physical fitness and mental focus.
Why do you think clubs should support British Wadokai? I was drawn to the style by it’s blend of hard and soft techniques, which makes it very effective, but a challenge to learn. These techniques will only be effective if taught correctly and Sensei Swift is both a knowledgeable and inspirational teacher. This knowledge can only be preserved if students respect its lineage.
How long have you been training? 30 years martial arts. 18 months Wado- Ryu.
How many sessions do you do a week? 1
What's your favourite technique? Nagashizuki (because it is a good example of a clever hard and soft technique, but tricky to pull off!)
What's your favourite kata? Kushanku (so far).
What your favourite food? Thai Curry.
What's your favourite Film? Lots but Kung Fu Hustle is great fun if you haven’t seen it.
Sensei’s Summary on Student: Steve has a tenacity to understand the challenges of the ‘inner-workings’ of Wadoryu. Alongside his background of other styles of martial-arts he can relate to both the differences and the similarities. He has only been with us just under two-years but has been able to cope with the system much more efficiently due to his background, making him a more ‘advanced’ student than his grade reflects. I feel that Wado has also given him the opportunity to discover that not all karate is the same; and that Wado has much more to offer than some of the other styles of karate around. For the future, I also feel that Steve will be an asset to us, as he has the foundations and commitment to further himself with a steady advancement to become an excellent Wado-ka, he is also very communicative and helpful, especially towards many of our lower-graded students who tend to struggle at times.
Gary Swift Kyoshi.
March 2017 - Matthew Roberts, Nikyu.
Name. Matthew Roberts.
Grade. 2nd Kyu.
Club. Grey Wolf Wadoryu Karate.
Instructor/Sensei: Sensei Mick Adams 6th Dan Renshi and Sensei Jim Rendell 3rd Dan.
Why do you Train? It's my way of life. The physical and mental aspects of martial arts have been important to me for a long time. After an enforced break, I'm happy that I'm back training and that it's now in Wadoryu.
Why is it important for clubs to support BWK? I think the BWK motto sums it up: 'Preserving the Original and Traditional'. Traditional Wadoryu has everything for me and I feel lucky to have had the chance to experience it. By supporting BWK we help preserve the pure style and allow others the chance to experience it too.
How long have you been training? 3 years
How many sessions do you do a week? Min 4 sessions
What's your favourite technique? Nagashi-zuki-Jodan. When I have been asked to explain the Karate of Wadoryu I have used Nagashazuki as the example. It involves so many Wado ways - San-Mi Ittai, Naga/Nagashi, Nu-ki
What's your favourite kata? Sorry about this, I did try but I really couldn't choose a favourite.
What your favourite food? Risotto
What's your favourite Film? Casablanca
Honours to Date (if any): GWK Senior Student of the Year 2015. Being asked to participate in Sensei Jim's Sandan grading.
Summary on Student: Since joining GWK Matthew has become one of our most loyal and dedicated students. His dojo etiquette and his desire to learn are second to none. With all the above taken into consideration, I personally believe that it's only a matter of time before Matthew gains the knowledge to take his first Dan examination.
Sensei Mick Adams Renshi.
April 2017 - Gen Benjamin, Rokukyu.
Name: Gen Benjamin.
Date of Birth: 27th April 2007.
Grade: 6th Kyu.
Club: Gunnislake Wadoryu Karate Club.
Instructor/s: Gary Swift Kyoshi.
Why did you become involved in Karate? Because I am half-Japanese and wanted to learn traditional Japanese martial-art. I also felt karate suit my character!
How long have you been training? One and a half years.
Your favourite technique: Nidan-geri.
Favourite Kata: Pinan Yodan.
Favourite Food: Soba (buckwheat noodle) with tempura.
Favourite Film: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!”
BWK/IWF Honours to Date (if any): British Wadokai Student of the Month for April.
Summary of Student (Sensei’s Comments): Unusually for his age (and being the youngest in the club) I feel that Gen (like many of the adults) tries to grasp the finer points of Karate technique, he is meticulous and serious in what he does, especially in his approach to understanding his Kata; and he makes a big effort in getting the stances ’right’. He may also be one of the smallest in the Dojo, but you’ll never miss him - And, for his size, he also has one of the loudest kiai’s.
I think Gen has been around ‘before’, and if he sticks at it he will go as far as he wants to take it.
Gary Swift Kyoshi.
February 2017 - Maria Luisa Gomez, Rokukyu.
January 2017 - Michael McPherson, Nidan.
Name; Maria Luisa Gomez
Date of Birth; Sorry not able to help you LOL
Instructors; Mike Ilderton 7th Dan and Stephen Coulson 2nd Dan
Where do you Train? East West Wado Kai Dojos at Great Park and St Aidans Newcastle Upon Tyne
Why do you think it important to support BWK? We are striving to maintain the purity of Wado Kai and we feel it important to carry on with this traditional but effective style of martial Arts
Why did you become involved in Karate? Initially to accompany my son and also as I do go out with my dog I wanted to feel more confident .Some time ago I was not very well and I need to feel more self-assured and confident in myself .Karate has given me that confidence and I certainly enjoy the training
How long have you been training? I started in May 2016 and I found it at first confusing I am now able to recognise that it is simply not about hitting people the sophistication of some of the techniques of the senior grades amaze me.
Your favourite technique; I was pulled out of the line a few months ago and asked to spar. To my absolute amazement I found I was quite good at it. At least the instructors thought so. I was really buzzing after fighting a black belt. I also enjoy the kicking techniques of Wado Kai.
Favourite Kata; I would love to learn Kushan Ku as it seems a very long kata I also enjoy it when the Bunkai or explanation of the Kata is discussed.
Favourite Food; Being Spanish. I love healthy Mediterranean food particularly Organic and fruit I love fruit.
Favourite Film; Nicholas Cage in the film City of Angels
Honours To Date; Being nominated this award plus the knowledge that it was Sensei Swift who suggested I was put forward and of course being awarded the East West Club student award in December 2016.
Summary of Student; Maria from my point of view is a really exceptional student. She is extremely respectful to all student’s. Kind to the junior students and dedicated to Wado and to East West. She is enormous fun in the Dojo and willing to spar with our resident bogey man Denis who causes most of us to think we might have been better staying at home .When faced with him
Maria started training with East West Wado Karate last year and took to it instantly. Maria is keen to learn and pays very close attention to the detail of kata and self defence wanting to understand the nuances of stance and body movement. One area where Maria stands out in class is her focus. Maria is happy to work with any partner big or small without complaint and is not only a role model for the younger students but an inspiration to other adult students who have been encouraged to join in. Maria is a fantastic asset to the club!
Mike Ilderton 7th Dan.
Name: Michael William McPherson.
Present Grade: Nidan
Date of Birth: 11/12/00.
Club: Pomphlett & Plymstock Karate Club
Instructor: Sensei Gary Swift
Why do you Train: I train because Karate is a part of my life.
Why is it important for clubs to support BWK? I think that’s its important because we’re a family and family look after each other.
How long have you been training? 9 years nearly 10
How many sessions do you do a week? Twice a week
What's your favourite technique? Nagashizuki-jodan
What's your favourite kata? Ji’tte and Nai-Hanchi
What your favourite food? Pizza or Gammon Steak
What's your favourite Film? Any film that’s funny
Honours to Date (if any): Ten Tors 35 miles if that counts? ;-)
Sensei’s Summary on Student. Michael’s been a very committed member of both the Plymouth Karate Club (Devon) and Gunnislake Karate Club (Cornwall), since the inauguration of the clubs. Over the years I have watched him mature from a small boy to a very honest & trusted young man. He is one of our longest standing active BWK-SW members. On many occasions he has walked to the Dojo from his house, which is over 30-minutes’ walk each way, if his parents are unable to drive him; which I feel is a big commitment in itself. Michael has come a long way with his karate, he is also very disciplined, respectful and dedicated. In addition, I also find him a very useful asset, since achieving his black-belt, with the teaching strength of the Dojo; as he helps out often at both clubs.
Gary Swift Kyoshi.