There are lots of things to think about when you set up a karate club – lots of logistics such as where and when, what the cost will be, who will teach, what will the classes include, and so forth. Some of these are fluid over time, as needs and circumstances change; some cannot be predicted, and it is more important just to start than to try to get everything right first time. In this way, at least, setting up a club is like karate itself.
We hope you’ll be interested to come and give the club a try. We would like it to be a place where the standard of instruction is high, where the atmosphere is one of support, and where everyone is welcome. Where we train hard, not only pushing ahead but also remembering how far we’ve come. We want it to be the club that we ourselves would like to train at.
About Kenmei Instructors
“Neil is an excellent instructor.“Sensei John Parnell, 6th Dan
“Neil is an exemplary karateka who seeks to talk with his karate, and systematically studies karate as a martial art. This is Karate-Do!”Sensei André Bertel, 6th Dan
“Ingrid is great! :)”Sensei Neil Jerome, 5th Dan
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The story behind “Kenmei”
The name ‘kenmei’ does have a literal and philosophical meaning; the japanese characters making kenmei can be translated as ‘wisdom’. When you first step up to teach karate, you have to ask yourself a lot of questions about why you do karate, and what you get out of it. Why should anyone possibly do what you tell them to? Why should anyone learn karate, and why should they learn it from you in particular? Sometimes such questions are subconscious, and the answers show up in the way you teach without you really knowing about it, but there is also a value in asking (and answering) these questions out loud.
So to choose ‘wisdom’ as a bold label for the club is to make the statement right from the beginning that there is always a reason for everything you do in karate, even if when you begin you have to take things on faith for a while. I believe that the ability to do difficult and complex things, and the ability to become better at something, comes from a will and a determination to do them, and that a crucial part of wanting to do something (and thus applying yourself to it) arises directly out of understanding what you are trying to achieve, and therefore how it can be performed most effectively. Karate is ultimately an individual pursuit, though practised among friends, and so the job of an instructor is to give you the wisdom that will enable you to train to the best of your ability not because they want you to, but because you do.