Thanet-based Hornets Martial Arts are off to a flying start in 2019 as more students complete a gruelling grading session.
The three and a half hour grading saw six members of the group tackle a rigorous and challenging programme.
It tested their technical abilities, balance and control. They also demonstrated their power and co-ordination skills during partner pad work and controlled light continuous sparring.
Experienced instructor Ian Reynolds said: “Make no mistake, this is a very tough examination, to identify how they are progressing and which areas of their martial training we need to work on and improve.
“It is as much a mental test as it is physical and my students are purposefully pushed out of their comfort zones to see how they adapt and also to see how much they really want their new belts. The level of skill and discipline they continue to show is very impressive.”
Those celebrating their latest grading are Corby Aquini, Dimitri Michael, Aidan Maloney Bishop, Sam Bradley, Owen Lockwood and Desmond Clarke.
Mr Reynolds, who is a senior IT technician at King Ethelbert’s School, runs the Hornets’ Monday evening sessions at Garlinge Methodist Church from 6pm to 7pm.
He is also expanding the classes he offers sixth form pupils and staff at King Ethelbert School in Birchington to incorporate all ages and year groups.
These sessions combine Chinese Kickboxing, Shotokan karate, Judo and various street defence techniques.
Mr Reynolds said: “My aim is to help pupils of all ages make a difference to their lives.
“I was a victim of bullying when I was at school and I believe that learning a disciplined martial art is of huge benefit to help young people deal with the stress, anxiety and fears of everyday life.
“Martial arts will help promote their self-confidence and self-awareness. As well as the fitness and well-being side of martial arts training, it’s also a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle of friends.
“I have previously run free self-defence classes for 4th Whitstable Girl Guides as well as Minster Women’s Institute as I believe that knowing such skills in this day and age is vital, especially for those that might be more vulnerable.
“Expanding these sessions at school to working with and helping younger pupils from years 7 to 11 is something that I am looking forward to in 2019.
“The after school sessions at King Ethelbert’s run from 4.30pm to 5.30pm and these classes for students and staff.
“They are completely free, and they are an ideal way to vent life’s stresses as well as keeping mind and body conditioned.”
For more information about the public classes at Garlinge, contact Ian on 07876 527850
Report Peter Barnett