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  • Matthew Powell

Pushing Forward

As an Association we are focused on a number of principles that allow us to push-forward and seek continuous improvement. These principles are reinforced on our banners and serve as a constant reference to ensure that we deliver on our aims and objectives.

2017 was a very positive year for the Applied Karate Association with increased exposure on the competition circuit and promising numbers on our own courses and events. Whilst we always Aim High our competitive goal for 2017 was simply to give a number of our members increased ‘mat-time’ and further their competition experience.

In February we attended the Legend Open which holds fond memories for the five of us and is a competition format we know well. Our members exceeded expectation with the ladies particularly shining on the day. There is no coincidence that these results came after the formalisation of our ‘Ladies only’ kumite classes headed by Sensei Emma Williams. These classes have become firm-favourites in our association and are attended by ladies of all ages who wish to compete or just enjoy the extra training.

Later in the year we were invited to the first HDKI national tournament in Wolverhampton. Sensei Keith Williams has been leading regular squad sessions and this tournament became the focus of the teams Drive and determination. We achieved excellent results at this tournament winning medals in every event entered. This was an excellent day for us all and was highly enjoyable. The association subsidised a coach for the trip and we were joined by Sensei Chris Carr who offered his refereeing expertise throughout the day. Vocals on the journey home were offered by all, much to the coach drivers delight!

Our teaching team seek to Stay Positive and keep pushing forwards and this principle was the theme for our charity course in May. The course raised over £3,500 for the Sheffield Hospital with the instructors and students were all inspired by Dave Powell’s determination and positive attitude. It is always great to see so many of our members support these events and it was heart-warming this year to be joined by guests from other associations and family members and friends of the AKA. At the end of the year we were thrilled to receive news that our contribution had helped the charity achieve it’s goal and fund further research into a cure for Myeloma.

Throughout 2017 the association maintained it’s Focus on quality, effective karate and our friendships in the karate community continue to grow. Our instructors trained with prominent teachers from other associations such as Simon Staples and Vinicio Antony as well as visiting our good friend Colin Parker from Moichido Martial Arts for mutual squad training. In November we hosted Sensei Dave Hazard for a thoroughly enjoyable course with members from 7 associations training alongside each other.

We finished the year with our Christmas competition which had a record attendance of competitors. This has allowed us to now make this event self-financing with free refreshments and entry for spectators. We are really proud of the popularity of these events and the genuine camaraderie this emanates from everyone who attends. The day was particularly special as Sensei Matt Smith was awarded his 5th dan in recognition of his ongoing development and contribution to our association.

As we push into 2018 we continue to Seek Balance in personal and group development. We now own three matted competition areas and all of our own competition equipment and will continue with further strategic investment. We are proud to commit our time in developing our Association and are even prouder that our students are already making an

impression on the wider karate community and demonstrating the values and principles we hold dear.

Thank you to all of our members and friends.

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