This year has brought a new era for martial arts in Chichester with the opening of a new shotokan karate club.
Chichester KUGB Karate Club (www.chichestershotokan.co.uk) held their first classes at the old dojo at the New Park Centre in Chichester and are affiliated to the largest single-style karate organisation in the UK, the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB), founded in 1966.
The Chichester club’s resident instructor is Sensei Padraig (Patrick) Timmins, who has been practising shotokan karate since 1986.
After a long break, Timmins returned to karate in 2011 to achieve his shodan (1st dan black belt) and start his own club. To achieve this he returned to the club he attended as a teenager, the Portsmouth KUGB Karate Club.
It was the only dojo where Timmins knew he’d receive the right expert, traditional and practical training that would give him the best chance of achieving his goals.
This he duly accomplished in August 2012 under the gaze of Sensei Andy Sherry (then an 8th dan), one of the founders of the KUGB, the chief instructor of the KUGB, and the most senior practitioner of shotokan karate in the UK.
Timmins’ passion and belief for karate is huge, and as so many have spent so long giving him the training he now benefits from, he sees it as his duty to impart this knowledge to others.
“I want all those who attend my classes to build the fierce and durable love of karate that I have, so it becomes a fundamental part of their lives,” he said.
“Shotokan karate is great for an individual’s fitness, self-confidence and self-defence. These traditions of shotokan karate training help foster character, respect and sincerity in all who practise with them.”
With two children of his own who also practice karate, Timmins is passionate about wanting kids to start training at a young age to instil in them the benefits that good physical fitness and self-defence can bring.
“Karate is great for kids. It helps build self-confidence and self-esteem. And also is builds character, improves concentration and encourages good discipline,” he added.
To those who fear that karate promotes violence, Timmins said: “Come along and see for yourself. Karate is about self-defence but Karate is about so much more than just the practice of blocks, kicks and punches.
“It is also about having the right attitude, the right frame of mind, which through hard training builds one’s self-confidence, so that the individual reaches a point where the use of violence becomes a failure to resolve a situation through peaceful means.
“My aspiration for karate, and for those I teach, is to live and breathe the words of one of the most famous and respected practitioners of karate the world has ever seen, Sensei Enoeda, chief instructor of the KUGB until his death in 2003.
“He said ‘The soul of karate-do is peace and concern for all mankind. It is my wish for all those who practice karate-do to always keep these things in mind - a modest heart, a gentle attitude and peace for all mankind. The spirit of ‘karate ni senti nashi’ is thus fulfilled.”
Chichester KUGB Karate Club train at the New Park Centre on New Park Road on Wednesdays (5pm to 6pm) and Sundays (1pm to 2pm) and it is open to all. For more, visit www.chichestershotokan.co.uk.