“I had been involved in several sports in my 52 years but felt like a new challenge. Having never been much of a "scrapper" and at 235 lb with dodgy knees this seemed a touch optimistic. However, I googled karate club local and came up with Ormskirk Karate Club, rang up the contact number, was told "Monday 6.30, wear loose sports gear, see you there”.
I was more than a touch worried to arrive and see a dozen guys and a couple of ladies lined up, all seemingly knowing what do, and looking the part wearing a Gi and responding to barked orders from a stern looking man at the front. On the good side though, I didn’t look the oldest!
Firstly we spent 20 minutes stretching, a warm up that is repeated every time. I was then told to stand to the very left of the line, one of the guys in charge, Steve, came over and spent 45 minutes with me, showing me the basics, nobody was coming at me with flailing arms and legs, it was all about movement and stance.
I finished early, you only do an hour at first, and watched the rest complete their session. After the session several people came over to me and introduced themselves, making me feel very welcome - there was plenty of banter in the changing rooms as well, all good natured though.
Karate has been a very gradual process for me, the teachers spend lots of time with you and push you to the limit of what you are capable of. They make the distinction however between a 20 year old and middle aged man, there is a lot of respect and attention paid to detail, but the atmosphere is never intimidating only encouraging.
Four years on, I am a stone lighter, a lot more flexible and have a brown belt!
Wish I had started younger, but so glad I found this great club!”
- Steve Mcging; 2nd Kyu
"I started training karate a couple of years ago. In the past, I played a lot of football but I had recently discovered UFC/MMA & developed an interest in combat sports".
"I spent a few days researching different clubs in my local area & discovered Ormskirk Shotokan Karate Club. It's a great club with incredible teachers. The depth of their knowledge is astounding, I can't imagine ever training anywhere else".
- Carl Baldantoni; 5th Kyu
Why did I take up Karate? I freely admit that I have never been a "sporty" type, finding more interest in computers and playing video games than running around fields or kicking balls. That said, however, with a firm push from my Grandmother, adamant that I join a gym (or at the very least get some form of exercise), I decided to make good on a dream that I had had since school – to learn a Martial Art.
Following some research of the local martial arts clubs and a 5-minute phone call (preceded, I should mention, by no less than two days of me debating if I should ring or not) I took the plunge and joined the club for a taster session.
Five years, four international courses, one international training camp in Tokyo, Japan, and 1 UK championship later, I now stand as a Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. Surrounded not just by some of the most exceptional teachers I have ever met, but also some of the most excellent people that I could have ever hope to meet, and with more experiences and memories that I would have ever believed back when I first picked up that phone.
Echoing the sentiments already posted on this page; I can't imagine ever training anywhere else.
- Michael Clayton-Brown; 1st Dan
Ever thought about taking on a new challenge but… never quite got around to it!!
Maybe you’ve thought about having golf lessons or perhaps learning a new language or maybe, as in my case, taking up the noble art of Karate.
I bet you have the same fears that I had when I thought about joining Ormskirk Karate club.
To begin with, you might think “will I be able to do this?” “Do I have the skill, the fitness or the commitment to see it through?”
Well at Ormskirk Karate club there’s no need to worry, they take everything at your speed. Highly qualified and knowledgeable instructors take you slowly through the basics for the first three months, concentrating on simple techniques such as stance and movement to make sure those basics are spot on from the start. After that it’s up to you, the more you put in… the more you get out.
You might also wonder “will I fit in?” “Will I get on with everyone?”
Most people are apprehensive about joining a club where everyone knows each other. If my experience and the experience of other beginners who started with me is anything to go by, however, you soon feel part of the group. Not only were all the members I met during the first few weeks friendly and welcoming, but the more senior members introduced themselves and offered help and advice if it was needed. After only a couple of training sessions, I felt part of the club, training twice a week with a terrific bunch of people where there’s lots of support and friendly banter.
Lastly, you might wonder whether you’ll enjoy the new challenge and whether it will live up to your expectations.
Well, after three months learning the basics I took my first grading and was delighted to be awarded my first coloured belt – Orange! The sense of achievement from having absolutely no Karate experience at all to successfully grading after such a short space of time is incredible. Better still it’s given me the confidence to continue developing the skills I’ve learned up to now and start working towards the next grading when hopefully, I will be able to progress to a red belt.
So don’t let those fears stop you from having a go. I can promise you the feeling of getting your first belt and at the same time getting fitter is far better than the feelings of regret when you let a great opportunity pass you by.
- Des; 9th Kyu
Ormskirk Shotokan Karate Club
Mondays: 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Fridays: 6:30PM - 8:00 PM
Training Cost: £6.00
New adult beginners (16+) are always welcome.