It has been another outstanding year for the Club and our members. 2018 was our 51st year since Sensei Charlie & Sensei Dot Naylor moved south and opened the club at the Chelmsford YMCA in 1967. Over the many years they set the high standards in our Karate and this legacy has continued through the teaching of Sensei Jane and Sensei Richard who have been leading the way.
This year, yet again we have seen our students grow and develop. Passing Kyu Grades, Dan Grades, winning a number of British titles, representing their country both home and abroad and qualify as National Instructors. We have been featured in local newspapers, a national Karate Magazine, on BBC Essex Radio twice and on ITV Anglia's 6 o'clock news.
Beyond the high technical standard of Karate we are also a Community Club and have been raising awareness of the importance of mental health - this year we also supported the KUGB's chosen Annual Charity - Mind and held a number of fundraising events. We have also received recognition outside of the world of Karate with awards from the Mayor of Chelmsford, Pride of Essex and Active Essex. As a Club we continue to work closely with Chelmsford City Council, Active Essex, Fitness in Mind, Sport for Confidence, The Guides, Schools, Colleges and Universities. Furthermore, we were very fortunate to receive sponsorship from Keds and also work with Chelmsford Camera Club in 2018.
Here is a look back at some of the highlights - many of which have separate articles in our 'News' section on the website should you want to read more about them.
In January we kicked off the new year in style sending four people to KUGB England Squad selection in Liverpool and all four were selected: Mia Hillsden, Megan Naylor-Jones, Jack Somers & Jessica Steadman.
Sensei Richard was invited to go on BBC Essex Radio to help raise awareness of the importance of mental health and how sport can help. Richard is an Essex All Together Ambassador for Disability Sport and spoke about the positive benefits of training in Karate for mental health.
The Club ran a Fundraising course in the aid of the KUGB's Chosen Annual Charity Mind taught by World and European Champion Jack Somers.
Continuing with our Club's ongoing campaign to help raise awareness of mental health we held a 'Time to Talk' Free Karate Taster session and were very pleased to be joined by three special guests with Councillors Bob Massey, Julia Jeapes and Stephanie Scott. The Club was also featured in the newspaper – Chelmsford & Mid Essex Times.
Each year we encourage a number of students to go for selection to the Central Kata Squad taught by Sensei Frank Brennan (8th Dan). This year we had a total of 9 selected: Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones, Sensei Richard Kheder, Emma Burke, Lisa Ironman, Megan Naylor-Jones, Jessica Steadman, Lucy Davy, Nick Nelson and Alexander Lockett.
Sensei Dot and Sensei Jane were featured in the local Newspaper as together they have over 100 years of Women Karate.
We ran three courses locally: a Referees & Judges Course; a Ladies Self Defence and Personal Safety Course sponsored by Keds and a Special Tigers Class during School Half term.
Sensei Richard was also featured in a three page article by Ippon magazine talking about How Karate can be positive for your Mental Health.
The KUGB International Grand Slam took place in Chesterfield with all four of our students representing England.
We held the first of our Training & Kyu Grading's in Chelmsford with Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan)
Chelmsford won a total 6 Golds out of a possible 9 at the Shotokan Tigers Competition!
Sensei Jane and Richard taught another Ladies Self Defence and Personal Safety Course sponsored by Keds.
At the KUGB Black and Brown Belt course in Abingdon Justin Newman and Mandy Pugh passed their Nidan Black belts.
Sensei Dot was featured in the Colchester Gazette Newspaper highlighting her passion for Karate at age 84!
We hosted a Mum’s train free for Mother’s Day Sunday session where many of our members brought along their Mums to train alongside them.
Megan Naylor-Jones and Jessica Steadman became Chelmsford Sports Ambassadors.
17 members plus their families attended the week long Spring Karate Course in Paignton. In addition to the fantastic training there was a Black Belt Grading where both Alicia Willis and Ryan Dearlove passed their Shodan Black Belts. Furthermore in the Kata Competition Alexander Lockett won the Black Belt Kata and Matthew Gilbert came fourth.
A few weeks later at the Special Dan Course in Chesterfield, Chelmsford's Emma Burke passed her 3rd Dan, Black Belt.
The Club also hosted Sensei Frank Brennan (8th Dan) in Chelmsford for a Special Course.
Sensei Richard Kheder was again invited to officiate at the Oxford versus Cambridge Varsity Match.
During Easter School Holidays the Club held a Special Tigers Class with the theme being Anti-Bullying and Personal Safety.
At the KUGB British National Championships in Leicester, the Club had a fantastic day.
Chelmsford Children's Team Kata came third - Mia Hillsden, Alexander Lockett and Nick Nelson
Chelmsford Ladies Team Kumite came joint third - Emma Burke, Lisa Ironman and Kelly Hodkinson.
Girl's Kumite 5ft 3 and over - Mia Hillsden was runner up
GOLD Children's Under 16 Kata - Mia Hillsden was crowned Champion with Alexander Lockett coming third
GOLD Male Kata - Jack Somers won this title for a third successive year.
Most Outstanding Competitor Under 16 - Sensei Sherry awarded Mia Hillsden with this title as she had reached the final in all her events with three medals including Gold in Kata.
Furthermore, Sensei Jane was presented with her 50-year Long Standing Membership by Sensei Sherry.
During May - Sensei Jane and Richard spent two days at Oakland Infants teaching a series of Karate classes.
During the May Half term a Special Tigers Class was organised at Dovedale Sport Centre with a Super hero theme.
At the KUGB Southern Region Championships in Reading the Club won a total of 6 Titles (plus 4 Silvers and 9 Bronze).
KUGB SOUTHERN REGION CUP Alexander Lockett won the Most Outstanding Competitor Under 16.
GOLD - Emma Burke - Senior Female Individual Kumite
GOLD - Alexander Lockett - Children's Dan Grade Kata
GOLD - Alexander Lockett - Boys Under 5' Kumite
GOLD - Nick Nelson - Boys 5'-5'5" Kumite
GOLD - Childrens Team Kata (Mia Hillsden, Alex Lockett, Nick Nelson)
The second of our Training and Kyu Gradings for the the year with Sensei Sherry (9th Dan) was held at Dovedales Sports Centre.
June also saw Father’s Day so our members brought their Father’s to Train free in the Sunday session.
Chelmsford Sports Ambassadors Jessica Steadman and Megan Naylor-Jones attend a Civic Reception and receive awards from the Mayor of Chelmsford.
At the KUGB British Youth Championships in Chesterfield– Mia Hillsden became British Grand Champion again . Whilst Alexander Lockett wins the Boy's Under 5' Kumite and our Team Kata comes third.
Sensei Richard, in his capacity as the KUGB's Disability Officer, presented a cheque to Paul Farmer the CEO of Mind on behalf of the KUGB.
At the KUGB International Grand Slam Jessica Steadman and Mia Hillsden represent England - Mia Hillsden wins the Kumite and is fourth in the Kata.
With the School holidays beginning a Special Tigers Course was run with the theme for the high grades being Bo Kata.
Furthermore, we held our annual 'Hyland Games' where friends and family meet at Hylands Park for a picnic, some games and a chance to talk and relax in the fresh air.
Megan Naylor-Jones became the first person in the KUGB to Graduate from the Young Leaders Programme (Bronze, Silver and Gold) going onto qualify as an Assistant Instructor and then becoming a Qualified KUGB Instructor. She was very honoured ot be presented her certificate by Sensei Sherry.
At the Annual Summer Karate Course held at Lancaster University five of our members attended. Sensei Richard Naylor-Jones, Megan Naylor-Jones, Romilly Pope, Ella Roberts and Nick Nelson.
At the end of the week there was Black Belt grading and Ella Roberts passed her Nidan Black Belt.
KUGB British Shotokan Cup –
GOLD - Mia Hillsden wins the Girls Kata and is Runner Up in the Kumite,
GOLD - Alexander Lockett won his Kumite and is Runner Up in Kata.
Both Mia Hillsden and Jakc Somers are selected to represent KUGB England at the ESKA European Championships in Nis, Serbia in November.
ITV Anglia visit the Chelmsford Dojo for National Fitness Day and the Club are featured in the 6 o'clock news!
Our third and final Training and Kyu Grading for the year with Sensei Sherry (9th Dan) is held.
Sensei Richard Kheder passed his 4th Dan Black Belt at the Special Dan Course in Bath.
During the School Half Term Sensei Jane and Richard ran a Special Tigers Course.
At the Shotokan Tigers Competition in South Woodham Ferrers the Club wins medals a plenty including 3 Golds!
The Club hosts a Special Course with Sensei Brennan (8th Dan) in Chelmsford.
Mia Hillsden and Jack Somers represent KUGB England at the ESKA European Championships in Serbia. Sensei Jane and Richard attend the Championships to support them but also in their official capacity as ESKA Officers. KUGB England overall are placed 2nd in the table.
Eight year old Cillian Whyte is invited to the Pride of Essex Awards at Anglia Ruskin University where he received an award and was 'Highly Commended'. Cillian has had major heart surgery yet lives an active life and, to date, has achieved Brown Belt with the goal to reach Black Belt.
During November Richard Kheder found out that he head been shortlisted as an Active Essex 'Unsung Hero' for 2018 as was interviewed by BBC Essex Radio.
At the KUGB Black Belt grading in Egham Alex Dearlove passes his Shodan Black Belt. Alex follows in his brother's foot steps, Ryan who passed his Black Belt back in April.
At the Active Essex Awards - Sensei Richard Kheder was Highly Commended as an 'Unsung Hero' and Sensei Jane Naylor-Jones won the title 'Coach of the Year'. It was fantastic to have two such deserved individuals from our Club in the finals.
The achievement of Sensei Jane in 2018 follows on from last year where Mia Hillsden was awarded the 'Young Sports Personality of the Year 2017'. Sensei Jane is an Active Essex 'This Girl Can' Ambassador and these two awards clearly demonstrate the potential for females in Karate.
Photo courtesy of Active Essex
The year also finished with the Christmas Party where we played some traditional games and were entertained by the entrants to 'Chelmsford's Got Talent' - this section within the party has now become a regular fixture with some participants preparing and rehearsing weeks in advance! We also held on Special Tigers course which following just over 2 hours of Training ended with some fun and games on a Bouncy Castle.
2018 was a fantastic year and we would like to thank everyone involved including our members, our team of Instructors, Young Leaders, Parents, Friends and Family for helping to make it such a memorable year. Each year when we look back it is great to see students of all ages and abilities enjoying their Karate Training and the many events in our calendar. Looking forward to 2019 we are ready to get back to a full schedule starting Thursday 3rd January. If you are a member of the Club or would like to join our Club we look forward to seeing you in 2019.