Peter Edwards is running regular classes in Shotokan Karate at Lympstone Village Hall on Thursdays from 6 pm to 8 pm.
“The principal basis for karate’s world-wide popularity is the ‘anytime, anywhere, anyone’ principle. Simply put, the practice of karate knows no limitations; there are no time, place, age, or gender restrictions. One can train any time, any place, with anyone, or even by one-self. Moreover, one can practice for fitness, self-defence, recreation, competition, character development, or personal discovery.” – Shoshin Nagamine 1907-1997
Shotokan Karate is a traditional martial art from Japan, with its origins in the practical fighting styles of Okinawa and Chinese Kung fu. The Shotokan school derives its name from the pen-name of the school’s founder, Gichin Funakoshi, who wrote poetry as ‘Shoto;’ thus Shotokan means simply ‘Shoto’s school.’
Karate is often perceived as an ancient art, but Shotokan in its current form is less than a hundred years old and continues to evolve and develop.
The benefits of karate extend far beyond self-defence.
Like any physical activity, karate can help reduce the risk of many chronic conditions including heart disease, diabetes and other problems associated with lack of exercise. Good research shows that those who are regularly active, even only moderately active, have lower mortality rates than those who are not.
Physical activity has strong positive effects on psychological health, even moderate single sessions being effective at reducing depression, anxiety and psychological distress; just spectating has been shown to have a positive effect on happiness and wellbeing.
In addition, Karate brings its own specific benefits. The system of grading provides a clear framework of achievement and development, giving students plain goals to meet in a reasonable time frame. The practice of any truly traditional martial art has been shown to improve concentration, discipline, and focus in children and young people, with a commensurate improvement in schooling outcomes. The benefits for disabled people can be astounding.
In later life, practice of Karate maintains mobility, balance and coordination. Studies of karateka who have practiced for many years show an increase in neural density and connections in the brain, even in comparison to other sports. This may account for the long lives, characterised by robust health and mental vigour until the very end, enjoyed by many karate masters.
Karate is not dependent on physical strength or aggression for effectiveness. As a true martial art, technique is everything. The technique is quickly learned, but takes a lifetime to perfect.
Karate can be an exciting and spectacular combat sport, a valuable benefit to health and a path of personal development and discovery for young and old, of all abilities.
‘The ultimate aim of karate lies not in the defeat of an opponent, but in the perfection of the character of its participants.’ Gichin Funakoshi.
Sensei Peter Edwards
I began training in Shotokan Karate in 1990 after seeing a demonstration at my sister’s school. Karate very quickly became a key feature in my life, and I was awarded first dan black belt (Shodan) in 1994 by the renowned Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda.
In the late 90’s I represented England as part of the British Shotokan Karate Union National Team. After a long period at first dan, I was awarded my second dan (Nidan) grade in 2011 and third dan (Sandan) in 2014 both by the Shotokan Karate-do of the United Nations technical panel.
In 2012 I returned to competition karate, and in 2015 I came third in the Masters event at the SKDUN World Championships held in Dobrowa Gornicza, Poland.
I hold Safeguarding and Sport First Aid qualifications, and am working with the Disability Karate Federation to become a coach for disabled karateka. We hope to commence a South West project this year to open the fantastic benefits of karate to those who would find them almost impossible to access normally.
My study of karate has brought great benefits to my life, and I am keen to share them with as many people as possible. As such, Avocet Shotokan is a non-profit making club. Training fees are minimal, just £4 per session, which covers only rental of the venue and affiliation fees. Any excess will be used to subsidise club members attending courses and competitions. With sufficient students, I would seek to reduce the fees still further.
At an age when most sportsmen would be considering retirement, I am still considered a ‘young’ karateka. It is never too late to start practicing karate, and it is never too late to glean the benefits of suitable training.
Put simply, if you think you are too old, too unfit, too weak, or too timid to learn karate, you are not.
Avocet Shotokan is committed to offering a safe, welcoming, friendly and supportive training environment. We are sincere about traditional karate, but that does not mean we are too serious.
Your first two sessions are free; you have nothing to lose from having a try. It may be the change your life needs.
Contact Peter Edwards on 07858 265291 or email email@example.com