STUDENTS from Andersonstown, Girdwood, and Shaftesbury karate clubs were among those from the Northern Ireland Karate-Do Waldo-Kai who attended a technical kata course at Girdwood Community Hub recently.

The atmosphere in the centre was electric as participants discovered the level of detail needed to make their karate techniques effective. 

They were amazed to learn how the slightest deviation in how a movement is executed could make the difference between inadequately blocking an attack or successfully disabling and following through with an explosive counter attack.

The seminar was led by top Irish karate exponent Oliver Brunton who has been developing karate here over six decades. He advocates the disciplined regimental training required to master effective techniques.

Even though he is now in his early 80s, Oliver can produce devastating karate as he has acquired the skill of using his body to the best advantage rather than relying on physical strength.

“Karate can be advantageous to everyone - not just the young and athletic,” Oliver said.

“While it is of course beneficial for the youth to become involved in karate, it can also be an important mechanism for older people to retain much of their physical and mental agility.”

Following the training seminar, many of the students partook in a grading examination conducted by Oliver and his son James, both of whom are technical examiners with the Japanese Karate Federation whose standards are recognised throughout the world.

“A high level of knowledge in the art is needed to successfully carry out grading examinations as not only do they signify the point someone has reached in their karate career, but they also act as a tool for their future development,” Oliver explained. 

“If someone is given a grade too soon it can make it difficult for them in their karate progression and so great care is required when assessing students.”

Andersonston Karate Club trains at the Andersonstown Leisure Centre on Fridays from 4.30pm to 5.30pm; Girdwood Karate Club trains at Girdwood Community Hub on Wednesdays from 7pm to 8pm; and Shaftesbury karate club trains at Shaftesbury community and recreation centre on Tuesdays from 4pm to 5pm. 

For further information contact James on 07513 837557 or visit