Peterlee Martial Arts Club



Club Closed
Advance warning that the club will be closed on Monday 2nd May and then on Monday 30th May and Thursday 2nd June. Normal training will resume on Monday 6thJune.

Club Competition
Our club competition will be held, on the Monday 23rd and Thursday 26th May. Only our club can enter so take part and get some experience. We'll probably be starting at 6:30 on both nights.

Presentation Night
The highlight of the club year, our annual presentation night, will be held on Friday 27th May at Easington HMS Victory Club.

Annual Federation Competition
The Annual Federation Competition will be held on Saturday 25th March at Isle of Man. Another superb weekend was had by all those that travelled to the Isle of Man for the Federation Competition, which this year is celebrating it's 50th Anniversary. Huge congratulations to all that competed over the weekend, and in my eyes every one of them is a winner, as they stepped up to the mark and competed to the best of their ability! News on next year's competition will follow as soon as possible

Club grades date will be held on Monday ? th November, and if necessary Thursday ? th July. Completed Grade Application Form with Licence and appropriate Fee to be paid by th .

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In this modern-day society, Martial Arts are publicly acclaimed throughout the World. Yet when Karate first originated (approximately 1400 years ago), very little was known about such arts because of the secrecy that surrounded the practice of Martial Arts.

In the 6th Century China saw the development of the Shaolin Chu'an Fa by the Indian monk Bodhudharma. In the following century some Japanese students of Buddhism studying in the Chinese monasteries were exposed to these techniques and on their travels would have undoubtedly "performed" them at some time. Very little is known or written about the period after this.

The secretive years up to 1903 probably saw the greatest development of karate, but all behind closed doors. Karate proper is believed to have evolved in 1372 when official Chinese-Okinawan relations were instituted. The practice of Chuan Fa increased greatly and when combined with the ancient Okinawan system of combat known as Tode, (fighting with fists), produced Karate. All these arts were still being developed secretly. In fact, it was such that all sorts of rumours and tales were spread far and wide, and one description reads:

"In Okinawa, a miraculous and mysterious Martial Art has come down to us from the past. It is said one who masters it's techniques can defend himself without resort to weapons and can perform remarkable feats - the breaking of several thick boards with his fist, or ceiling panels of a room with a kick. With his Shuto (swordhand) he can kill a bull with a single stroke - he can pierce the flank of a horse with his open hand - he can cross a room grasping the beams of the ceiling with his fingers - crush a green bamboo stalk with his bare hands - shear a hemp rope with a twist, or gorge soft rock with his hands."

About 500 years ago, King Sho Hashi, after uniting the three warring territories of Okinawa, disarmed his warriors to prevent any further breakout of Civil War. Without weapons - and with a powerful fighting spirit - the Warriors secretly developed Karate - the art of the empty hand.

Whilst it was mainly the Nobles who developed Karate in its early stages, the peasants of the island, which had a strong Chinese connection, developed a crude form of weaponry. Fishermen developed fighting skills using turtle shells as shields and fish spears as swords. Farmers learned to use rice flails, now known as Nunchaku, grindstone handles, now known as Ton-fa and sickles as weapons.

All these are now used and accepted as weapons in Martial Arts. Like Karate, these skills were secretly developed.

The Past Masters were very reluctant to pass on their skills except to a few chosen people who were hand picked for their humble, dedicated attitude. It was not until the early 1900's that Karate was first shown in public - at the First Public High School in Okinawa.

Master Funakoshi was one of the Great Past Masters of the Art, and it is through his teaching and training that the art has developed to what we know and recognise today. Even now many of the Great Past Masters do not agree with the publicity given to the Art - and there are rumours that Bruce Lee, who brought the attention of the world to martial arts, died (or was killed) because of the publicity and the way in which he was ready and willing to teach and practice martial arts for stardom and possible financial gains.

The modern-day boom in martial arts certainly started with Bruce Lee - everyone wanted to be like "the Dragon". Fortunately, the exponents of the Bruce Lee image found that there was more to Karate than meets the eye.

In my opinion, however, the widespread practice of martial arts is a good thing - because Karate does not only teach you the outward physical discipline, but it also teaches self discipline - much needed in this modem life. It is an accepted fact that Karate used wrongly is deadly and can even kill - and that is why a person who practices the art must train mentally as well as physically.

A Karateka must always strive to be inwardly humble and outwardly gentle. However, once a Karateka has decided to stand up for the cause of justice, then he must have the courage expressed in the saying even if it must be 10 million foes, I go.

If the application of Karate is for a good purpose, then the art is of great value - if it is misused, then there is no more evil or more harmful art than Karate.

Master Funakoshi quoted:

"Art does not make the man,the man makes the art." "An ordinary man will draw his sword when ridiculed and will fight risking his life, but he may not be called a courageous man. A truly Great Man is not disturbed even when suddenly confronted with an unexpected event or crisis, nor angered upon finding himself in a situation not of his own making and this is because he has a great heart and his aim is high."

The essence of Karate is summed up in Karate ni senteshi, a basic and very essential part of Karate training which means that the Karateka must never attack first, mentally or physically. The essence of this philosophy is understood only after years of correct training. As the Karateka grows in stature so also will grow his good manners and his etiquette, outwardly, and more importantly, inwardly.

All Karateka training must be done with full concentration and purpose.

Correct Dojo etiquette is essential.

"To search for the old is to understand the new,
This is a matter of time.
In all things a man must have a clear mind,
The Way!Who will pass it on straight and well."
Master Funakoshi

Master Gichin Funakoshi established the Shotokan style in Tokyo in 1936. He died in April, 1957 at the age of eighty-eight.

Bob Anderson 14.2.1984
Revised September, 1985
Revised September, 1988
Revised April 1997

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