Private: News

April Fools’ Brings Success to Judo Grading

A big congratulations goes to all Kyushindo Judo students that took part in the grading on 1st April 2017 – this was held at Abingdon Conservative Club. Even though the day was officially April Fools, there were certainly no ‘fools’ on the mats, all students passed with brand- new and very colourful belts along with massive smiles on their faces after the two hour grading.

Here are all the new grades that were awarded:

Matilda Clayson – red belt
Joanne de Villiers – red belt
Lois Kemp-Harper – red belt
Will Cotmore-Brown – yellow belt
Ken Sheehan – yellow belt
Alison Puckey – orange belt with two green stripes
Gemma Gregory – green belt
Rowan Merchant – green belt with one blue stripe
Beverley Gregory – green belt with three blue stripes
Katie Simpson – blue belt

Third Dan Instructor, Laura Gilbert was also pleased to award Samuel Gardner – a current brown belt in the martial art, with two black stripes to add to his belt. Samuel received these stripes due to continued improvements to his Judo technique and confidence being built since helping with assisting in the Judo classes.

For more information on Abingdon Conservative Club’s judo classes, please complete an enquiry form today.

The Abingdon WI Show Their Strength at Ladies Self Defence Workshop

WI LogoKyushindo Ladies Self Defence were extremely pleased to be invited to run a self defence workshop for the Hadland Road WI, (Women’s Institute) on Wednesday 16th March 2016.

Laura from Kyushindo Ladies Self Defence took a 45 minute workshop for all the keen ladies at the WI – Bev, who has attended the self defence classes from day one, was also there to help with the session. The WI were given a brief overview of the classes, Laura and Bev then moved into a short and simple warm-up to get the ladies ready to learn some new techniques.

Learning wrist releases were just for starters for the WI, strikes and kicks were then incorporated into the workshop, along with tips on how to safe. The ladies also learnt about what is classed as their own ‘personal space’ and what peripheral vision is, and how to use it.

Laura was very impressed with how enthusiastic the ladies of Hadland Road WI were during the workshop, she explains, “I’m really pleased with how brilliantly the ladies of the WI worked. Not only have they learnt simple, but effective techniques, they’ve also had brilliant fun learning the moves too. The Kyushindo Ladies Self Defence classes aren’t just about learning how to stay safe, but it’s also about women feeling empowered, making themselves a priority, having fun, while also bonding with other women from the class too.”

If you’d like to find out more about Laura’s classes, please drop her an email at, You can also follow Kyushindo Ladies Self Defence on Facebook at,

Black Belt Grading

Congratulations to all who attended today’s Black Belt Grading in Highgate, London. The effort and technique was excellent!

The following grades were awarded:

Name Grade
Morgan W Junior Black Belt
Katie H Junior Black Belt
Christian G Junior Black Belt
Esme W Junior Black Belt
Geoff B Black Belt
Thomas H Black Belt, 1st Dan
Justin E Black Belt, 3rd Dan
Darren N Black Belt, 3rd Dan
Toby L Black Belt, 3rd Dan
Andy C Black Belt, 3rd Dan
Chris B Black Belt, 3rd Dan
David F Black Belt, 7th Dan
Mike J Black Belt, 7th Dan

In addition to the grades awarded, Chris and Esme were awarded an ‘Exceptional Performance’ medal for their excellent work during the grading.

During the grading, a few photos were taken (but not too many so it didn’t distract!), here are some of the photos as well as photos of the presentations at the end:

Kyushindo Member breaking the silence and raising money for Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC)

After experiencing the horror of rape while she was out jogging last year, a Kyushindo member (who cannot be named for legal reasons) has taken it upon herself to help raise money for the centre who helped her to rebuild her life. She hasn’t picked an easy challenge either. Having only taken up climbing a few months ago she is taking on the challenge of climbing a 140m sheer cliff face in North Wales. Climbing such a rock face is no easy feat, requiring intense physical and mental training – all qualities that makes a great martial artist.

This member is showing true Kyushindo spirit in the way she is rebuilding her life, facing challenges and striving to help others who are going through the horrors of rape and sexual abuse. Kyushindo has already made a donation of £230 by donating the proceeds of the Abingdon grading to this fantastic cause, but if you also want to add to her total then I know that she and all of the people who use OSARCC would be very thankful.

To read more and sponsor her, take a look at her Just Giving page here:

You an also see an article about her in the Oxford Mail here:

Abingdon Karate Grading

Congratulations to everyone who took part in the grading in Abingdon today. The standard was great and the hard work paid off!

Name Junior/Senior Grade
Sam G Junior Yellow Belt, 1 tag
Otto S Junior Red Belt
Nina B Junior Red Belt
Willy T Senior Yellow Belt
Jack T Senior Yellow Belt
Filip R Junior Orange Belt
Pawel R Junior Orange Belt
Larissa S Junior Blue Belt
Cooper A Senior Brown Belt
Amber H Senior Green Belt
Olgan D Junior Brown Belt
Lily B Junior Blue Belt, 2 tags

School was out for the summer, but not for the ladies

Thameside School in Abingdon – the home of the ladies self defence classes – may have closed for the summer, but the ladies kept on learning. Laura taught some classes outside while taking advantage of the great weather and the open space of the Abbey Meadows. The ladies all appreciated keeping the classes going for them to learn new techniques, despite the usual home being closed for the holidays.

As well as taking the self defence outside, Laura and Kevin also joined the Abingdon W.I. in the summer holidays too. Laura approached them a few months back to make them aware of who Kyushindo Ladies Self Defence were, and their goals in the community. After the a ten minute presentation, flyers were handed out and questions were answered. Laura and Kevin are looking forward to be taking a class at the W.I. in 2015, watch this space.

(Click on the photos to see a bigger version)



Summer Club Closures

Below is a list of closures over the summer holiday period. We will do our best to keep this fully up to date.

Abingdon Kids Karate Club: Closed. Reopens 7th September
Earley Karate Clubs (Cadet and Junior): Closed. Reopens 8th September
Ladies Self Defence: Closed. Reopens 9th September
Reading Karate and Self Defence Club: Open except 10th and 17th August
Thamesside Karate Club: Closed. Reopens 9th September
Woodley Karate Clubs (Cadet and Junios): Closed. Reopens 10th September

Kyushindo Seminar 2015

Today saw the Kyushindo Seminar 2015, held at John Madjeski Academy in Reading. It was a fantastic day with huge attendance from all over the areas with people coming from as far as Oxford, London and Romsey (as well as Reading of course!).

The day started with a warmup from Ray before we split into our first activities. The adults spent the day looking at sparring and knife work, pad work, judo and some body movement work. The children had an even more action packed day with pad work, sparring, take downs, judo, nunchucks and then a mini olympics to finish.

The day finished off with a number of demonstration pieces and then an awards ceremony where a lot of trophies were awarded (details to follow!).

Well done to everyone who attended and thanks to all of the instructors who helped make the day brilliant.

Abingdon Grading

Well done to everyone who graded in Abingdon today. The grading was split into two sections with both sets of students working very hard! Here is the list of grades handed out today:

Name Junior/Senior Grade
Jed H Junior Yellow
Jacob H Junior Yellow
Hannah B Junior Yellow
Phoebe G Junior Orange
Lea G Junior Yellow
Julian W Senior Yellow
Ian H Senior Orange
Erwin L Junior Green
Larrisa S Junior Green
Katie G Junior Blue
Tyler C Junior Blue
Charlie L Junior Blue + 1 tag
Torr B Junior Brown + 1 tag
James B Junior Brown
Owen T Junior Brown + 1 tag
Michael O Senior Green + 1 tag
Andrew G Senior Green
Tim S Senior Green
Hannah H Senior Green
Mike H Senior Blue

As usual, there are some photos, though these are all from the second half of the grading. Apologies to those in the first part that I wasn’t able to make it in time!

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(Post) Christmas Training Session

Quite a few people attended Tony’s Christmas Training session on the 30th December. With a great way to shed the Christmas excesses, the club was much busier than usual. It gave everyone the chance to fit in some training before heading out for New Year. Tony took everyone through a range of techniques and then the higher grades worked on some of their techniques while the lower grades tidied up some of their technique. Overall it was a great session with everyone having a bit of fun as well. Thanks Tony for organising it!