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Archive for July, 2016

Summer Holidays timetable

Please note that the Karate timetable for the school summer holidays is now as follows:

HW Summer Holiday Timetable 25th July - 1st September ONLY

These class times are valid until 31st August. The normal timetable will resume from 1st September.

Bank Holiday Monday 29th August – the full club will be closed on this day.

Little Ninjas – All classes are on as normal throughout the holidays except Monday 1st & Monday 29th August when the classes will not be running.

WadoFit, Competition Classes, High Performance Classes – All of these sessions re-start from 1st September at the usual times.


Portugal Success for Hartlepool Trio

As we’ve previously reported on this blog, last weekend we had three lads from the club representing Wadokai England in Portugal. The event was a combined elite training camp with some of the best Wadokai coaches in Europe, and a special Sakagami International Championships. The event was made that bit more special because it was a memorial event for Francisco Saalfeld, who was very close to the Portuguese squad.

Rachel and Harvey have put together a short diary of the weekend:


We arrived in the early hours of Friday morning at Lisbon airport to be met by our host Frederico Silva, head of the Portuguese team. Quite a privilege to be met by the top man! Frederico took us to our apartments for a quick sleep before an early start.

Training and the competition took part in the Amadora-Brandoa Sport Center. The group was split into 3, and then rotated between various groups. Sensei Sakagami focused on traditional Wado Kata and Kihon Kumite, Sensei Derek Desmond on Kumite strategy and tactics, and Sensei Frederico Silva on high performance Kumite.


Each meal time, we were taken to a restaurant for a buffet with some delicious traditional Portuguese food. Our hosts were fantastic recommending food and drink to try. We had some delicious meals while we were there, and I can personally recommend the green wine. The desserts were divine! Sergio especially was good at ensuring we all tried new dishes, and translated full menus to us.

After lunch on Friday we were treat to a sightseeing tour. We looked around a beautiful monastery in the city, and saw some amazing architecture, old and new. We were taken to what could be described as the Betty’s of Lisbon. On the outside it appeared to be a small café, but inside was room after room after room of tables and chairs, all full. Their speciality, was a delicious custard tart dessert with cinnamon on the top, fresh from the oven. We may have eaten one or two during the course of the trip, The boys might be nearer double figures….

The boys had more excellent training in the early evening, before dinner.

Saturday morning the boys attended the course again, with the same rotation basis. After lunch we were taken to Sintra, and the Palace of Pena. We took a hairy bus ride up a very steep and windy hill to the Palace. Watching bikes and various vehicles go up was like something off wacky races. The Palace was well worth a visit. Not only was the building itself spectacular, the views from the top were breath taking. There was a walled walk fairly near the top, not for the light hearted. I think David still bears the nail marks in his arm from Graham!

Sunday was competition day. The boys did fantastic. Joe just missed out on medals for the individual Kata, Harvey won gold, and Daniel Silver. An all Hartlepool Wadokai Final. The team Kumite was good, with Harvey, Joe and Daniel along with Michael Rankine winning a silver medal. All did well, but must mention Daniel who had a very good fight…for someone who doesn’t fight!

The competition was the Sakagami Cup, in memory of Francisco Saalfeld. It was quite an emotional event with Francisco’s family in attendance and some meaningful speeches. We felt honoured to have been involved in such an event. It was clear how much it meant to our hosts, so it truly felt like a privilege to be there. It might not have been the biggest competition the boys have entered, but it was the most meaningful.


In the evening we were taken to a local tavern with our hosts and some of their family members. What a night!!!! It was one of the best nights we all had with our hosts, and locals watching Portugal win the football. The atmosphere was unreal. As we left the tavern, the streets of Lisbon were full with everyone celebrating. The noise from car horns was deafening. We joined in the celebrations as Frederico sounded the minibus horn all the way back.


Monday we took a trip to the beach before lunch in a lovely place on the marina. We watched the Portuguese football team fly over us with a plane either side. The perfect end to the perfect weekend had to be driving back to the airport we saw the Portuguese football team on the open topped buses followed by a ridiculous number of motorbikes and cars with flags.


Overall we couldn’t have had a better time. The boys have experienced some very high quality training, along with priceless memories that will last a lifetime. We cannot thank our hosts enough for the time and effort they made to make us feel welcome and ensure we had a lovely time. We saw a beautiful city but met some amazing people. Frederico, an amazing coach who has improved the Portuguese team so much but also has a heart of gold, Sergio, Nuno, and Faustino along with the Portuguese team and their families. All who made sure our time in their beautiful city was fantastic.

Sakagami International, Portugal


Left to right: Harvey Kerridge, Daniel Spires, Joe Hind

This weekend we have three of our athletes representing their club and country in Portugal. They are taking part in a weekend long seminar with some of the top Wadokai Sensei in Europe, led by Sakagami Sensei himself. They will also be competing with some of their Wadokai England team mates in the Sakagami International Cup on Sunday too.

All three are seasoned competitors, each of whom have represented their country at European level so they are not strangers to high level competition. Though this weekend will give all three guys some highly valuable international-level mat-time and help them further develop their Karate competition skills.

We’ll keep you informed of how they get on over there, Good Luck guys. Smash it!

1st Annual Awards

On Saturday 2nd July, the club held its first ever Annual Awards ceremony. The Dojo was transformed by a small team of volunteers, with all the mats being taken away, and the tables and chairs (and licenced bar) were set up instead. All the tables were dressed, and we had a balloon guy come along to help decorate them, the disco was set up, and we were ready to go…

The club invested £1400 into making sure the evening was a fantastic success and we are happy to say that it was exactly that. The atmosphere all night was really relaxed and friendly, and people were up and dancing within minutes of arriving thanks to the great music.


We had a number of ‘special’ achievement awards to present before we started with the main ceremony. These ranged from ‘Worst Haircut’ to ‘Services to One Life’ (One Life is a medical centre in town). These were great ice breakers and were all taken in good fun.

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We then moved onto the very special awards, as follows:

  • Outstanding contribution to the club – Leyton Davis


  • Outstanding Senior – Neil Codner


  • Outstanding Junior – Joe Flounders


  • Student of the Year – Pennie Carter
  • This award also comes with a scholarship to the club for a year


  • Kerridge Award – Mollie Cooper
  • This is in memory of Steve Kerridge (Harvey’s step dad, and our Vice Chairman Rachel’s husband) who we sadly lost a few years ago. Steve was a great, hardworking guy who would help absolutely anyone. He was the first person to help renovate the Dojo HQ, the very next day that we collected the keys! In short, this is the ‘nice guy’ award. It has nothing to do with Karate ability, it’s about the character of the person and this, to us, is the most important award we give out.

On behalf of the club, I would like to personally thank everyone who helped set-up for the night, and rebuild the Dojo afterwards. It’s always the same few who come along to help but it is massively appreciated. A special thanks must go to Wendy and Mollie who put a lot of work into the planning, even before the date was set.

As with all of our events, they are only successful because of the team of people who help arrange everything. So, thank you to every one of you…

Sensei Lynne, her sister Debi and niece Chloe prepped the fantastic food and George & Nick Gowland put on another fantastic disco for us. Our Chairman, Julia Gowland and her oldest son Lee staffed the bar all night so that the instructors could just relax and enjoy the evening. Lee also provided some sponsorship from his company, McEwen’s for the evening. I would also like to thank our anonymous sponsor for providing the fantastic awards for the evening, and asking for nothing in return.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who came along on the night. People were asking for many more similar events in the future so it’s fair to say that everyone had a great time.

The next big night at the club will be the Halloween Party in October (Theme will be Harry Potter/Hogwarts). Full details and tickets will be available from the club after the summer holiday.

(We have many more pics to upload, but the storage on this blog is full so we’re removing some older content so we can fit them all on)