IJR Karate​

Train Together, Learn Together, Succeed Together.

IJR Club Latest News

Yondan Grading!!

After a few years of trying to work up the courage to attempt his Yondan (4th Dan Black belt) Sensei Ash has finally put in the work and attempted his Grading! It has been nearly 10 years since his last grading. Due to the nature of running a small club like this and the impracticalities of an in-person grading, a vocational grading has been offered. Basically, a syllabus was chosen close to what we do (KUGB Shotokan) and Ashley had to record a video submission of demonstrating Kihon Combinations, a selection of Dan grade kata selected by the examiners, Kihon and Jiyu ippon kumite defences, a demonstration of a few kumite tactics and strategies along with a recording of Ash and Sensei Richy doing some free sparring. This was then sent off to various high Dan grades for assessment. After a long wait, we finally heard back on the 30th of March that the grading has been successful! There were no markers or critical review points to feedback, and two members of the grading panel felt that the transitions within Jiyu Kumite were particularly clean and of an excellent standard!

"It has been 10 years since my last grading and I have learnt so much through running IJR karate in that time.

But I feel like this isn’t just my achievement, everyone who has been a part of my karate journey, particularly those at IJR karate and helped shaped me into the karate-ka that I am today! You guys inspire me to be the instructor that I am today…They say that teachers can learn just as much from their students as they learn from us, I definitely feel like that is true, so thank you all the students of IJR karate! Along with Richy (the other instructor at IJR karate) who has always been a model student and then becoming an inspirational instructor, it’s a pleasure to teach alongside you." 

10 Year Membership Award!!

Our very own Panda (Sensei Richy Hall) has passed a huge milestone; as of last month, he has been a member of the club for 10 years! He is the longest standing member. In 2012 I re-visited the idea of running a karate club, back then I started with 3 students, two of them made it to blue belt before leaving, but Richy has stayed the course, shown his dedication to the art and to the club, as he assisted me with the classes when we first moved to Braintree when he was around Purple belt, with his input and support he has helped shape this club into what it is today! So congratulations Richy and Thank you for your help and being the awesome Sensei that you are!

Return to the Dojo!!

On the 12th of August we had a very first class back at the Braintree Dojo following the Covid pandemic! We have been off for nearly a year and a half! Hopefully after this long back we return to the dojo well rested and ready to get stuck into our training!

Do not worry if you feel you have forgotten loads, we are all in the same boat, after this long away from the dojo we are all bound to be a little rusty! Our main focus at the moment will be to recap on everything and then start to look at the new content for our next grades

At the moment it is just our Braintree class that has returned until things settle down.

Group Grading!

On the 19th March 2020 the club held a group grading for our first inter-club grading! As we had a student from our Sudbury club grade along side our Braintree club members! Which also makes this the first grading for a Sudbury club member!

Michael graded to his 8th kyu yellow belt, Georgia H graded to her 6th kyu Green belt, Matt P graded to his 5th kyu Blue belt, Georgia P and James graded to their 4th kyu purple belts, and Matt G graded to his 3rd kyu Brown belt white stripe

New Class, New Location!!! 

We will now have a regular weekly class running in Sudbury! This will be on Monday evenings, 7:30pm – 9:00pm regular class fees apply.

This is another large step for the club,

something I have been trying to make happen for a while now but have only just found the opportunity to act. Up until now IJR Karate has only ever been in one place, now that we have two locations this allows us to reach out to more potential students and continue to expand our community. Which will be nice for future events where we might run a kata seminar for example, students from both classes can attend and allow us to train with students we don’t normally train with in our regular classes.

This also means that students willing to travel to Sudbury can train a second night of the week which could really help you smash your goals.

Pictured above is our very first Sudbury Student Michael! Below is picture of one of our first Sudbury Classes, featuring James from our Braintree club!

Last Class of 2019 vs First Class of 2020

2019 Christmas Social

Thanks to everyone that made it to the IJR Christmas Social!! Bowling followed by a cheeky Nando’s! See you all in class on Thursday 19th! Dress Christmassy for our last class!!

Halloween Class 2019

Thanks to everyone that made it to the IJR Christmas Social!! Bowling followed by a cheeky Nando’s! See you all in class on Thursday 19th! Dress Christmassy for our last class!!

Instructor Award!!

25th July 2019

At the end of the group grading where we saw 3 students awarded their next grades, a special award was announced by complete surprise to the awardee. 

Richy has been with the club since the beginning of 2012 and has been a great student, assistant and friend. He has been assisting me with the running of the classes for most of that time now, and after being awarded his Shodan back in 2016 has been helping in the classes even more and has since run complete classes on his own under assessment as part of our instructor program.

For those of you that know and train with Richy you will know how supportive he has been to the club and to your own training, you know that he inspires a friendly, lighthearted yet hard working atmosphere into the dojo. 

This latest award is very well deserved and I am proud to announce that IJR Karate now has its second instructor, Sensei Richy.

New club Badge!

After a few years we have decided introducing a new club badge, I wanted to have a badge that had a deeper meaning behind it, our old badge was just a similar design of a generic Shotokan badge but with my name it katakana running through it to signify that it’s the karate of Ashley. I decided I wanted to take my name out of it, and wanted a design more unique for us.

The new badge is comprised of three things; The Enso Circle, a silhouette of a karate-ka in seiza, and the kanji for Karate-do. The Enso Symbolizes absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe, and mu (the void). The Enso is drawn in one fluid expressive stroke (when drawn in Japanese calligraphy) the brushstroke is especially swift, and once drawn cannot be changed by its creator and can be considered a spiritual practise.

The circle may be open or closed, being open the circle is incomplete, allowing for movement and development as well as the perfection of all things. Zen practitioners relate to the idea to the beauty of imperfection. When the circle is closed it represents perfection.

Group Grading!

25th July 2019

So on the hottest day that we have ever had, we decided to have a grading!! Well done to everyone for coming along and putting everything into it despite how hot it was, you all did awesome! Matt Parsons grading to his 6th kyu green belt, Georgia Parsons and James Williams grading to their 5th kyu blue belt! Awesome work and effort tonight! Also well done to Matt Giddingsfor coming along and taking part in the heat and helping myself and Richy beat up those grading! Great work guys!

A New Year!!

     We hope you all had a lovely Christmas! We are back in the dojo and ready to see what this year has in store for us! 

     I am looking forward to another year of karate and see our club and students continue to grow. Remember to think about what you want to set out and achieve this year. Your goals don't have to just be about your karate journey, think about what you might want to achieve outside of the Dojo too!

2018 SRK Winter Open Championships

25th November

      We attended the SRK Winter open, held in Basildon. Senpai Richy competed in the open kata event, Sensei Ash competed in the open kumite event, and Hollie came along to show support and drove us to the competition. First to compete was Senpai Richy in his kata event, he was drawn up against a high dan grade in the first round, and he put in a solid 

performance of Sepai resulting in him being awarded a flag from a Goju Instructor, which is impressive in itself. He should be very proud of how he performed and held himself- he did great!

Next (much later on in the day) was Sensei Ash to compete in the open kumite division, he was drawn up against the same competitor that Richy had in the kata. It was a very close fight, both not really seeing an opening to score a point, in the end the score was 1-0 against Ash, this may have been a match better suited for the final, especially as Ash's opponent went on to win the competition. 

Overall it was a good day out even just to watch, there were 31 different clubs present, so was good to see a variety of different styles, with a very high standard of karate to be observed. We will be looking forward to entering the SRK Spring open on the 19th of May next year, will be preparing well in advanced for those students that are thinking of entering.

Multiple Gradings!

October 18th 2018

Today we had a big grading at the Dojo, everyone has been working hard for this and deserved their grades, so a big congratulations to Hollie and James for grading to their Orange belts, Georgia for grading to Green belt, and Matt for grading to his Purple.

Throughout the whole grading there was a great energy, and I'm proud of everyone of you for working hard and achieving your next grades.

Thanks to Richy for assisting with the running of the grading, and to Matt for taking pictures at the end of the grading for us, we look forward to seeing you back in the Dojo! 

Yellow belt Grading!

3rd June 2018,

Today we saw our newest recruits (James and Hollie) work hard and earn their yellow belts, this is their first step on the grading ladder and they showed great effort and determination! 

SRK Spring Open Championships!

On Sunday 15th Of April we attended the SRK Spring open championships, held in basildon three of us (James, Senpai Richy and Sensei Ash) competed in the kata events, James in the 10th-4th kyu 15-17 years old. Senpai Richy and Sensei Ash were in the 3rd kyu and above 18 years and older. I was happy and proud of how everyone did. This was James' first tournament, a major step outside his comfort zone, so a big well done to him. I remember how nervous I was competing for the first time, and still am now! I was nervous myself on Sunday! Senpai Richy performed a great kururunfa, he didn't let the pressure get to him and it didn't matter who his opponent was, he went up there and did his thing, well done! 

Here is a picture of our fantastic support team, Steve and Tracey (not pictured) also came along and supported along with those pictured right: Matt, Georgia, Hollie and Joe. Coming along and supporting us proves that we truly are a club, a club that trains together, learns together and succeeds together! Having you guys out there supporting us really does make a difference and gives us a boost, so thank you!

Also, thank you to Joe who took on the role as our club coach for the day, although next time I want to see you in the ring competing! Next tournament is in November, and I would like to take a bigger team along, so get training and lets see what we can do! 

Brown belt Grading!

25th Feb 2018,

    We saw Joe grade to his 2nd kyu brown belt! After a long grading where the soul focus was on him, quite possibly being one of the most demanding Kyu gradings we have run, Joe pushed on through to achieve his well earned grade! , he has come a long way from when he first started with the club 5 years ago! Apart from Richy, Joe is the longest serving member of our small club so it's great to see him earn this grade and get another step close to black belt!

Orange belt Grading!

21st Jan 2018

First grading of the year!! We saw our father-daughter duo grade to their 7th Kyu Orange belts! great effort and focus throughout the whole grading!

Gift from Clive!

A Great way to start the year! A close friend of ours, (Clive) who runs Braintree Aiki Budo Kai, and has let us use the Dojo that we train in for a couple of years now, visited our class and presented us with our very own club banner to put up in the Dojo to help our club develop its sense of identity. Not only is this a lovely gift, its also nice knowing that he believes in our club.

Return to Tournament Scene

For quite a while we have just been focusing on our training, but for those that wish to think about competitions we started looking around at different events, (see our last news post below)

So on the 19th of November 2017 we had Joseph Rogers compete in the 16-17 year olds 3rd Kyu and above for Kata, considering he is a 3rd kyu, lowest grade in the division which had mostly black belts doing much more advanced kata, he didn't let it phase him and performed a very solid performance of Bassai Dai in the first round, but unfortunately didn't get through. He remains positive and I'm sure will step up his training to try and get further in the next tournament.

Sensei Ashley Aldworth also competed in both Kata and Kumite in the 18 year old and above, 3rd kyu and above. Despite having a break from tournaments the last few years, was excited yet 

nervous to get back into the ring, unfortunately only just missed out getting through the first round of the kata but had more luck in the kumite. Winning his first fight with a comfortable score of 5-1.

Overall it was a good day out, and had some great support from friends of the club, Janet and Dave, As well as other students such as Richy, Matt and Georgia who may possibly compete in the future.

New Tournament Circuit!

On the 17th of May, Sensei Ashley and Sempai Richy, visited the 10th SRK Spring open Championships run by Seitou Ryu Karate to observe how well organised the event was (In the past we have gone to events that weren't very well run, so we wanted to see the event in action before committing to anything)

We are pleased to report back that the event was well run, and we saw a decent standard of karate so will be a tough competition! They host a tournament twice a year in Basildon which isn't too far away either. the next event is going to be in November where I plan to enter a few students that are interested, maybe even compete myself! So please let your instructor know if you are interested or want to know more about it.