The following are comments from students who are either new to Karate or new to our more practical approach to Karate.
I,ve been training in what I thought of as traditional Shotokan Karate at NSKC on and off since the late 1970s reaching the grade of 2nd Dan. I have had breaks in training over the years for different reasons but the main reason I stopped training was the realisation that what I was doing definitely wouldn't work as an effective self defence system. How I was taught to punch, kick and block just didn't make sense to me and the explanations I was given to kata bunkai just seemed ludicrous.
However, since starting training again at Norfolk Practical Karate Club (formally NSKC) under Graham and Neil using the practical approach has totally changed my view. Everything suddenly makes sense, kata bunkai now has sensible real life applications, striking is now focused on developing impact and drills are practiced to develop realistic self defence scenarios. My faith in karate (at least at NPKC) as an effective self defence system has been renewed and I can strongly recommend all martial artist from any style to come along and see what we do.
Dave Williamson, Norwich
I Thought as I was sitting here reading con com by Rory Miller what karate and Max Impact training has done for me in the last 10 months. Graham Palmer my sensei asked me 6 yrs ago when we were in Southern Ireland to join him in Max Impact to see if I would like it. I declined, bad mistake as I now realise, but you don't know what you don't know. Since then I have took the chance to do it and what a major difference it has made. From Max Impact I progressed to karate training which has given me a whole new outlook on life,, it makes you think ( oils the brain back to life) becomes physically challenging, gives you something to overcome and your own glitches. You must face what you don't like to do, the feeling of being with the same people who want to achieve a high standard and not be " that will do" attitude. Some nights after training I haven't slept due to thinking of the moves and going through my head to get it right. Also you can push yourself to get all you can from your instructor or not. Only you know how much you have trained and not cheat yourself!! There are nights and days where it hasn't gone well and your brain is "noodled"as Neil puts it, doesn't matter just move on and take it, as it does sink in. I get a lot of micky taking from mates about this, I laugh it off as I know none of them would stick the fitness and the self discipline to carry on and learn more. I get stuck in with the black belts and instructors (which I love doing, it's the only way) I love it. So they are laughing at themselves!!
Martin Goffin, Wymondham
I wanted to join the Norfolk Practical Karate Club as a way to get off the sofa and get my fitness back after previously trying Shotokan Karate a few years ago. Firstly on entering the dojo it can be a bit daunting..... BUT Graham and Neil soon make you feel settled and welcome . Their enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable teaching skills soon make you at ease as do the other members of the club. (very friendly) This is a different style of Karate that is self defence based. Each lesson is a great workout and teaches new skills to the beginner or the more experienced. Highly recommended.
Stuart Gooda, Wymondham
Prior to joining Norfolk Practical Karate Club I had studied Shotokan Karate for over 15 years. During that time I became increasingly aware that the techniques I was practising wouldn’t work in a ‘real life’ situation or form an effective style of self-defence. Whilst I still loved the art I was desperate for more from it. Fortunately I discovered Norfolk Practical Karate Club. The club’s understanding and application of Karate has been nothing short of a revelation and totally reinvigorated my training. Gone are the hours spent practicing in isolation against thin air. Instead everything is trained within a clear context and utilising partners or pads to develop effective targeting, power and movement.
The sterile rule driven ‘combat’ of point scoring sparing has been replaced by a more inclusive system that embraces the uncertainty of different environments, multiple opponents, grapples and anything else that may come up in a real life situation. Katas have taken on a whole new life. My previous training had focused on the aesthetics of performance with virtually no emphasis on finding a meaningful application. Norfolk Practical Karate Club takes a totally different approach. Each move is given a realistic, functional meaning which can be extracted and drilled in combinations. These are then applied to other areas of training and ultimately, form effective self-defence techniques. I can honestly say I have benefited more from katas in the last year than I had in the previous 15.
Norfolk Practical Karate Club has fundamentally changed my approach to karate and addressed major gaps in my training (many that I was aware of – many more that I wasn’t). I can’t speak highly enough of the club or its instructors and thoroughly recommend it to anyone who has an interest in training karate as a practical martial art rather than simply a sport or aesthetic hobby.
Dan Cocks, Norwich
I have been at the club for a year now and coming from no background in martial arts it has been quite a year. I have enjoyed the physical element to our training but also been challenged mentally much more than I envisaged. Working with Graham and Neil has been demanding and sometimes feels like progress is slow, when working with the newer students however you can then gauge the progress you have made and that is a great feeling. I will continue to work hard and enjoy the rewards, many thanks to Graham and Neil for your coaching and to all our training partners......even Martin !!