Karate club celebrates 40 years at leisure centre

Members of Belper Aiwakai at the National Championships held at Alfreton in May.
Members of Belper Aiwakai at the National Championships held at Alfreton in May.
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Belper Karate Club celebrates 40 years of training at Belper Sports Centre this month.

The club began life as Belper Wadokai when the sports centre opened in 1974. Members from Matlock and Alfreton came together to hold night classes at the new centre, and the response was so great that it was decided to establish a permanent club at the site.

Having undergone a change of name in the 1980s, the club is now known as Belper Aiwakai, but the same traditional WadoRyu karate is still taught under the supervision of Kuniaki Sakagami sensei (eighth Dan). After many changes of instructors and students, the club is still running every Friday night in the same venue.

Although membership has decreased since the heady days of Bruce Lee and the like, there is still a lot of interest in the martial arts.

The plethora of styles now available in the area make recruitment difficult, but the club maintains two sessions each week with Tuesday night training at Kawa Gichi Dojo at Milford.

Anyone interested in learning is welcome to attend a free ‘taster’ session at either venue. For more details, contact founder member and senior instructor Dave Johnson on 07954 371948.