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An Open Letter To All Students, Parents and Instructors

As the year draws to a close it is always a good time to take stock, to review where we are and where we might like to be.

This is as relevant within our karate. At the beginning of the year it was suggested we set ourselves a goal, objective or a target. It might simply to have been to achieve a grade or to master a single technique, move or kata. We sincerely hope you have achieved your aims and if not that you soon will. It is also our hope that you have progressed and enjoyed your training within CFTS. Now is a good time for us the executive to pause and reflect upon the last twelve months.

Grading standards continue to improve, partly because of renewed use of record cards, partly the way we now grade intermediates, but also because of the efforts of you the students are making in partnership with your instructors. On the point of gradings we would like to thank all those actively involved in the special open day held in Bletchley back in March. A thoroughly great day was had by all. Dan gradings held in March went very well so once again we must congratulate all who achieved a new rank of dan grade.

Club, Dan Grade and Technical committee meetings continue to be well supported and seem to achieve their aims. Thanks to all who support the meetings by attending and by their input and effort.

The competition day in April was a roaring success, the only negative being over-running. We have explored why and will ensure it was a one off. All our courses this year have once again been well attended but I wonder why so many of our students, both adult and junior, have never attended one? They are put on for everyone’s benefit and enjoyment and the licence fees subsidise these events. At the back end of last year Sensei Sahota’s course took us through various kumite moves, some easy some not so and then on to kata, a course which was enjoyed by all who attended. Early in the year Sensei Holmes visited us with his usual sense of humour and wit, not to mention his skill. Due to breaking two metatarsals, Sensei Finch was unable to take his course in May but did visit us in November, taking some of us through Bo work and then for the many through some Matsuri Kumite. This too was another great course. Having swapped dates with him, Sensei Randall visited us in May, who took his usually high standard course of traditional karate.

This year saw the introduction of our new magazine. Your new magazine which is coming to you free by courtesy of CFTS and MASA. Once again, something back for your licence fee and very worthwhile too. We hope you continue to enjoy it. If you want to have an article published first please run it past your instructor and then email or post it onto the Martial Art Standard.

Socially, a picnic at Emberton park was organised by Newton Longville but the lack of support was disappointing. The CFTS ladies group continue with their occasional meetings for light refreshments, extending their invitation recently to a few wayward gentlemen.

Most recent though has been the charity football match which culminated in producing enough profit for a motor bike and a push bike as well as leaving some funds over for petrol, insurance and a year’s maintenance contract. Steve Kavanagh of Kempston kindly took photos which we sold and bought at £2 each. The proceeds were almost sufficient to send the Christmas shoe boxes over for the street kids of Lira. The only reason the funds didn’t quite cover the costs is that we far exceeded the number of Christmas boxes we were aiming for. Instead of the thirty plus we were aiming for we sent almost ninety as well as some other miscellaneous essential items of aid. In which ever way you have helped and supported our appeal a very big 'Thank-you' must go to each and every one of you. On Christmas day, you can all be pleased with your efforts that you have put a smile on a young face who is not as fortunate as we all are.

Looking forward to 2009, we shall again be having our annual competition day and an array of fine instructors for our courses. Please try to support these events. They are put on for your development, pleasure and to enhance your knowledge. It is good to have a variety of input into your training to receive a variety of instruction and to retain your interest. It might also be a poignant opportunity to remind everyone that at orange belt, if not before, one is expected to up your training to twice a week. This is to enable the instructor to assist you learning the syllabus for your next grading. Without sufficient training, and a variety of it there is no depth of knowledge as one nears black belt. A question we like to ask is do you want to be a black belt or to be as good as a black belt?

Who knows what 2009 might bring with all this talk of economic doom and gloom? We sincerely hope that it is not too bad for you and your family but if things get tight please talk in confidence to your instructor, who is human after all, who may be able to come up with a solution for you. We would rather help you in any way we can rather than you cease training all together.

Finally may we, the executive of CFTS, take this opportunity in wishing you a very happy Christmas and a healthy and prosperous new year.

Sensei A Kidby, Chief Instructor

Sensei E. McClagish, Chairman

Sensei L. O'Reilly, Secretary


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