Tuesday 4th December 2007 by C. Freeman
One of the country's highest graded karate experts visited Brooke Weston to demonstrate martial arts techniques. Sensei Gursharan Sahota, who founded and runs TISKA Karate, was recently awarded his Seventh Dan.
Sensei Sahota talked to Year 8 students about the benefits of karate before demonstrating his technique by breaking two panels of wood in half. Students, Olivia Hogan and Lee Stockley, who are both 2nd Dans, demonstrated techniques such as kumite (sparring) and kata (formal moves) during the half-hour-long session.
Lee Stockley, Olivia Hogan and Sensei Gursharan Sahota
Sensei Sahota explained that karate is a defensive, not an aggressive discipline: 'Karate is not about losing control, it's learning to control aggression and maintain a positive attitude. Karate teaches etiquette, discipline and self-confidence.'
Sensei Sahota started learning karate at the age of 14, and gained his black belt (1st Dan) four years later. He then trained in Japan and, on his return to the UK he set up TISKA (Traditional International Shotokan Karate Association) in 1993.
TISKA now has a wide network of clubs from Surrey up to Sheffield, with members taking part in regular training, grading and championship events. The association also has clubs in the Bahamas and India, and next year there are plans for 45 students training at 3rd Dan and above to attend a training seminar in Dubai!
Year 10 student, Olivia Hogan, has been training since she was aged just five, and nine years later she is at 2nd Dan grade. She trains twice a week in Kettering and once in Uppingham. She said: 'It builds up your confidence and self esteem and you learn how to defend yourself.'
Teacher, Helen Huchet, set up the demonstration as part of the Period One curriculum which is aimed at developing students' esteem and self confidence. She said: 'Many students and staff already train with TISKA and it was fantastic that Sensei Sahota was able to come and talk to students here. Many were very enthusiastic and want to learn more.'
Sensei Sahota runs about 40 karate classes himself each week, and also trains for at least two hours per day. He said: 'I've got a passion for karate and that's why I love my job, I never get tired of it. Karate is a great sport for people of all ages and fitness levels. We often have whole families training at once and although we take it very seriously our clubs are friendly with very experienced instructors.'
TISKA runs many clubs in the area, with training at Brooke Weston, Kettering, Market Harborough and Oakham. If students would like more information about how to join then they can contact Sensei Sahota on 07885 294418 or email firstname.lastname@example.org