St. Mary’s mothers chop for their lives

For six weeks, St. Mary’s C.E Primary School had a group of their pupils’ parents take part in a women-only self-defence course in conjunction with a form of martial arts – Ho Shin Do.

The purpose was to fully immerse the mothers in the art of self-defence and Ho Shin Do Karate Manchester’s Stephen Sijuwade invited the TNT founders down to join in the fun.

Make no mistake about it; Ho Shin Do karate is a serious form of martial arts which has self-defence, discipline, mental and social growth at the centre of its philosophy.

Knowing how to defend yourself from attackers and opportunists can be difficult, especially if unequipped with the know-how. The aim of this course was to equip these mothers to defend themselves from any angle; to essentially be able to DDF – disarm, defend and flee.

All the women who took part in the course, through the training, received awards and medals. Even St. Mary’s headteacher, Mrs J McGarry, who observed some of the sessions said, “Ladies, you’re doing really really well”.

Speaking after the completion of the course, one of the attendees said, “It was great seeing a group of strong parents learning how to defend themselves collectively”.

Another cited, “Thank you to St Mary’s [School] for putting on these sessions; they were really beneficial. Especially for myself after I endured domestic violence in my previous marriage”.

Recently, Ho Shin Do hosted a karate squad at the Manchester Karate Tournament in Levenshulme.

With over 250 participants bellowing out daunting sounds with each limb and hand-attack, the squad took part in Kata (traditional forms), Kumite (sparring) and other team events.

The entire team bagged home a total of 27 medals; 7 gold, 10 silver and 10 bronze. “The results reflects the effort and consistency of the squad and the coaches who collectively work hand in hand to achieve progression”, Steve Sijuwade, facilitator and teacher said.

Prior to the tournament, the club held its grading session, whereby students attempt to progress to the next stage. With over 150 students partaking in the grading, the highlight of the occasion was Alex Tollerfield, who passed his grading tests – only after 9 years of training.

“I’m very happy now. I’m a black belt. The real journey now begins”, Alex said.

Providing karate lessons in over 20 schools across Manchester, Ho Shin Do aims to produce annual inter-school karate competitions, incorporating 40 schools.

When asked for the reason behind this, Stephen replied: “We pride ourselves on the use of karate as a tool to empower young people; giving them a sense of pride, belonging and achievement”.

TNT Sport Yasin Chinembiri

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