Student of the Year Awards 2019


Our annual Student of the Year awards took place on Sunday 15th December to celebrate the fantastic achievements of our students in 2019. They were each awarded a large trophy by their Class Instructor to recognise their hard work and dedication. You are the people who make our Club what it is, highly successful and one of the largest & fastest growing Clubs in the UK and a highly valued member of the number 1 Shotokan Organisation in the World the Japan Karate Shotorenmei.

It has been another great year and this event brought it to a close in such a special way. With 2019 now in the rear view mirror its a great time to look back on everything that has been achieved by our Club as we prepare ourselves for Karate ‘s Olympic Year.

What better way to say thank you the students and Instructors who have gone over and above what is expected than organising them a special training session with Team GB’s very own Joe Kellaway. Joe Sensei is the first and so far only male athlete to be selected by Team GB for Karate. All of his training for the first part of 2020 will be dedicated to earning his spot at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Joe Sensei was invited a few months back to inspire our Squad members in a closed session and he did such a great session that we just knew everyone would enjoy the opportunity to train with him and see for themselves how amazing his karate is.

We kicked off the course by presenting our fantastic Instructor team with certificates to thank them for their dedicated service. Certificates ranged from 1 year of teaching right up to the OG’s Mike and Leesa Beckwith Sensei who have been teaching karate for a staggering 23 years! We are so lucky and extremely proud to have such an experienced, hard-working team who are not only brilliant at what they do, but they are all absolutely LOVELY people. Thank you all and many thanks for the unexpected but gratefully received holiday gift voucher! What an extremely generous gesture. Thank you all.

Joe Sensei began the session by taking us through a thorough warm up and stretching routine which prepared us all perfectly for what was to follow. We worked on several kumite drills for point scoring (but you must bear in mind, point scoring is based upon the principle of one blow would take you out so it’s all rooted in practical self defence).

We worked on gyzamizuki to attack. Then Joe Sensei had us cutting angles with chudan mawashi geri, jodan mawashi geri and ura mawashi geri, demonstrating how they can be used as attacks and as perfectly timed counter attacks. We then worked on yori ashi sliding into the kicking distance and finishing with mawashi geri.

Watching Joe Sensei make it look so easy and then trying to do it yourself is an awe-inspiring and humbling experience for sure! For some reason, when we were all trying the stuff he was showing us, it didn’t quite work out the same haha! Joe Sensei finished off with some press ups for conditioning and a quick game which will help us all put our mitts on in a more speedy fashion!

Huge thank you to Joe Sensei for another great session. Thanks for visiting us, inspiring us and posing for about 500 photos! There wouldn’t be many with the patience and we are all very grateful. Good luck with your Tokyo 2020 selections! We look forward to more fun on 29th February for your Kumite Session and Ninja Park and Inflatable obstacle course visit! It’s gonna be awesome.

Looking around I think it’s fair to say everyone had plenty of fun and tried really hard. Well done.

Our four Student of the Year 2018 winners Jaime Pratley, Izzy Baron, Georgie Dyal and Andy Matanle did their Kata demonstrations and they went brilliantly. We are really proud of you all and know how hard you have worked to get your Katas to such an impressive standard so well done. Bless Izzy who has been practising for months and still turned up despite being visibly very poorly. She refused to take the option to perform her Kata at a later event and was adamant that she would do her best and not let us down. Missus…. you were awesome like the boss lady you are. She remains as inspirational as ever as do Jaime, Georgie and Andy.

For those who would like to try and learn the Katas they saw, Mike Baron Sensei has uploaded them for you watch again. Please click on the link below:

Andy Matanle – Sochin

Jaime Pratley – Sansai

Georgie Dyal – Gojushiho Sho

Izzy Baron – Kakyoku Nidan


The students who had been nominated to collect an award were then presented with their trophies by their Instructor and we all eagerly awaited who would chosen for the large Student of the Year 2019 trophies.

It must be such a difficult decision to choose just four people from a room absolutely bursting with talent so I do not envy Paul Sensei having to make such a difficult decision. The responsibility of becoming the Student of the Year is also absolutely massive. Previous winners have gone on to achieve so much, some have become JKS World/European/National Champions including Grace Baron, Molly Austin Hogsden, Ellis Pindoria Stott, Izzy Baron, Lori-Ann Moran, Abby Fielding and Louis Johnson.

All four who get chosen must be capable of performing the following year in front of potentially 200 + people. It’s not necessarily about who is the best at karate. It’s about who has put the most in year after year? Who sacrifices? Who is in the dojo setting a great example night in, night out? Who has steel to do the 2020 demo? Who carries themselves as a true karateka? Who isn’t full of their own importance and is kind, giving and helpful? Who is always respectful? Who still has more potential to fulfill?

Paul Sensei has made some great decisions and these four incredible winners are no doubt going to prove that he was absolutely right to pick them!

Lola and Kyle Girault, Lola Fellone and Gina Farrance


I will put a write up about all four of these very deserving winners on the Student of the Year page. Massive congratulations to you all.

We will also post a link to the photographs taken by Paul Towler as soon as they become available. Once again, huge thanks to Paul who worked tirelessly all day to capture this very special event. You are a star!

Well done to following students who were awarded trophies by their Instructor, there may be a few names missing, so if you can’t see yours, I do apologise, please let me know via email to and I will add you to the list.

Aaron Jefferson
Abby Fielding
Abby Fryer
Abigail Andrews
Adam Bennett
Adam Brotherton
Adam Cooper
Adam Pickard
Aimee Rothwell
Aemelia Young
Alex Bathurst
Alex Ryan
Amelia Hancock
Amy O Donovan
Andy Matanle
Anthony Cristoforo
Barbara Celinska
Ben Duckworth
Ben Winstanley
Benjamin Edge
Betty Eccles
Caitlan Moss
Caitlin Lowe
Callula Curtis
Callum Baker
Cat Baker
Charlie Eyre
Charlie Thirkell
Charlotte Griffiths
Chris Lysaght
Clarissa Lyons
Connor Goodall
Darya Falahi
Demi McDonagh
Dexter Earley
Ella Young
Ellen Conyard
Ellis Pindoria Stott
Emily Fentem
Ethan Fong
Evie Gregory
Freddie O Neill
George O Brien
Georgie Dyal
Gina Farrance
Grace Baron
Grace McNeeney
Harrison Bent
Harrison Smith
Harry Sharples
Heather Scott Bates
Isaac Jepson
Isaac Shakos
Isaac Whittaker
Isobel Robertson
Izzy Baron
Jack Bayley
Jack Yates
Jaime Pratley
James Rigby
James Sherlock
Jane Murison
Jayden Clarke
Joel Mander
Joel Purvis
Jonathan Dabbs
Joseph Westhead
Joshua Mangnall
Josiah Curtis
Kai Foley
Katie O Neill
Katie Wilson
Katy Heys
Kelly Dawson
Kirsten Wood
Kyla Bailey
Kyle Girault
Layla Davies
Lee Wood
Lexie Taylor
Liam Conway
Liam Dolan
Linda Whipp
Lola Fellone
Lola Girault
Lori-Ann Moran
Lottie Oldfield
Loui D’ Attorre
Louis Johnson
Luke Bradshaw Swann
Lydia Palmer
Mark Ellicott
Mark Jepson
Matthew Affleck
Matthew McCabe
Max Kearsley
McKenzie Lamont
Mia Glynn
Michelle Roose
Miguel Montiel
Molly Austin Hogsden
Nathan Dabbs
Noah Purvis
Noah Vernon
Oliver Campbell
Olivia Prince
Orlagh Conway
Patrick Chaffer
Priya Bradley
Ren Smith
Robert Sissons
Roxana G-Zadeh
Ruby Dowling
Sonja Hoglund
Sophie Lever
Sophie Rothwell
Tenzin Palmo
Thomas Collin
Tris Miles
William Cristoforo
William Towler
Xander Matanle
Zara Bathurst
Zara Detalle
Zena Clarke
Zoe Chaffer