Club Notices

BWCSK Reopening – December 2020

Following on from the government’s announcements on Thursday and guidance issued by NAKMAS, our governing body,  we can now announce are plans to reopen once the second national lock down due to the Covid-19 pandemic finishes on the 2nd December 2020. Unfortunately Birmingham will be moving into Tier 3 which will affect the classes we can run in the dojo.

Changes in the restrictions that apply to each tier mean that classes in our dojos can only take place for juniors, under 18s or single households. Therefore from the 5th December 2020 we will be restarting scheduled junior classes on Mondays at Weoley Castle Community Church and Saturdays at Bournville College. Please contact Sensei Hession for bookings on the remaining classes before Christmas and we plan to return to online bookings from January 2021.

In order to allow our adult students to continue their training we will be reintroducing online Zoom based classes run in the same manner as the previous lock down. Any adult club members who wish to take part in these who do not already have access to our Facebook private members only area please contact us ASAP so we can arrange access to the BWCSK private members area on Facebook and so you can gain access to the details for the  classes. If you do not use Facebook (and do not wish to create an account in order to access the private members area) but still wish to participate in the Zoom classes please get in touch and we will see if we can make alternative arrangements

The Zoom classes will run Mondays and Wednesdays starting 7pm and scheduled to run until 8pm. Whilst we did not charge for these during the first lock down whilst running multiple classes a day, several days of the week, we have decided to charge a nominal fee this time around to help cover the ongoing costs. The first Zoom class will be on Monday 30th November 2020.

Whilst this isn’t what we had all hoped for we will continue to train in the dojo where possible and online where not. We will review these arrangements and adapt as the situation changes over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime we look forward to seeing our younger students back in the dojo from Saturday 5th December and our slightly older ones online from Monday 30th December.

Thanks for your support, we really do appreciate it.

Richard Sensei.


Gradings – October & November 2020

Shortly before the announcement of the November 2020 national lock down we had started preparing for and taking some grading examinations. Due to the covid-19 health restrictions these couldn’t be conducted in the same manner as our previous gradings. We were also able to present Arran Mehtam’s Shodan certificate from his dan grading before the initial March 2020 lock down which due to circumstances had not been possible until now.

We would like to congratulate all those who passed their gradings. This has been an especially difficult year with training disrupted, moving online for several months and then restrictions upon our return to the dojo however all those who graded overcame these obstacles to reach a level where they were ready to take a grading. We have also had some new starters since the end of the first lock down and again they have done extraordinarily well in very difficult circumstances. Finally we would like to offer special congratulations to all those who took their dan gradings. These are hard enough at the best of times with people normally training extensively for months just before the grading to reach their peak in time. This was obviously not really possible given the current circumstances and just to the announcement of the second national lock down the date was then moved forward for some of those grading by a couple of weeks so it could be completed before the current lock down started as we were not sure when the opportunity might next arise.  We would like to again say congratulation and very well done to you all.

Congratulations to the following on passing their Shodan grading:

  • Paul Weston
  • James Newman
  • Kasey Stanley
  • Lincoln Boult

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As is the case with all clubs and associations we had to make a decision on how we would undertake gradings in the time of covid-19 health restrictions. To that end the syllabus was revised and we took the decision that we would only award ‘ho’ grades  rather than full kyu grades (denoted by stripes on most pre-purple belts). In the case of black belt gradings which usually consist of three parts kihon waza, kata and kumite, we decided to allow people to take two thirds and if they passed those they could wear a black belt. If they failed to pass both parts then they will have failed the grading outright as would normally be the case and will have to retake the entire grading at some point in the future. However for those who passed the kihon waza and kata sections these can be considered provisional grades which wont be fully confirmed until they are able to complete the remaining part of the grading when Covid-19 and social distancing restrictions are suitably relaxed to allow the return of kumite. We are aware that this could be a long time but we feel that some form of kumite is an essential part of a black belt grading especially for Shodan where the student hasn’t undergone the experience of black belt grading kumite. These grading changes seemed to be a fair compromise that allowed students to progress and have their hard work and training rewarded something that is especially important during the early stages of the karate journey. This helped ensure that we are also able to maintain the integrity of our gradings so that those who take their black belt during this time know when their grades are confirmed  and registered that they truly earnt their dan grade as those who have gone before them overcoming the same obstacles in the examinations as their predecessors something we feel all will value.

Club Notices

BWCSK Dojo closures due to Lockdown from the 5th…

Hello folks,
On Saturday the Prime Minister announced a national lockdown starting on Thursday 5th November 2020 and planned to run until the 2nd December 2020. Unfortunately this means we are yet again going to have to close our dojo doors for the duration of the lockdown. The health of our students and instructors is of paramount importance and these circumstances are out of our control.

This now means that the last session in November for Adults will be on Monday 2nd November and for Children on Tuesday 3rd November. All pre-booked classes that were scheduled to run during the lockdown period are regrettably now cancelled.

We are very sorry for any inconvenience this causes, we were all hoping this situation wouldn’t arise again but alas this is where we are.

Thanks for your understanding,

The BWCSK Team

Club Notices

New training location in Longbridge at Bournville College

BWCSK are pleased to announce the opening of a new location for training on Saturdays. Unfortunately since the national Covid-19 lockdown in March we have been unable to run our usual Saturday classes due to circumstances beyond our control and that venue has been unable to reopen as soon as we had hoped it would. Fortunately we have now been able to find a new location in the same area for our students which we hope will be equally as convenient to those who used to train at the previous venue. We would like to introduce the Bournville College dojo, this is located at Bournville College, 1 Longbridge Lane, Longbridge, B31 2AJ with training taking place at 1pm on Saturdays’ in the Sports Hall.


We are still subject to Covid restrictions and so can currently only accommodate up to fifteen (15) juniors on a class and five (5) adults on a separate parallel class which will take place at the same time. The juniors (under 18s) class is now available for booking via the usual booking form but the adult seniors (over 18s) class is not available for bookings and is invitation only at present to ensure that all seniors can get a chance to train on one of these when available. We may review the possibility of bookings for the adult class in the future.

Below is a picture from our first class at the new venue.



Socially Distanced: The Training Continues

Well September is almost over and it has been a busy month. We introduced a booking system for classes due to the limited spaces available and although there have been a few disappointments we have been mostly able to let everyone train when they wanted to. Everyone is now getting used to socially distanced training and we thank all students and their relatives in helping us maintain social distancing and adhering to covid restrictions. As the Covid-19 situation has evolved around us and rules changed we have adapted and have and will continue to take all the measures necessary to protect our students and our instructors. Which is why we have recently requested that everyone wear a mask during training including children unless it would cause them undue distress (or can’t due to health reasons).

So what have we been doing during these classes, well as you would expect it has been various combinations of kata and basics. On the senior classes with myself for the black and brown belts we have been revising all of the kata we did during lockdown. For those who did it over zoom there is a difference to doing it in person without having to dodge furniture and where you can have a better visual perspective on each technique. Naturally people had started referencing direction based on their locations e.g. turn towards the sofa so doing the kata in the dojo with sufficient space and different cues at times was clearly like learning it anew. For others it was the first time they had done these kata and so it was something completely new for them. I of course also threw in some of the old favourites that everyone should know at their grades and went into some detail about various techniques. For the lower kyu grades we have concentrated on some of the Heian kata revising previous ones, completing ones that had been started prior to lockdown and learning the next one in the sequence. It has been a busy month we have covered Wankan, Jiin, Kanku Sho, Kanku Dai, Tekki Nidan and Sochin.on the advanced kata front plus revised Tekki Shodan, Bassai Dai, Enpi plus all the Heian kata. Some of these we did in depth others in passing. Kanku Sho being the first kata with one of the more complicated jumps it took a few attempts but everyone tried their best as always and we were getting there near the end. We have also done various combinations and basics with a strong concentration on controlling kicks rather than letting the momentum dictate your position and the technicalities involved when doing them to execute them correctly and with power. Finally we did a few exercises to make people think and not rely on “auto-pilot” to guide them.

I have observed the end of some of the other sensei’s classes with Sensei Mike taking his class through the kata Jitte and Hangetsu and doing exercises based on using basics in limited space. Meanwhile Sensei Sue has taken classes through basics and various advanced kata including some previously mentioned plus some socially distanced partner work as shown in the videos below. Sensei Faye, Sensei Jacob and Sensei Daniel have taken various children’s and adult classes which I have alas not witnessed personally due to timing and covid restrictions limiting movement between rooms However as with the classes mentioned above they too have been doing combinations of basics and kata.

It has been a busy but fun month and we look forward to pushing forward again in October, no doubt as the month progresses we may have a few surprises along the way but as always we will train on. Never Give Up, Never Give In.

Osu Sensei Richard


Club Notices

Reserve your place on a class online

Hello folks

This is a notice for all existing students and any new students once they have spoken to Sensei Hession. Due to Covid-19 restriction and health measures we can only offer a limited number of spaces on each class. This was done manually last month as we reopened and set systems in place but I am pleased to announce that we have now been able to provide a system to book your place online from this web site. Please ensure that you book your place before 10pm at least three days before the class you wish to attend e.g. if you wish to train on Monday you must have reserved your place by 10pm the Friday before and if you wish to train on Thursday you must have done so by 10pm on the Monday before at the latest. This is to allow us to organise students into various rooms for various classes and prepare the necessary documentation to manage track and trace requirements etc.

You can book your place by selecting “book Your Class” from the “Classes and Fees” menu or via the direct link to that page here.


The Return Of The Karate-Ka

Well a new new routine has settled in since we have returned to the dojo so it seemed a good time to do a round up of the journey so far.The Longbridge dojo is yet to reopen but we are currently running classes on Mondays, Tuesdays (an extra night whilst Longbridge is still closed) and Thursdays at the Weoley Castle dojo. Since the return we have had a few junior students who trained throughout the lockdown on zoom take socially distanced kyu gradings under an adapted syllabus. We would like to congratulate all of you on your new grades, you’ve trained hard over the last few months despite the challenging circumstances and progressed. We have also had some new starters who we would like to welcome to the club as they take their first steps on their karate journey.

More generally we have been having classes consisting on basics and kata, going over some of the new things taught during lockdown and having a refresher on previous dojo teachings. Some of the more advanced kata covered have included Tekki Nidan, Sochin, Kanku Dai, Kanku Sho, Jitte, Hangetsu and Bassai Dai with lots of revision of the Heian kata and Tekki Shodan as well. I think we are all enjoying being able to train without worrying about hitting or breaking your furniture or computer (some of those kicks during lockdown did come dangerously close to the camera).

Here are a few pictures taken since our return.

  • August 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
  • August 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
  • August 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
  • August 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
  • August 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
  • August 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
  • August 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
  • August 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
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  • WC_Reopening_2
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  • September 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo
  • September 2020 Weoley Castle Dojo


Club Notices

Enter the Dojo! BWCSK Weoley Castle Dojo Reopens

We are pleased to announce that training resumed at our Weoley Castle dojo from the 27th July 2020. It seems like a long time since we had to close our doors due to the rising Covid-19  infections and eventual national lock down. Since then we have continued training online offering eight free classes a week (split between Juniors and Seniors)  to our members via the Zoom application. Those classes finished last Saturday with the reopening of the dojo but we would like to thank all the instructors who gave up their time  and resources and all those who helped make those classes happen over the last three months. We would like to also thank all the students and their family members who trained on those classes or made it possible for others to train.

This week was a soft reopening with Sensei Hession contacting each member individually to inform them of the reopening plans and the new Covid-19 safety rules and restrictions in place and to allow everyone to get used to the new rules. We are pleased to say the reopening went well and that the club is now open again to all. Unfortunately due to the new Covid-19 safety measures we have had to implement a booking system as only a limited number of spaces are available on each lesson in order to mantain social distancing and where possible electronic payment upon the booking of a session to avoid the handling of cash and change which might be a vector for transmission. Please contact Sensei Susan Hession if you wish to book a place on a class, unfortunately if the places are already taken you will not be able to train that day unless someone drops out. Please do not attend if you are feeling unwell, are exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19 or have come into contact with someone who has symptoms.

We would also encourage students where possible to arrive in their gi and to try and avoid bringing unnecessary items into the dojo. Please bring your own full water bottle so that you will have a drink available during training. Hand sanitiser will be present throughout the building and temperature checks will be performed before entry into the church building is allowed. Unfortunately if you have a temperature you will not be allowed to enter and train. We appreciate that it may not be possible or advisable for everyone to wear their gi to the dojo such as those who take public transport and you will be able to change in a designated location but please try and minimise the items you bring to the dojo as much as is possible. Mitts, gumshields and other protective equipment wont be needed as no sparring, partner or pad training will be taking place.

Students must have a current license to train, please contact Sensei Hession if your license has expired so that it can be renewed.

All classes are £5 per student and class times are as follows:

Monday / Tuesday / Thursday 5.30pm – 6.30pm Juniors
  6.30pm – 7.30pm Family
  7.30pm – 8.30pm Senior

These classes are split into various rooms with no contact for students between each class or room. Please do not park in the church car park unless you will be staying for the entire night as we need to leave space for students to enter and exit without contact with other groups.

We will provide details of when the Longbridge dojo will be reopening when we have further information but we are currently not expecting to be able to return to Longbridge this month.



Club Notices

Training together whilst apart

Calling all current BWCSK students.  Karate still goes on even whilst we are locked down in our homes, we are still training together whilst apart. If you would like access to free exclusive content and online training sessions please contact us, either directly by phone, email, messaging app or social media.

Unfortunately we can only provide these options for existing students and we are sorry for any inconvenience that may cause.

We would like everyone to stay safe and take care and we look forward to hearing from you.


Practical tips for home training

Hello folks,

As we now all find ourselves at home, it seems an appropriate time to provide our students with tips that will help them to train within their own home. This is not a training regime or tutorial but general advice on home training and adapting their karate to the training environment.

I hope you find it useful,

Osu Sensei Richard