Trip To Cumbria

By Mike Ilderton
Published on Apr 15th, 2010

On Sunday, we set off to Cumbria to visit Helen and her students. The early sunshine gave some credence to the rumor that spring had arrived in Newcastle. When some 40 miles from Helen we hit the fog and we were back to winter! We were subsequently a little late and found the hall full of Helen's students. In addition, Sensei Matt and Graham were in attendance. Also joing in were a group Mums and Dads who were eager to train in basics and self defence.

Thankfully I was not alone. Les Grihault and Cleo from the AKKI were in attendance along with my own people Nick Seccombe, daughter Elisabeth and Matthew his son.

Helen formally tested for her Kenpo Yellow Belt. She holds a third degree in Ju-Jitsu and a second degree in Karate. We also managed to fit in Tom Newsham and grade him to full yellow. Finally, the remaining 40 plus kids were graded to junior yellow. After a long hard session, some of the smaller kids were wilting but no one gave up. Helen has a special way with the kids that demonstrates what an exceptional teacher she truly is. All of us agreed that we wished our students were more like hers, so focused, polite and attentive; not that we have any problem kids I hasten to add. It was just with so many well behaved students, it made our lives so easy.

Seniors and Mums and Dads enjoyed the self defence classes. In addition we took a few breaks to have some fun with the Tai Chi set and for Tom some more work on the sword set.

Helen is hoping to join us when Mark Bronsten comes to Newcastle to give his seminar on the 17th of April. She is also hoping to hire a mini bus for her students to come over.

My thanks to Les and Cleo. I will be reciprocating by helping him out when his students grade. Special thanks to Nick and Elisabeth and Matthew. Well done Matthew. How could you grow up in 24 hours? Such a mature young man on the day; helpful and keen to demonstrate your knowledge to the younger ones.

Big laugh of the day: Matt was the dummy for Elisabeth. We in East West Karate know its best to avoid Elisabeth when she is moving fast on a demo technique We just conveniently forgot to tell Matt.


The look on his face after this 12 year old blasted him was a moment of pure delight (at least for us ). Parents and Mums then warmed to the idea of self defence which allowed us to hit hard.

Thanks to Richard Matthews for encouraging Helen via his email. She was impressed to get the letter.

Note that this was a MALC event although the certificates were from the World Budo Society.


Filed under Reviews

Author Bio :: Mike Ilderton

My time in martial arts stretches back some 50 years. I began my involvement as a 15 year old and took up Judo. At the age of 21 I took up Wado Ryu karate and trained in that art for some 30 years gaining a 5th degree. In tandem to Wado Ryu at the age of 35 I began to learn Tae Kwon Do gaining a first degree in that art More for good attendance than ability I often think! At 50 and finding myself with out a good and or credible Wado Ryu Instructor, I took up Chinese Kempo and after some 5 years gained a black belt in this system.

Finding American Kenpo was a revelation to me and for the past number of years I have attempted to learn the Ed Parker system and continue to train under the guidance of my peers in the MALC organisation. I would be the first to admit that I am not an expert in Kenpo, rather I am a willing student. If I have any skills in the arts it's the ability to link speed and power with economy of motion. I was and hasten to add WAS a proficient free stylist in my younger days. In teaching, be it with the BE SAFE Programme to which the MALC is now linked, or in free style I think that I can offer an articulate and non biased opinion on the merits of the four arts that I have studied.

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