Lympstone Karate Dojo enjoy success on and off the mat

PUBLISHED: 20:10 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 20:10 16 May 2018

Lympstone Karate Club members Tom Salt and Ollie Roper, at the Leicester event.

Lympstone Karate Club members Tom Salt and Ollie Roper, at the Leicester event.

Archant

It’s been a busy past month at the Lympstone Karate dojo as students and instructors alike took on a series of challenges in and out of the dojo, including the KUGB Karate National Championships, the London Marathon, and a series of swimming and cycling challenges.

Lympstone Karate Club juniors after picking up new honours. Lympstone Karate Club juniors after picking up new honours.

The club focuses on teaching the core values of the sport and, while it is an individual discipline, the team ethos runs through the club allowing students to excel both on and off the dojo.

This was certainly the case recently as two members of the club took part in the KUGB National championships at the Morningside Arena in Leicester on the first Saturday of May.

Tom Salt and Ollie Roper, both brown belt students, competed alongside over 500 competitors in their respective Kumite (fighting) and Kata (set moves) competitions against the best in the country.

In front of a vociferous crowd of over 1,000 spectators, the two students excelled. Thirty-year-old Tom Salt, who has used karate to great effect in helping him combat illness, competed at his first championships, and eventually lost, going out to a member of the GB team squad, but not before he had put in a phenomenal performance to narrowly go out against the international representative.

Ollie Roper, also at his first championships, and at only 11 years old, the current South West Champion, lost to the eventual winner in the Kumite, and made it through to the semi-finals of the Kata. Both undertook significant additional training to perfect their moves ahead of the event, represented the club with fantastic spirit and can be very proud of their performances.

However, Salt and Roper weren’t the only club members at the dojo who have been doing inspiring things.

Carolyn Roper, a black belt at the club, ran the London Marathon, raising money for the East Devon Tennis Academy.

Marianne Fox, the head sensei at Lympstone dojo and 2nd Dan black belt, said of Carolyn’s marathon effort: “Carolyn runs a marathon every year for amazing causes and this year was no exception! She was also our first student to go all the way from white belt to black belt at the club. She really is an inspirational student and now helps teach at the club. This is something we hope lots of students will, in time, achieve.”

Recently, four of the club’s youngsters took part in charity inspired events to help raise money for Lympstone Primary School to go towards the school’s new Trim Trail. Seven-year-old Finlay Gates took part in a swimming event, pushing himself to swim 200 metres, while eight-year-olds Rimmi Davies, Dylan and Reuben Palmer came together to cycle the Exe Estuary. Together, the four boys raised a magnificent sum of £700.

The club also recently held an open evening in aid of the mental health charity Mind. Students attended with family and friends to take part in an evening of karate self-defence and fitness, all in the name of raising awareness of mental health.

The evening was a great success and raised some much-needed funds for the charity. Marianne Fox says: “When I opened the karate club three years ago I never imagined how many amazing, talented and inspirational individuals I would get to meet.

“They continue to inspire me every day through their incredible deeds and strength of character. I may be the sensei [teacher], but in so many ways it is the students of Lympstone who teach me!”

Lympstone Karate Club run sessions for both children and seniors from beginners right through to black belt grades. The sessions are held on Tuesday and Saturday and club membership is available. For more information, please contact Marianne Fox on 07729 184676 or email her at marianne.fox@sky.com

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