Important members message from Sensei Mike O’Connor – HSKC Chief Instructor

Dear HSKC Members, Current, Past and New, 

The Handbridge Dojo in the Gym of Queens Park High School, Handbridge,
opened its doors for the first time on Monday 7th Sept to a reasonable start.
I know I was not there as I have to Self Isolate after returning from Germany
via Switzerland. So I am forced by regulations to stay away but feel great and
look forward to seeing everyone soon. However Sensei Dave Roberts 3rd Dan
is doing a fantastic job in a difficult situation.
This is made worse I think, by the current news which is reporting a lot on the “Rule of
Six”, which applies to any group meeting socially indoors or out.
The current Government rules for SPORT INDOORS are that there can be up to a
maximum of 30 providing there is a 2 metre distance in all directions from a 
fellow sportsperson. Our massive dojo has room to exceed the 30 limit if it were
raised.  So please bear this in mind SPORT is NOT  socially meeting indoors.
Right, now that’s clarified, I can tell you of the other measures for your safety.
1 The Gym doors handles are disinfected before and after every class.
2. We have our own approved non contact temperature “guns” to test members on entry.
3. For now we are using trainers or Kung fu slippers to train in so there is no floor contact.
4. You should come in your Gi or in loose clothing if you are a new starter, and change into
     your trainers or Kung Fu slippers in the dojo.
5. There is currently NO CONTACT  between members so Kihon, basics, Kata (Forms), and only distant Kumite with NO KIAI’s .
7. All toilet facilities are open and have a one way system and are again sprayed before class starts and where anyone can safely wash their hands.
So remember, very sadly, coronavirus is with us, it’s unlikely to go away, but physical fitness is recognised by the UK Gov Sport England, The World Health Organisation and the KUGB as an excellent method of remaining fit, which fights against infection, keeping off weight, and also helps fight CV19. Returning to training will help return the mental stability that lockdown negatively affected for most people.
So remember the hardest thing about training is JUST TURNING UP !!!!!
Come on back and enjoy what CV19 has taken away for most of us.
I will certainly be in the Dojo on the Mon 21st as my home “jail time” is at an end on the Sunday 20th but I am training in my home dojo every day.
Sensei Mike O’Connor 7th Dan KUGB
Chief Club Instructor
Handbridge Shotokan Karate Club
The GYM – Queens Park High School Chester CH4 7AE
Totally non Profit making since 4th May 1969 – Now in our 51st Year
Mondays  6-7  Beginners and Kyu grades 7 – 8.30 Seniors
Thursdays 6-7  Beginners and Kyu grades 7 – 8.30 Seniors  


Dear HSKC Members,
I am very happy to report that the Queens Park High School will reopen to HSKC Members on 
Monday 7th September 2020. At our usual times 6-7pm for any children or beginners 
and 7pm – 8.30pm for the Senior Class.
It is essential that ALL members check that their KUGB licence is up to date and if not do an online renewal.
Here is the link to do that
Everyone concerned with the reopening is very aware that we must be totally vigilant in order to train safely.
There have been immense challenges to overcome . SLS lettings went into receivership sadly taking a huge chunk of club funds with it.
A new lettings company has been employed by the school which is Edu-Lettings and I have again taken a massive personal risk of booking a year to exempt paying £14 a night VAT and thus trying to keep the Club costs down.
But HSKC needs your loyal support more now than ever if we are to survive the covid 19 pandemic.
Here are our HSKC/KUGB recommended precautionary measures:
1. Most important if you have ANY Covid 19 symptoms yourself or in your immediate family
2. Everyone entering the Gym Dojo will be temperature checked by our own HSKC purchased and medically approved instant temperature none touch diagnostic temperature guns We have two..
ANYONE showing an above normal range will be refused admission asked to get GP tested
3. Everyone should bring suitable footwear to train in eg. Trainers or Kung Fu slippers BUT DO NOT COME WEARING THE TRAINERS – a very simple and cheap ideal solution to wear is flip flops. These can be purchased from poundland for one pound and they have most sizes . NB Other stores are available -or you probably have flip flops already.or wear your normal everyday shoes
4. It is recommended that everyone, especially children come wearing their gi .(Karate Uniform)
5. Adults can come in their gi with an overgi jacket or track suit top worn over your gi.
Please note that the school changing rooms and showers are not to be used. However the school toilets will be available and the usual washing facilities therein.
6. The training fee should be in a clear bank bag or sealed envelope with your name on it.
A Reminder – training fee remains at Adults: £5, Also the child training fee at: £4 
DISCOUNTS – We know times are tough and though rents have increased we hold our discounts:
 An Adult with one child together is £6, Adult and two children is £7 Two children from the same family £7 ,
Three children from the same family £8 
7. Everyone will be asked to social distance at 2 metres during arrival / training and  leaving of the Dojo. 
 The upper level windows will be open to ensure an air flow in the Dojo.
8. The doors will be opened by the instructors wearing gloves, all handles will be sprayed with disinfectant and wiped by the instructors. Hand sanitising spray and gel material will be present for use.
1a. There will be NO close contact kumite. Any Kumite will be at a least 2 metre distance or more and the emphasis will be on Kihon (Basics) and Kata (Forms)
2a Instructors will NOT be physically correcting students, instead verbal instructions will be given or if necessary the Instructors will demonstrate for you.
3a There will be NO Kiai’s – though the point at which Kiais are in Kata will be denoted, and there will be NO harsh or expulsive breaths.  No screaming and NO running round jumping on the mats etc.
4a.  Future Gradings are possible, though for parts of that masks would be required – we will explain how that works in the months ahead so as to fall into line with the most current KUGB and Government rules.
5a  Regarding Face Masks – You can wear a mask if you want BUT the Government and The World Health Authority says 
“People should NOT wear masks when exercising, as masks may reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. Sweat can make the mask become wet more quickly which makes it difficult to breathe and promotes the growth of microorganisms. 
The important preventive measure during exercise is to maintain physical distance of at least one meter from others”.
6a With our current HSKC numbers and the fact of the very large size and height of the Dojo we will already be working well within the Government’s recommended  numbers, that can easily mean we have the most room per member and the best airflow apart from being outdoors.. 
Finally I would like to say that the initial classes will be very light with an emphasis on regaining skills that may be a little rusty.
No-one should feel apprehensive about returning to training as we are ALL in the same boat. It’s a great time to come back to training if you’ve had a break or just want to lose the lockdown extra pounds which have been so easy to put on.
It’s time to get extra pounds off, get really fit and enjoy all the massive health and mental benefits of Karate that Doctors and fitness studies worldwide have recognised for years.  Above all our aim is to keep everyone safe at all times.
See you in the Dojo
Sensei Mike
Mike O’Connor 7th Dan KUGB
Chief Club Instructor
Handbridge Shotokan Karate Club
Queens Park High School GYM
Handbridge  Chester
A Totally Non Profit Making Karate Club since 4th May 1969 , Now in our 51st Year
Note: Could members/new starters please contact the club via the website / Facebook / text message or otherwise to advise on whether or not they will be returning to training. 
Many thanks, and look forward to welcoming you back in the dojo.

Online Training during lockdown period due to Covid-19

All HSKC members,
During these difficult times, a lot of you will probably already be bored and in need of stimulation. There are a number of KUGB clubs currently running online karate sessions. I participated in a session last night with renowned instructors John and Holly Bruce. I have to say, although strange training in my living room, it was a fantastic session.
If any members would like to take part in any of these sessions, I’m sure the relevant clubs would welcome you. I know of at least 4 clubs who are doing this currently (there are probably more):-
Sendai Kushiro – Sensei’s John & Holly Bruce
Chelmsford Karate Club – Sensei Jane Naylor Jones
Ataru – Sensei Otto Blank
Sei Do Kan – Sensei Billy Higgins
Please let me know if you are interested and I will provide contact details for you.
Stay Safe – Sensei Dave Roberts

HSKC tribute to Sensei Bob Poynton 8th Dan KUGB

We took time out on our last training session of Thursday 19th March 2020  to remember our very great friend and truly amazing Karate senior  Kyoshi Bob “Bobby” Poynton 8th Dan.
Sadly the small family funeral planned for April will not be what this huge stalwart of KUGB karate deserves for his amazing dedication to the Karate Union of Great Britain, his representation of his Country in World, European and Domestic Championships, his contributions towards World Karate and the unification of Karate in the UK under Sport England. His bringing together of Karate as an Exam qualification in O and A level, his advancing Senior Dan Grades to be Coaching Assessors, who in turn upgraded Club Instructors and a whole raft of attainable qualifications for teaching karate more professionally.
His tireless work along side Hanshi Sherry 9th Dan, in raising up the standard of KUGB referees and Judges to be the envy of other associations worldwide, Kyoshi Bob Poynton as KUGB Administrator and Course Organiser has always made himself available to help us with club matters over our 51 year history and I was grateful to be only talking with him personally on the Friday prior to his passing in his home when he looked well but as usual was very busy but still made time to speak to me and have a last cup of tea together. Who knew ??
Sadly Kyoshi Bob “Bobby “Poynton 8th Dan died in his sleep and was found Tuesday morning 10th March by shocked KUGB Office staff.
The cause of death has been determined as heart failure.
All our thoughts and sympathy go out to his brother Jimmy, his sister Doreen, their family and friends and to the senior members of the KUGB who are as shocked and saddened as me and the rest of the members of the Handbridge Shotokan Karate Club.
RIP Sensei
(written by Sensei Mike O’Connor 7th Dan KUGB and Chief Instructor Handbridge SKC)

Sensei Andy Sherry 9th Dan – Training & Kyu Grading


Sensei Andy Sherry 9th Dan and Chief Instructor to the KUGB will be visiting Handbridge dojo on Thursday 19 March 2020.
There will be one training session for all grades commencing 6pm sharp until approx. 7:15pm. The Kyu grading will follow directly after the training session. The cost to grade is £10 which goes directly to Sensei Sherry. Training costs will be normal prices.
Please ensure you arrive at least 20mins before training starts and have your licences and record book ready so you can be booked in.
Any KUGB members from other clubs are very welcome to attend.

Sensei Andy Sherry 9th Dan – Training Session


Sensei Andy Sherry 9th Dan and Chief Instructor to the KUGB will be at the club on Monday 24 February 2020 for what promises to be a fantastic evening of karate.
These sessions are open to all members and visitors.
6pm-7pm Beginners | Juniors | Intermediates
7pm – 8:30pm Intermediates | Seniors

Please make every effort to attend. You will not be disappointed. If you have not trained with Sensei Sherry before, this is a fantastic opportunity to train with your Chief Instructor and Grading Examiner.

Adult Beginners Taster Session – Free

Handbridge Shotokan Karate Club is offering a free taster session for adults interested in taking up karate. The chief instructor is Sensei Mike O’Connor 7th Dan. He is one of only four 7th Dans in the KUGB and has been training for over 50 years. Mike is assisted by Sensei Dave Roberts 3rd Dan.
If you are interested, please contact Sensei Mike O’Connor on 01244 319303 or Sensei Dave Roberts on 07841 710989. Alternatively, you can just turn up on the night. Classes are 6pm-7pm every Monday and Thursday. Loose clothing such as jogging pants and tee shirts should be worn.