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The following articles are reproduced by kind permission of Geoff Staddon from the

August 2012

December 2010

STUDENTS of the Barnstaple-based Western Karate Wado-Ryu Kai were successful at their recent gradings.

James Simpson, Jack Tighe and Louisa Tighe achieved 9th Kyu; David Gibbeson, Bethany Durie, Aidan Hall -Goundry, George Back and Miles Ebbutt gained 8th Kyu and Sharon Symons, Thomas Ryan and Ryan Adamson 3rd Kyu.

All gained the congratulations of their Sensei Vernon Keens.

The group holds classes at Orchard Vale School in the Whiddon Valley, Barnstaple, on Tuesday evenings.




SUCCESSFUL students and instructors of Western Karate

December 2009

SEVEN young students of Western Karate Wado-Ryu Kai in Barnstaple have successfully completed their first trading and won their first belts.

They were joined by nine of their classmates in their dojo at Orchard Vale School in Whiddon Valley, who also successfully advanced to their next kyu grades.

The gradings are held approximately every six months and the success of the latest group of new red belts, most of whom are aged around seven or eight and after only 10 weeks of study, has delighted senior instructor Sensei Vernon Keens 5th Dan.

“The grading went very well,” he said “it was like they had been on a 10-week crash course and it included a written exam, but they did very well and they have to be congratulated, especially at their age.”A further three pupils gained their second belt, the yellow 8th kyu, together with one green (6th kyu,) three at 4th kyu (purple belt,) one 3rd (purple and white) and one achieved their 2nd kyu rank or first brown belt.

Vernon, aged 61, began studying karate 35 years ago and has spent 33 of those with the Wado-Ryu system, originally created in 1934 by Japanese Hironori Ohtsuka. “It really proves itself, especially with the younger ones,” said Vernon. “They gain confidence and fitness but it’s also a learning curve, something different in life which is an improvement of yourself. And I think these days children need to have a little confidence in something behind them.”

Western Karate Wado-Ryu Kai meets for classes every Tuesday at Orchard Vale School from 6.30-8pm. To find out more, Sensei Vernon Keens can be contacted on (01271) 326783 or email westernkarate@btinternet.com.



THE successfully graded Western Karate students are joined by instructors (back row) Sampei Stuart Spearman 1st Dan, Sensei Vernon Keens 5th Dan, Sampei Paul Cussell 1st Dan and Sampei Gary Hurst 1st Dan.


WESTERN KARATE GROUP SENIOR INSTRUCTOR, SENSEI V.H. KEENS, 6th Dan
Tel: 01271 326783
| Email: info@westernkaratewado-ryukai.co.uk
WESTERN KARATE BIDEFORD CLUB INSTRUCTOR, SENSEI T.A. GOLDSMITH-RYAN 2nd Dan.
Tel: 07979 277110 | 01237 471646 | Email: sensei_goldsmith-ryan@westernkaratewado-ryukai.co.uk
WESTERN KARATE BARNSTAPLE CLUB INSTRUCTOR, SENSEI J.N. BUDD 2nd Dan.
Email: sensei_budd@westernkaratewado-ryukai.co.uk