Striking for improvement

Cayman’s karate standards rise every year thanks to the likes of Sensei Greg Reid whose pupils continue to improve significantly.

The Cayman Associated School of Karate had a youth grading at King’s Sports Centre in their new dojo on Saturday.

Children, some as young as five, were up for their next belt level.

Reid said: ‘This is the third grading of the year. We try to grade them every four months usually to try to progress them in the right direction.

‘We had about 70 kids up for grading today from white to brown. I am so happy with the kids programme, with the King’s Sports Centre and the support I get from Rex Ebanks who owns this place.

‘I see so much potential from the kids and it’s just a case of bringing them along. Adults are the foundation, I always say and youths are the future.

‘These kids are starting at a younger age than the kids I taught in Canada many of whom became senior champions.

‘This is an enriched programme. In Canada, we teach the kids twice weekly. Here we teach three days a week and it’s really been affecting the programme.

‘And the seniors are now cross-training, learning kata skills and more advanced skills, so I look forward to a great group of seniors growing up in the programme and becoming great karate people throughout the world.’

Reid is spreading his tuition around Cayman. There have been classes in Bodden Town and North Side and he hopes to introduce it in West Bay schools too – plus he throws in a free class at King’s to encourage the kids.

Two very happy parents are Stacey and Charlie Kirkconnell whose son Jackson, six, loves karate more than any other sport. Jackson has only been doing it a year and he’s already a green belt.

‘I was just trying to find an after school activity for him and he’s just taken an interest in this more than any other,’ said Stacey.

‘He’s tried football, gymnastics, tennis and others but this is the thing he seems to like the best,’ said Charlie.

‘He runs karate classes at home, we’re the students,’ laughs Stacey. ‘He calls himself Sensei Jackson.’

Jackson’s friend Aidan Filton is also six and already an orange belt. ‘I like karate because it’s about discipline,’ said Aiden. ‘I like Sensei Greg because he’s not too strict with us.’