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Karate for kids sure makes common Sensei

KARATE KIDS: Olympic Karate Inc youngsters

SENSEI TYRONE Jeffers believes it is important for his karate establishment to teach life skills while honing the martial arts practise of many of the youngsters that attend his classes.

Jeffers has set his sights on nurturing even more successful young karate talent this year following a bright end to 2013.

At the recent East Anglian Karate Championships 17 national squad members of Olympic Karate Inc returned to London with an impressive 16 individual medals in various categories, including kata-forms and kumite-free fighting.

Jeffers, 41, said he was immensely proud of his charges and hailed the good work of his team which he says was integral.

“The results say it all. To have one of the best karate teams in the borough of Hackney is fantastic,” he told the Voice of Sport.

He added: “It’s hard work to go outside of London and win as many medals as we did. At times I am apprehensive as a coach about what the youngsters will experience when we go to competitions away from London.

“It’s not easy to be up against some of the competition we face, so I’m proud of what everyone has achieved.”

PROUD: Coach Jeffers with silverware

As head club instructor at Olympic Karate Inc, Jeffers believes that engaging with all youngsters, good and bad, in order to give them a suitable start in life, and equip them with the skills to thrive positively, is the responsibility of every adult.

Still an ardent competitor having started his love affair with karate at just six years old, Jeffers said his vision for the school is an all encompassing one.

He explained: “Even though we teach karate we don’t just put that across to the parents, there is a lot of discipline involved with karate and we teach the kids how they should be when they are training and competing and how they should be in their everyday lives.

“We teach the kids to respect themselves and not to follow bad habits. We teach how not to fall out of step, to listen to their parents, it’s a more overall approach.”

The karate veteran continued: “Not all of the kids are good, some have confidence issues, we engage with them all because we want to show them that there is something to do, they can make something of themselves. As well as teaching them the art we also act as mentors.”

He added: “As a group we are trying to offer something for all kids, keep an open door for everyone. We’re there to help them, make them better people.”

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