TWO stalwarts of Haxby Shotokan Karate Club are heading to Japan later this year thanks to the surprise fundraising efforts of fellow members.
Chief instructor Mike Gude and club founder Ian Shaw were unaware that a karate course they attended at the University of York had been organised to raise money for their October trip.
More than 70 people from across the country took part in the session, set up by Haxby club members and Sensei Paul Brant, chief instructor from Selby Shotokan Karate Club.
Haxby Shotokan Karate Club is affiliated to the Japan Karate Shotorenmei (JKS), and Gude and Shaw have long been keen to take part in the organisation’s annual trip to Japan.
Jim Bamford, Haxby chairman, said: “Mike and Ian were unaware that the course they were attending had been arranged by club members as a fundraiser.
“Mike and Ian have worked tirelessly to support the club, both refusing to take payment for their instruction. Mike has been teaching karate at the club for nearly 20 years and Ian founded the club in 1981.
“The trips to Japan are a highlight in the JKS karate calendar and Mike and Ian would not be able to go had we not raised this money.”
Brant arranged for Sensei Alan Campbell, the JKS England chief instructor, Sensei Scott Langley, the JKS GB and Ireland technical director, and Sensei Rob McCartney, chief instructor at York Elite Karate, to provide instruction at the University of York.
Bamford added: “Having such high-profile karate instructors give their time for free to attend the course is a reflection on how well respected both Mike and Ian are within the karate community.”