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The real Karate Kid at Alexandra Hall Hedon

Tanya Riley (centre) with one of her Hedon classes
Black-belt Tanya Riley (centre) with one of her Hedon classes

KARATE CLASSES have been taking place in Hedon since the 1970’s and specifically at the Alexandra Hall since it was opened in 1986. But the Hedon Karate Club class – part of the Tokui Karate Union (TKU) – taking place on Saturday mornings is something of a first in that it is run by the highest-graded, female-instructor in the TKU’s history.

Tanya Riley took up karate in 2001 aged nine and by September 2013 she had achieved 2nd-Dan black-belt accreditation. In October this year (2014) Tanya opened up her Saturday morning club at the Hall which has already attracted a number of new students wanting to practice and learn the sport which she describes as “a lifestyle, rather than a hobby”.

Tanya Riley sqThe purpose of Karate training is to develop and maintain health and strength, both physical and mental, to teach good manners, self-discipline and mutual respect between Karate-Ka and others and to encourage decency and respect between all members of society.

Karate can be enjoyed by all ages. “You can start at the club from as young as six, but there is no upper age limit,” says Tanya and indeed some of the oldest TKU members in Hedon are in their sixties. It’s also a very family orientated sport; Mrs Chapman was visiting the club at the beginning of this month with daughter Caroline and son Matthew taking part in their first lesson with younger daughter Emma there to watch. Also attending was Hedon Karate Club stalwart – and 5th-Dan instructor – Derrick Barnes.

The Hedon Karate Club regularly gets involved with regular competitions and grading events to take people through their different coloured belts.

A typical price for a 2-hour class is £4. There is no membership fee for joining the Club but those taking up the sport seriously, have to acquire a karate licence. Loose comfortable clothing can be worn until you buy a karate suit which can be purchased cheaper through the TKU than in the shops.

The sessions led by Tanya take place on Saturday Mornings at the Alexandra Hall, Hedon from 10am – 12noon. The Hedon Karate Club also holds a session on Tuesdays at the Alexandra Hall from 6:30pm – 8:30pm.


Back – Lauren Smith, Thomas Banks, Chris Smith, Derrick Barnes (5th-Dan instructor)
Front – Matthew Chapman, Caroline Chapman, Tanya Riley (2nd-Dan instructor), Kodi Hyam, Demi Welham, Emma Chapman (observer only)

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