Ilkley Karate Club instructor Mark Outterside had cause for celebration when he achieved his long-term ambition by becoming one of the youngest high-ranking karate exponents in England and of the top instructors within the Shukokai Karate Union. The 44-year-old from Ilkley was awarded his Rohu (6th dan black belt) for his services to the Shukokai Karate Union over the past 29 years. The prestigious rank was awarded to Mark following a week of intense training on an Instructors course in Costa Blanc, Spain. The last grading Mark took, and passed with flying colours, was back in 2003 and therefore under the strict guidelines for karate Mark had to wait a minimum of six years before being eligible to move up a grade.
In addition to the above Mark was also recently awarded the Rotary Community Service awards for the work he does for the youth of Ilkley and surrounding areas. This was the first time the award had been presented by the Ilkley Rotary club for a number of years and possibliy a first nationally for karate in general.
Also on the course Ilkley student Robert Toole successfully passed the grade of 1st degree black belt, adding yet another member to its ever-increasing group of black belts. Robert completed his grading in the intense heat on the final day of the course and now joins the elite ranks within the Shukokai Karate Union. He now holds two black belts in different styles of karate, although his previous dan grade was attained over 20 years ago. After a long absence from the martial arts Robert recently re-started when his son Daniel decided to join the Ilkley club. As a former karate champion in his younger days Robert has shown he still has what it takes by winning the veterans' kumite (free fighting) and kata titles earlier this year. Daniel, who currently holds an orange belt, has also taken a shine to the competition scene and has won a trophy in his first major tournament.
The students, young and old, train at the Ben Rhydding Methodist Church four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday mornings). They all follow the Shukokai style of karate which in its very most basic translation means: ‘An association where people come together to study the martial arts'. The club is the longest running martial arts club in the Ilkley area and attracts students from all over West and North Yorkshire; and from as far a field as Wetherby and Pudsey. Mark prides himself on being fair, honest and open which makes the club even more appealing to join after all the club was formed for the love of karate and not as a business venture. The Ilkley instructor would encourage anyone to try karate - it aims to develop: Character, humility, confidence, self esteem, self control, determination, and patience. As well as running the club Mark also works full time as a Civil Servant. For Mark personally the club represents a large part of his life, a big commitment, but always a welcome one.
For more information contact Mark on 01943 839355 or visit the club website at www.ilkleykarate.co.uk
(Source: Ilkley Gazette )