Sensei Dave Crawford
6th Dan Goju-Ryu Karate
Sensei teaches a variety of disciplines including Goju-Ryu Karate, Shito-Ryu Karate, Ju-Jitsu, Tai Chi and Kobudo. He is a full-time martial artist who brings his art to a wide range of adults and children. Starting from the age of three years through to people in their sixties and expanding to incorporate tots karate, karate for the disabled, Ju-Jitsu beginners and improvers, self defence for women etc. He has trained security workers, police officers and military. His knowledge is extensive and his passion for the art is unquestionable.
New born humans arrive in this world defenceless and knowing very little: how to get attention, how to feed. A new karate student is similar in that they have very little knowledge and are usually fairly vulnerable. They require time and patience in order for them to flourish just as the infant will, given the correct nurturing. In karate we have kyu grades (kyu meaning boy) and dan black belt grades (dan meaning man). So the student progresses from youth to adulthood. Your Sensei will gear your learning to suit your level of understanding and the physical level you have achieved. Eventually the karateka will reach a very deep level of understanding indeed.
Many martial arts incorporate some form of pre-set moves. These are like maps, guiding the way to hidden treasure. Sensei Crawford studies daily, always exploring the kata (forms) deeply in a bid to rediscover the elements that has been lost through time and interpretation. He has been described as a master of his art because of his revolutionary interpretation of application and techniques. Sensei Crawford encourages multi-dimensional understanding of the kata seeking to identify response to varying levels of attack, varying methods of attack and of course use of another’s force in the defence.
Sensei invests heavily in his students and is keen to encourage them to specialise in karate. The challenge in these modern times is that there are many disciplines such as sporting activities that also demand high commitment from a student. Sometimes it can be difficult for an individual to make the decision to train exclusively in one activity. Some students do manage to have a variety of interests which can slow progression through the grades but traditional karate was never about grades. It was, and to Sensei Crawford, it continues to be about the journey. There is a delicate balance between embedding discipline and skill and balancing this with spirit and encouraging individual style.
A student who embraces their martial art as a part of their lifestyle will find that it informs them in other aspects of their life. An established student will be encouraged to support a low grade by making allowances when engaging in kumite and taking an interest in building their knowledge. They will use the discipline they learn in class and apply it when dealing with difficulties in everyday life. Lifelong friendships can develop through martial arts and we hope that will be the case for each individual who first walks in to our dojo.
Sensei Crawford has seen many schools of martial arts come and go. He is also very aware of the commercialism of karate that is now rife in most areas of England. He is concerned at the low standards these schools promote, the emphasis being more on high cost grading and competition training. He would urge all parents to ensure that their child’s martial art school teaches real life techniques for self-defence. Better still parents should check out a variety of clubs before choosing one for their child. A great deal of money and time could be expended and there is a chance that at the end your child may still not be able to defend themselves. Of course you could just cut to the chase and come to New Forest Martial Arts!
To contact Sensei about the martial arts classes he runs in many areas of the New Forest and Southampton, private martial arts lessons in his small private dojo, or about private consultation and seminars, please use the contact form.
Sensei Ellie Bainbridge
4th Dan Goju-Ryu Karate · 3rd Dan Shito-Ryu Karate
Sensei Ellie has trained in Karate for over twenty years. She takes a lead in all the Karate Black Belt Gradings.