A Littlehampton ju jitsu club is looking to a bright future after surviving the threat of closure due to outdated equipment.
Kyushin Ryu Ju Jitsu, a not-for-profit, volunteer-led club, has been running classes in Littlehampton and Bognor Regis since 1993 but its future at Wick Hall came under threat when the equipment deteriorated beyond repair, as professional replacements cost more than £3,000.
Shofi Islam, club member, explained: “It was a real challenge for us, as a small, not-for-profit club, because we don’t have the size and charges of larger chains.”
Thanks to grants and local support, the club has been able to purchase new training equipment for the new year.
Sensei Sid Martin, club leader, said: “It’s a fantastic achievement.”
Working together to find funding for new equipment, members approached various organisations that specialise in community groups.
Shofi said: “Success was achieved with a combination from Tesco Littlehampton’s Bags of Help, which provides grants raised from the 5p bag levy, the Sussex Community Foundation and Aviva Community Fund.
“This is a real achievement for us, as we are a non-profit club with only a local presence. All three funds required community voting to support the club, which was heavily supported from social media.
“The renewal of the club equipment coincides with a refresh of Wick Hall, providing a safe, flexible environment for the forseeable future.”
Ju jitsu is a Japanese martial art focusing on body mechanics rather than brute strength.
Shofi said: “The club means a lot to my daughters. They have gained confidence and can apply what they have learned in the wider world.
“I feel the club is unique because it is run by knowledgeable people with a genuine passion for the sport and is relaxed, allowing everyone to develop at their own pace.”
Kyushin Ryu meets at Wick Hall on Fridays, with classes for children aged five to 16 at 7pm and adults at 8pm. The club also runs on Mondays at St Wilfrid’s Church in Bognor Regis, at the same times.
Sid said: “The training sessions for the very young are structured for their ages and abilities, as is the syllabus they are taught.
“We encourage parents to watch their children training and involve them in their children’s progress, while at the same time not distracting them from their training programme.
“The training syllabus for adults is a tried and proven one covering all aspects of jujitsu and kobudo.
“It is straightforward and dynamic and leads members into the further advanced regions of the art.”
Free trial taster sessions are available for anyone interested in joining. Visit kyushinryujujitsuwestsussex.com or telephone Sid Martin on 07835956713 for more information.