Harrogate karate club’s “Gentle Touch” proves a winner in attracting new members

26 August 2011

A Harrogate karate club’s “gentle touch” has been credited with a sharp rise in new members!

For half of the instructors at Master Johnson’s Family Karate – which has in excess of 600 students learning the Korean martial art of Kong Sudo – are female, including its chief instructor and 5th Dan, Master Janet McKenna

Master Janet McKenna (second right) with Master Rochyne Delaney McNulty,4th Dan, Cath Delaney, 3rd Dan and Josephine Fenwick, 2nd Dan


Over the last two years, the club, which meets in venues in Harrogate, Knaresborough, Wetherby, Collingham, Leeds, Tadcaster and Wetherby, has increased its membership by more than 33 per cent.

Much of this has been put down to encouraging families to train to together, it is non-competitive style and it has an even split of male and female instructors.

Janet, one of only three Kong Sudo  5th Dans in the country, said:

Martial arts, be it Karate, Kung Fu or Thai Boxing, are still perceived by some as being very aggressive forms of sport which are totally male dominated.

Whilst this might apply to some clubs it certainly doesn’t to us. We encourage families to train together and four out of eight instructors are female. The latter certainly seems to have been the reason for many members choosing us, particularly women and children.

Our classes are non-contact which means that we can focus 100 per cent on building self-confidence, self-discipline and self-defence.

We hold a number of after school clubs and the female instructors are very much in demand here. They are popular with both teachers and parents alike. The female instructors are all black belts, ranging from 2nd Dan to 5th Dan.

Later this year the club celebrates its tenth anniversary. From one class a week it has steadily grown into one of the most popular martial arts clubs in the region.

Further details about Johnson Family Karate classes are available by contacting Janet McKenna on 0113 815 1192 or by visiting the website at www.johnsonskarate.com

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