What do seventy year old Barry Vinton and eight year old George Rixon have in common, apart from both being Hayling Island residents? Stop guessing, you’ll never get it: they’re both black belts in a martial art, specifically Choi Kwang Do, or CKD for short.
There are many Oriental or Asian martial arts. Everyone can name several with just a little thought. Many martial arts require dedication from a young age, and many have become competitive sports rather than martial arts in their original sense. CKD is a relatively new style, founded in the US in the early Seventies by Kwang Jo Choi, with specific aims in mind.
What makes CKD different is exemplified by the gulf in age that separates George and Barry. CKD uses the practice of self defence techniques to promote self discipline, self confidence and good health. The requirements for these factors typically vary with age, but everyone can find a balance that works for them. Youngsters very often need to work on maturing their personalities in a good way, whereas older folk need more help with maintaining their quality of life in spite of their advancing years.
George started learning CKD at the tender age of four, following in the footsteps of his older brother, Jack. Both are now black belts, as is their mum, Rose, who gave George a year’s start. The Rixon boys have learned a discipline that will stand them in good stead in later life. The philosophy of CKD is not at all aggressive, and the techniques are learned without sparring and serious physical contact. The self confidence that CKD instils works, paradoxically perhaps, to make it less likely that their self defence skills will be called upon.
Barry took up CKD after he retired in the summer of 2007. Feeling old and very unfit, he didn’t want to get into a downward spiral and jokes that he was tempted by the offer of free trial lessons from Hampshire CKD. Barry has taken a little over three years to attain a black belt, and became an assistant instructor at Hampshire CKD along the way. He now feels so much fitter, but he acknowledges that he’ll never again be as spritely as young George.
Hampshire CKD has been growing rapidly in recent years, and offers classes throughout the week at various locations across the county. Neither George nor Barry is particularly unusual in CKD terms. Many parents bring along their children and then join in themselves when they see what’s on offer. There are also plenty of fifty and sixty-somethings who like the fact that they are encouraged to learn at the own pace something that has clearly proven health benefits for those in later life. Anyone interested in joining them is welcome to contact Hampshire CKD to learn more about what’s on offer.
This post was published as an article in the Hayling Islander, January 2011 edition.