Testimonial from a leaving student

One of the many students who joined a few months ago received a nice job offer for a post in East Asia and she just left Cambridge and the club.  It was a great pleasure for me, on the day she told me she was leaving, to receive a little card from her with some nice words about what she learnt and achieved.  Many people are praising the club and what we do at CARISMA; very few of them go out of their way to put it in writing.  Thank you, all the best and hopefully we’ll see you again.

CARISMA Town vs. Gown 2017

CARISMA is announcing the Town vs. Gown Kickboxing tournament to be held in CAMBRIDGE at the North Cambridge Sports Centre on 25 Feb 2017, starting at 2:00PM sharp.

The town represented by CARISMA will be challeging members from both university clubs: Cambridge University Kickboxing Society and Anglia Ruskin University Kickboxing Club.

Each fight will be pre-matched, taking into account gender, weight and experience, following the Wako international  weight categories and Kickboxing Light Continuous rules.  Each fighter will take part in a 3 rounds bout fight in the ring (beginners 1 minute, intermediate 1.5 minutes and advanced 2 minutes)

We are looking forward to members of all these club to come forward and take part is this unique opportunity: please Email Massimo (replacing <at> with @ before sending), no later than the 14 February,  indicating the following details:

  • Full Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Weight (that will have to be the same weight on the day of the fight)
  • Years (months) of experience in Kickboxing
  • Years (months) of experience in other martial arts
  • Number of fights to date

What I learnt from teaching martial arts

Picture Copyright Duncan Grisby 2010There is an old saying that goes: “if you can’t do teach”; for me teaching has actually improved my doing.  In fact my knowledge about martial arts practice has dramatically improved since I started teaching.  When I first learnt martial arts I was in my early teens; I remember struggling initially with coordination and fitness but, with continuous and consistent training, I reached a good standard within months.  By all means my technique and proficiency kept improving for years; as most movements and techniques were quite natural for me, I never had to analyse too hard how I was doing things.

Years later, when I started teaching, I realised that people from all walks of life were approaching martial arts and, as it happens, some of them were terrific, some hopeless and the majority in the middle.  By teaching martial arts to people who are not naturally talented and/or fit and/or coordinated I realised that many of them require much more explanation than showing the technique a few times and hoping they learn it.  Many people need the technique to be deconstructed and explained; in same cases a clear description of the muscles involved is necessary to fully achieve the expected result.  By analysing each technique in detail, including what muscle groups are working how and when, I forced my mind to grasp every single aspect of each movement and by improving my awareness about them it has greatly improved my technique.

Hello 2017, good bye 2016

Happy new year to everyone; 2017 starts with its first lesson today, 3 January, keeping our regular schedule of 4 lessons per week for the next 51 weeks.

We are already planning our usual Town vs. Gown fight in February where members of all clubs we are training (CARISMA, CUKBS and ARUKBC) will fight members of the other clubs.  This is a great opportunity for all beginners to have a go at sport fighting in a friendly and controlled environment, before trying other tournaments.  Later in the year several members of the club will take part in various regional fights, both light and full contact.  CUKBS will be fighting Varsity in Oxford this year and their training regime has been under tight control since the beginning of Michaelmas term in October.

As usual we will be having 4 grading sessions in March, June, September and December.  On the second Saturday of June we’ll have the annual CARISMA BBQ and on the first Sunday in December, after grading, we’ll have the Christmas dinner.  These events are already on the club’s calendar for your perusal.

As our aim is keeping a critical mass of at least 60 paying members at any given time we will be recruiting beginners any time we need more members but pausing when membership is in line with our expectations.  Our first beginners’ course for the year will start on 19 January and, as usual listed on our calendar.

2016 was another good year for CARISMA, with a large number of new interesting people who joined us, and classes consistently larger than previous years.  We found ourselves with a reduced percentage of undergrads students, from both University of Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin; good news is that we replaced them with high school and post grad students as well as young professionals both male and female.  This change has increased the retention of our members and the consistency of their attendance as undergrads students are around for about 6 months per year and their attendance tends to be not as regular as we would like.

An individual achievement which is definitively worth mentioning is Meitar Blumenfeld as our first winner for a full contact fight; it has to be said that our whole full contact team to date had a total of 4 people, over a long period of time.

For a number of personal reasons we lost, within a short time, 3 of our instructors; fortunately we were working, in the meantime, to train some of our most promising senior students to be their replacement so it all happened smoothly and according to plans.

Whether you are a regular member or a casual reader interested in joining us we hope to see you soon and looking forward to train with you during 2017.

Christmas Break 2016

SeasonGreetingsWe would like to inform everybody that the last lesson for 2016 will be on Thursday 22 December at Kelsey Kerridge.

The first session of 2016 will be on Tuesday 3 January at Kelsey Kerridge.

CARISMA and its instructors wish Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all members and their loved ones, looking forward to seeing you all back for a fantastic beginning of 2017.

In case you would like to join CARISMA in the new year please read this post about the next beginners’ course and book your place for it.