Meet the Vice President: RHUL Karate Club

By Helena Keeble

Karate has multiple heath benefits, as a unique way of strengthening the body while complimenting other workouts. It demonstrates how to approach dangerous situations appropriately by using self-defence to create a safer world.

Matt Cliffe, third year Business and Management student and Vice President of the Karate Club, discusses the importance of marital arts, and how it has aided him throughout his studies.

What made you start karate?

Karate is one of the most recognised martial arts and teaches you the necessary principals needed for self-defence, developing both your physical and mental abilities. Karate appeals to me as it keeps the whole body fit and conditioned whilst learning invaluable self-defence strategies.


How long have you been doing karate?

I trained in karate when I was younger but returned to it with the Royal Holloway Karate Club and fell back in love with the martial art. I have trained in a range of martial arts over the years and karate remains one of my favourites.


How does karate benefit your academic life?

Believe it or not, I truly believe Karate improves my performance when it comes to completing degree assignments. Discipline, a hard-working ethic and a ‘never give in’ attitude is instilled into you, and these skills are irreplaceable as they can be applied to all aspects of life. I’m also an advocate for Karate helping to improve focus and mental strength for many that do practice the martial art.


What is your most memorable moment in the Karate Club?

My most memorable moment was A Night at the Dojo where the Royal Holloway Martial Arts Clubs display their most impressive patterns and moves. In my first year, I went to this event and was instantly drawn to the Royal Holloway Karate Club. My passion for karate instantly returned and since then I have been a loyal member. There will be another Night at the Dojo event in 2018 so keep an eye out for the event on Facebook if interested.


What is your favourite move?

The Royal Holloway Karate Club practices the Shotokan style of Karate. Out of the moves we practice at our training sessions, the committee agreed that the roundhouse kick was one of our favourite moves but it was a narrow escape as there are many other punches, kicks, blocks and katas (sequences of karate moves) we could have chosen.


What life experiences have you gained from karate?

From Karate I have learnt that self-defence should strictly be used as a last resort when someone is in danger. No matter what level someone is in karate, it’s important to continue to work hard, avoid dangerous situations where possible and practice the martial art in safe environments. The more training you receive the better, as there is always something you can improve on.


Why would you encourage people to do karate?

No matter what level, self-defence is an essential skill that anyone can benefit from whether they are entirely new to karate or are an experienced fighter. There is always a new technique or improvement that can be made to help you rise through the different belts and work towards mastering karate. You never know when self-defence may be unavoidable in dangerous scenarios.


What would you say is the best part of the Karate Club?

The best part of the society is that it’s filled with friendly people passionate about karate, fantastic instructors that draw upon their karate experience to make every session interesting. Each session involves a variety of elements from sparring and learning katas to developing and improving karate kicks, punches, and blocks. Come along and experience a karate training session for yourself; you won’t regret it.


Email:| Training every Wednesday, 8pm to 10pm at Strodes College

Featured image Royal Holloway Karate

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