Students show their dedication with 6am beach blasts
TOP sportsmen and women are renowned for their dedication to training, whatever the weather.
And it's no different for Grimsby's Kaizen No-Michi School of Shotokan Karate, whose members braved the wintry weather as they met at Cleethorpes beach to train at 6am for seven consecutive days.
The big freeze, which has postponed much of the region's sporting schedule, was perfectly in tune with the annual seven-day Japanese tradition the Grimsby club was following.
Kangeiko, which translates as 'cold training', is an annual activity practised across the world. The purpose is for individuals to reaffirm commitment to their martial art.
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Although some martial artists observe the tradition by training in unheated sports halls, Kaizen No-Michi took to Cleethorpes beach.
The cold, dark mornings began with a 15-minute jog on the seafront, before 45 minutes of intense training on the beach. Activities varied from basic karate drills to freestyle sparring and self-defence techniques.
Age was no barrier to respecting the tradition: the participants ranged from eight-year-old Phoebe Culpan to 50-year-old Paul Brant.
Instructors and students from clubs in Selby and Haxby joined the Grimsby group for the final day's training.
The reward for crossing the finish line was a well-earned full English breakfast.
Sensei Paul Brant, chief instructor of Selby Karate Club, said: "It's a pleasure training with Kaizen No-Michi – great instructors and fantastic karate-ka (students). We're looking forward to next year!"
Sensei Jim Bamford, from Haxby, arose at 5am each day to drive to Cleethorpes for Kangeiko.
He said: "Waking up at 5am in the morning is not usually my kind of fun, but I had a fantastic time."