A jiu-jitsu association in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, has recently celebrated an exciting sponsorship deal with Westleigh Homes, which has helped provide new equipment for its members.
The leading developer, which is currently building high-quality new homes at its developments over the Midlands and beyond, handed £300 over to the East Midlands Jiu-Jitsu Association.
The organisation, which meets weekly at the Lammas Leisure Centre in the market town, teaches the Japanese martial art to people aged five and upwards who are eager to learn it.
Charlie Shaw, 60, who is currently working as a Plant Operator at Westleigh’s Fairway View development in Matlock, Derbyshire, and has been with the business for the past 20 years, is a chief instructor for the association and leader of its Sutton-in-Ashfield club.
Having started learning jiu-jitsu at the age of 24, Charlie has risen to receive the prestigious title of Renshi, meaning “master”, which is awarded to those who have earned their seventh dan grade.
“As I run the association myself, I decided to approach Westleigh for sponsorship and they were more than happy to help,” he explains.
“I’ve been involved with the association for many years and took over responsibility for it following the retirement of my colleague, and since then I have never looked back.”
Dating its origins to the Sengoku period of Japanese history, jiu-jitsu primarily involves the use of close-quarters combat with self-defence as its principle cornerstone. Today, it is one of the most popular martial arts practised in the UK.
Charlie continues: “Jiu-jitsu stands for gentle submission and offers self-confidence, a sense of pride and team spirit to those who practise it.
“Not only that, it’s also a great opportunity to meet new people and make some good friends.”
The sponsorship has been used by the association to purchase new protective equipment for its members, including head guards, gloves and training weapons, as well as kick pads and a brand new kick dummy.
“The money has been a great help to us and I would like to say a big thank you to Westleigh for their support.
“I would advise people of all ages to get involved with martial arts. Our clubs meet on a weekly basis and offer guidance to players of all abilities, so I’d encourage people to come along.”
Lisa Morris, New Homes Manager for Westleigh, said: “As a responsible housebuilder, we are committed to supporting the communities in which we build our new homes, which is why we are delighted to have sponsored the East Midlands Jiu-Jitsu Association.
“The work that the organisation does is instrumental in encouraging people to engage with martial arts and raises awareness of their physical benefits.
“I hope that the donation has made a big difference to the club and the facilities it provides to its members”.
In addition to its Sutton-in-Ashfield club, the East Midlands Jiu-Jitsu Association also meets each week at its centres in Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.
To find out more about the organisation, visit www.emjja.com.
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