Galway Martial Arts Club celebrates 40 years of karate

2024 is a historic year for local martial arts club Galway Shotokan Karate Club (GSKC ) as it celebrates 40 years of bringing karate training to children and adults in Galway.

The club was founded in 1984 by Sensei Greg Cotter 6th Dan in Westside community centre. Sensei Cotter brought karate to the city and county in other venues including Ballybane and Kinvara. His respect for collegiality ensured good relationships with other clubs in the martial arts community, including judo, aikido, kung fu, tai chi, kickboxing and other local karate clubs.

Through the hard work and dedication of co-founder Sensei Mary Cotter, and with support from Galway City Council, the National Sports Fund and the Galway diocese, GSKC secured a purpose built, state of the art training hall (dojo ) in St. Joseph’s community centre in Shantalla.

Sensei Greg and Sensei Mary’s steadfast dedication and service to karate and the local community over the past 40 years was recently recognised in a nomination for a Mayor’s Award.

Members of the club have participated in provincial, national and international competitions with distinction. The club includes many black belt students and continues to attract new students of all ages, nationalities and genders. Some of the senior black belt students have taken coaching courses with the Irish Martial Arts Council (IMAC ) and have become instructors, ensuring the legacy of the club will continue and provide training for future generations. Sensei Darren Curran, 5th Dan, Sensei Roberto Martin 4th Dan, and Sensei John Fitzgerald 3rd Dan, provide twice-weekly classes to children and adults of all ages and levels.

Fundraising through a martial arts challenge is a highlight of the club year. Since 2013, each year on Karate Day, GSKC has participated in the annual 100 Karate Kata Challenge along with clubs around the world. To date the club has raised over €10,000 for local charities.

Karate provides a safe and healthy environment to learn how to protect oneself and improve fitness, flexibility, confidence and concentration. The club is affiliated to the National Governing body IMAC and conforms to all statutory regulations ensuring a safe, respectful, fun yet challenging training environment for all.

On Saturday May 25, the club is delighted to have the Mayor, Councillor Eddie Hoare to officiate at a ceremony to celebrate the 40th anniversary at St. Joseph’s Community Centre, Shantalla at 12 noon. The event is open to all current and former karate students, parents, members of the wider martial arts community and invited guests.

For further information please contact Mary at 087-6617220.


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