Who are we?
Founded 6 years ago, Ichiban Karate are a non-profit karate club, based in Leeds. In this time, we've taken young people from absolute beginners to World Champions. We're a young, family orientated, diverse and motivated club.
We aim to help young people leverage their achievements in the sport they love to bolster their chances of accessing higher education bursaries and scholarships and achieve their other aspirations.
We teach just under 150 students across Leeds both at our HQ Ichiban Dojo and at the Henry Barran Centre as part of the Charity Gipton Together.
Most of our students are between the ages of 7-16 but we offer classes from as young as 4yrs upwards and also have a strong and growing group of adult students.
On average members train about 3 hrs a week, with our competitors some as young as 7 training up to 6 days a week, 10 hrs a week.
We're proud, in an often male dominated sport, to have a strong female student base. We're working hard to increase the numbers of females within the club and particularly increase their participation in competitive karate.
Approximately 50% of the members in the club have at least one sibling or parent also training and many also train with cousins. This creates a great family atmosphere and camaraderie in the club.
At least 80% of our members are of 2nd generation immigrant backgrounds.
Our two main coaches Kieron and Kylie both coach and teach at the club free of charge, all funds from gradings and competitions are funnelled back into our club. Both Kieron and Kylie have full-time jobs and teach between 10-15hrs at the club each week, and often give up full weekends to coach the squad at competitions around the country.
Our club is supported by an amazing group of karate mums and dads, that help with fundraising and general organisation. Chaperoning at competitions and providing lifts to classes and competitions to fellow members.
We have a organising committee made up of both Kieron and Kylie as well as a volunteer karate-mums, Treasurer (Hannah Dent) and Secretary (Susanne Bullman).
Our Squads Achievements in 2022
- Increased competitive participation by 50%!
- Took part in 12 competitions in and around the UK, ranging from club level, to National and international level, including the 10th WUKF World Championships in Fort Lauderdale Florida.
- 8 Competitors selected for the first time to represent England at the World Championships
- Bringing home:
- 2 Golds
- 1 Silver
- 3 Bronze medals
- Bringing home:
- Won an incredible 212 medals at competitions throughout the year.
- 53 Golds
- 63 Silvers
- 96 Bronze
- Featured on BBC Radio Leeds
Why are we crowdfunding?
We have 20-25 individuals eligible for selection to represent England at the 11th WUKF World Championships. It will cost £600 per individual to attend, without a successful fundraising campaign, the majority of these individuals will not be able to attend.
Based on Meanwood Road in Leeds, most of our students come from the most socio-economically disadvantaged areas of Leeds. Whilst, it's not expensive to attend weekly sessions, costs for competitions for those wishing to compete at the highest levels, quickly add up.
On average, a single competition costs £80 per person (incl. Transport etc). As a family orientated club, we're proud that many of our students and competitors also train and compete alongside their siblings, but this doubles the costs for families, quickly making competing unaffordable. On average, in order to compete at International events, competitors need to attend 8-10 competitions a year around the UK. That's more than £800 a year per competitor.
In 2022 we successfully raised enough funds to send 8 competitors to Florida for the World Championships. The teams success there has bolstered the rest of the squad's desire to also compete at these levels and mirror their success.
How you can play your part
There are four simple ways to help us reach our target, and make this project a reality.
1. Make a pledge. Don’t delay if you’re going to support us because momentum is key to our success!
2. Spread the word. Share our project on your social media pages and tell the world to get behind us! The more people we reach, the more support we will get.
3. Offer rewards. Get involved if you are a local business by donating things we can offer to our supporters. We will give you a shout out!
4. If you want to run your own fundraiser to support us, maybe a sponsored activity or similar, use the 'contact project' button at the top of our page to let us know. Setting up your own page only takes a few minutes and you won’t need any bank details. Just a fun idea!
How we’ll spend the money raised
We'll use the funds to cover the costs of attending the World Championships, for the individual competitors selected for the team. This includes transport, accommodation, entry fees and hopefully any additional equipment, and kit that the team might need.
Any surplus funds will be used to support the team throughout the year at competitions around the UK.
As a club we are a diverse and inclusive club. We measure our community impact using SportFin and can demonstrate through impact analytics how, just through our weekly classes, we positively impact the community around us.
Through our weekly activity we measurably help improve social inclusion, mental health outcomes, cognitive abilities and academic achievements. Our activity also has a positive impact in reducing anti-social behaviour in and around the community.
In addition we are working towards helping some of our older students with their university and higher education applications and as a club aim to be able to help provide opportunities, such as attending World Championships, to these young people that they would not have ordinarily been able to enjoy. Not only ambitious in their sport many of our squad have ambitions of becoming doctors, surgeons, engineers etc.
Last year, thanks to a super human effort by our karate-mums and dads, local businesses and the community, we raised enough funds to take a small team to Florida for the 10th WUKF World Championships, not only did they have the opportunity to travel abroad, but also competed and brought home World titles.