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Fitness, focus and fighting skills of estate karate kids
Buy this photo » Otis WIlliams has been running a not-for-profit karate club for children on the Wood Farm estate. Pictures: OX61373 Denis Kennedy
A KARATE club hopes to spread its message of discipline across the city as it marks five years of teaching Wood Farm youngsters.
The Ox Ryu Karate club, based at the Bullingdon Community Centre, is to branch out and start teaching at Windmill Primary School, Headington, next month.
Club founder Otis Williams, 30, said: “I hope to one day open up in another hall and maybe teach at another three or four schools.”
The father-of-four, of Chillingworth Crescent in Wood Farm, uses all club profits to rent the hall and buy equipment.
He said karate gives children on the estate a focus and helps them to keep fit.
The former Oxford Boys School pupil said: “It teaches confidence, discipline and self-motivation.”
The security officer at Unipart, who has a third degree black belt, said the more youngsters the club could take on, the better it would be for the community.
He said: “If they come to my classes they get something positive. When they leave we hope they have a positive attitude to life.”
When Mr Williams started the club in 2008 there were six members. Now he has more than 40 regular students and 130 take part occasionally.
In March this year, Liam Cartwright, 10, became the first student to get a black belt.
Emma Allen, from Headington, said the club had helped her 12-year-old son Bradley, who suffers from autism and attention deficit disorder, to channel his energy.
The Stowood Close resident said: “He got rid of his anger. It helped with discipline.”
Richard Bryant, secretary of the Bullingdon Community Association, added: “It started small scale and he has worked hard to build it up.
“Many of the kids come from the Lye Valley and Wood Farm area and it’s a positive activity for them in terms of physical exercise and self discipline.
“As a community centre we have always been committed to running activities for very young people. That’s why we are keen to support it.”
The club meets at the community centre in Peat Moors on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. It will run at Windmill Primary from 3.15pm on Thursdays.
- Visit orkmartialarts.co.uk
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