New martial arts club is open to all

Interested in trying out a new martial art that will improve your speed, agility, endurance and which is also loads of fun? If the answer is yes, then Sports Chanbara might be for you.

Interested in trying out a new martial art that will improve your speed, agility, endurance and which is also loads of fun? If the answer is yes, then Sports Chanbara might be for you.

Sports Chanbara or Spochan as it is also known is a sport martial art developed in Japan as a means of effectively practising sword and weapons fighting. Over 30 years ago Japanese martial artists and sword masters created a better training style that would help reduce injury, yet allow combatants to practice with full force.

Sports Chanbara uses various weapons from the samurai era, including the famous Samurai sword. Other weapons include the Bo Staff, the Short Sword, the knife and the yari (spear). Participants of Sports Chanbara can learn the same mental and physical lessons once taught to the Samurai.

All weapons are padded and made from foam material. Combatants also wear head and face guards.

Full contact sparring

Sports Chanbara allows participants to experience the rigours of full contact sparring without fear of pain or injury, while honing valuable life skills. Sports Chanbara is one of the fastest-growing combative sports, boasting 200,000 combatants worldwide.

The word ‘chanbara’ loosely translates to sword fighter.

Classes are held every Saturday in the Watershed Sports Complex, Bothar Na Tounish Road, Kilkenny. Classes start at 12.30pm and last for an hour.

Kilkenny Sports Chanbara club is open to males and females of all ages from five years up. Adults, teenagers and children all train separately. Adults and teenagers enjoy being trained in how to use the weaponry in a traditional manner similar to the samurai of Japan and benefiting from a great aerobic work-out while kids love the fun involved in the sparring sessions.

Sports Chanbara lessons are taught by Sensei Kevin Shortall, who has over 20 years experience in Japanese martial arts. Kevin is a certified Sports Chanbara instructor and Sports Chanbara black belt.

He hold a Class A instructor’s licence from the International Sports Chanbara Association and is the representative of the ISCA in Ireland.

How to join

Call 086 3668669 and book a free introductory class. During this class people will be shown the basics of Sports Chanbara, how to use the various weaponry, the rules of a match, the discipline around the sport and so forth. Simply come along and wear loose clothing. The club is currently recruiting new members.