Horsham martial arts tutor a ‘role model’

From left: Toby Clarkson, Stuart Clarkson, Ayate Hrou, and Dan Topple
From left: Toby Clarkson, Stuart Clarkson, Ayate Hrou, and Dan Topple

A young martial arts school in Horsham has returned triumphant from an international seminar in London and a mother has praised a tutor for being a role model for his students.

Horsham CKD won multiple first places at a Choi Kwango Do (CKD) competition celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Tae Kwondo-related martial art being introduced to the UK.

Grand master Kwang Jo Choi, 72, founder of CKD, gave a master class to 800 students from 164 CKD schools at the ‘showcase of excellence’ seminar held in early June in the Harrow Leisure Centre, London.

Mina Topple, 47, of Horsham, who’s 12-year-old son, Dan Topple, won two first places and one second place at the event praised his tutor for going ‘above and beyond’ his call of duty.

She said: “I feel that Stuart goes above and beyond as a tutor and a role model. He is incredibly dedicated and patient.”

The ‘immensely proud’ mother who attended the event added: “There’s an incredible feeling of community mutual support - while it’s competitive, the support of others was extremely important.”

Stuart Clarkson, 47, of Beare Green, a full-time locksmith and safe engineer, opened the Horsham CKD in January 2011.

Dan has been under Stuart’s tutelage for three years, and was his first student when the Horsham CKD was opened in Jan 2011.

He won first places for the speed drill and shield attack, and second place for place patterns in the coloured-belt 11-12 category, and is training to become a black belt within the next six months.

He is now a team leader and helps train and teach the younger members of his school.

Stuart, who has practised CKD for eight years, said: “I was very proud of all my students that had even taken part in the contest because we are a relatively new school.

He added: “I was very proud of the progress we had made because we were competing with some schools which had been going for a long time.”

Stuart’s own sons, aged 11 and 14, are second degree black belts, and his youngest, Toby Clarkson, won first place for Patterns in the under-15 black belt catgory.

Stuart said: “Toby is in good stead to be a fiften degree by the time he is 21 or 22, if he keeps it up.”

The part-time tutor hopes the Horsham CKD will eventually be a full-time school.

He said: “CKD is easy-to-learn self defence for all ages.

“Our youngest student is four years old, and our oldest is 66.”

For more information on Horsham CKD, visit their website.