Adult Martial Arts

Regardless of whether you want to learn Martial Arts for self protection, for fitness, competition, for weight loss or simply for fun, we have a class suitable for you to train in.

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Kid’s Classes

childrens martial arts basingstokeAt our Academy, children not only learn self-defence skills, they learn much more from us. Martial Arts training with us is different, it’s fun, it’s exciting and as a life skill is invaluable.

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What is a Black Belt

Written by bryan. Posted in Coaching, Grading, News

Black Belt, Karate in Basingstoke, Martial Arts Black BeltWHAT IS A BLACK BELT?

By Harry Cronk age 10                 June 2011 

A black belt is someone who has good…

  • Stamina
  • Someone who is sensible
  • Someone who concentrates 
  • Brave
  • Has good confidence and memory
  • Determination
  • Good listener
  • Has good knowledge about karate
  • Shows a high level of skill in kata and kumite
  • Has good commitment
  • Strength

A black belt is also called a shodan there are 10 Dan grades from 1st degree black belt, to 10th degree black belt

I have worked really hard and trained hard in karate. My stamina has improved since I have started martial arts, and I have always wanted to be a black belt.

A black belt is not the end, it is just the beginning!


In our Martial Arts Academy when someone attempts their Black Belt grading, they also have to do a public talk in front of their peers and their parents. These are the notes for one of Harry’s presentations at his Black Belt grading. After conducting a correct and safe warm up followed by stretching techniques, he demonstrated the correct use of his fundamental techniques. This was followed by 25 sparring matches including both Karate and Judo (including matches against his coaches) finally he demonstrated 12 forms and kata. Harry successfully passed his Black Belt on 11th June 2011.

Junior Black Belt award, Martial Artist in Basingstoke gets Black Belt.


Unsung heroes – Caroline Halil secures a team of 75 at Race for Life

Written by bryan. Posted in Events, News

Caroline Halil is a great friend, a super mum, a fantastic Bodycombat coach and moreover an inspiration to all of us. Every day you meet her, you can’t help but become affected by her vivaciousness and bubbling personality. In Caroline’s case it really is true that great things come (as she would put) in wee packages.

This is the story of how one woman from Basingstoke can help to make a difference.

Caroline, simply THANK YOU. x 


Bodycombat, les mills, bts, race for life basingstoke, fitness classes, cancer researchA Sherborne St John woman, who was told she wouldn’t be able to have children after battling cancer as a child, has amazed doctors by having four.

Now Caroline, who had to fight for life through emergency surgery for a very rare form of cancer, is the proud mother of Rebecca, 12, Lewis, 7, Reiss, 6 and Samuel, 3.

She says: ““I am very lucky to be here and I want to share my story to give others hope”.

Caroline’s inspirational story has already prompted over seventy women and young girls at the Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy at Basingstoke – where she teaches – to get behind her for this year’s Tesco and Cancer Research UK Race for Life.

She is hoping others will join up for the event at Down Grange Sports Complex at 11.00am on Sunday 26th June to raise money for vital research which is helping more people like Caroline to not only survive cancer, but go on to lead normal lives.

Caroline, who is now 38, was diagnosed with cancer in her kidney on her 10th birthday. She was living in Edinburgh at the time and she had been ill for around two years.

She said: “I had been suffering horrific stomach and back ache but nobody knew what was wrong. I had a hugely bloated stomach and I was eventually taken to hospital where I was immediately sent for emergency surgery to remove a tumour and one of my kidneys.  

At one points her parents were told there was only a 50-50 per cent chance of her surviving the nine-hour operation.


However, the cancer had spread and Caroline then faced two years of intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She was told having the treatment as she approached puberty would prevent her from having children.

She said: “It took me months to recover and losing all my hair at that age was a horrific experience. I was told exploratory tests had confirmed I would never be able to have children”.

Caroline and her husband, Spencer, 40, accepted they couldn’t have children when they got married and were therefore stunned when her first pregnancy was discovered when she was in hospital being treated for something totally unrelated.

“A check-up found I was three-months pregnant with Rebecca. I was advised for my own health not to continue with the pregnancy, but I decided to take the chance. It was a complicated pregnancy, but we both survived”.

Her fourth pregnancy was also discovered during an unrelated hospital check-up, although the pregnancy itself was relatively straight forward.

“I am currently very well and feel very lucky that we have proved everyone wrong who said I couldn’t have children”.   

Caroline has been an active fundraiser and has raised several thousands of pounds for a variety of charities since she was a child.

“I have taken part in Race for Life with Rebecca for several years but wondered if I could encourage some members of the martial arts club to join us this year”.

Seventy-five women and young girls from the club’s 400 members have joined the team in support of Caroline **.

Lea Blake, the Basingstoke Race for Life organiser, said: “We are very grateful to the ladies from the Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy for making up such an impressive team.

“However, this year recruitment for the Basingstoke event is significantly lower than anticipated. With just 7 weeks to go, over 1500 women have already entered but there are still 2583 places to fill.

“Some women think they won’t be able to complete the course but in face most are able to walk 5k in an hour. In that same amount of time around five people will be diagnosed with cancer in the South.*

“If fewer women take part there will be less money to fund research, which in turn means fewer lives saved in the future”.

Women in the South can enter Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life at or by calling 0871 641 1111.

For media enquiries please call Helen Johnstone of Cancer Research on 07768 987 925



* All cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) diagnosed from 2005-2007 in the South East Government Office Region.


** To find out more about the Shin Gi Tai martial Arts Academy please go to: or telephone 01256 364104


About Race for Life


  • Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life 2011 is the UK’s largest women-only fundraising event series with over 300 events around the UK from May to the end of July.
  • Women of all ages, abilities, shapes and sizes from all over the UK join together to walk, jog or run 5k to raise money to help beat cancer.  
  • 2011 is a very ambitious year for Tesco and Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life.  The goal is to raise £80 million to fund Cancer Research UK’s life-saving research. 
  • In 2011, women will have the opportunity to take part in the traditional 5k or opt for a10k route, without having to pay an additional entry fee, at 42 venues across the UK.
  • Race for Life started as one event in 1994 at Battersea Park with 680 participants.  In 2011 it is celebrating its 17th birthday.
  • Since it started, an incredible 5.4 million participants across the UK have raised over £362 million to fund Cancer Research UK’s vital work.
  • Entry fee is £14.99 to cover the costs of staging the event series.  All money raised in sponsorship will go directly to our work to help beat cancer.


About Cancer Research UK


  • Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
  • The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives.  This work is funded entirely by the public.
  • Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last forty years.
  • Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  • Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK’s vision is to beat cancer.


For further information about Cancer Research UK’s work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 020 3469 6699 or visit


Kata doesn’t work in a fight!

Written by bryan. Posted in Martial Arts, Self Defence

Karate Basingstoke, Martial Arts BasingstokePeace is earned, if your mind and emotions are weak, you are more likely to cause violence or respond negatively to it.  People that have to respond to violence on a regular basis such as police officers and security personnel are taught to remain calm and to deal with a situation ‘appropriately’ to re-establish and keep the ‘Queens Peace’ and a martial artist’s response should be the same.

The problem with people that constantly create ‘aggressive and violent situations’ in which to train is that they are still not ‘real’ – you know it’s your mate acting, and if anything engenders fear of the ‘real’ thing, and makes people neurotic by focusing solely on ‘reality based’ training.

The paradox is that to deal with confrontation and dangerous situations of any kind you need to be calm and keep your wits about you; developing wisdom and strategies for all kinds of situations.  You also need to have a vigorous, sustainable health and fitness regimen; this is different from an athlete’s fitness, as they have to produce that extraordinary fitness for specific events, whereas martial artists need all round health and fitness to apply to different kinds of situations.

Is kata a good training tool to produce that fit, versatile and well controlled martial artist?

Traditionally kata and forms have a trinity of development.  That trinity is:

  • Health
  • Skill
  • Application


Kata teaches:

  • Postural alignment
  • Breathing technique
  • Mental clarity
  • Tension reduction
  • Fluid motion
  • Internal connection
  • Core strength
  • Connected movement
  • Body awareness
  • Energy movement


The mind/body/breath connection is a powerful one with kata like Sanchin dedicated to it.  The connected core strength of the body, coupled with postural alignment and mental clarity gives that rude health and natural strength that we all admire in a good martial artist and gives the adaptability to deal with changing situations.  The natural skeletal alignment and smooth, powerful myofascial movements prevents stiffness and unnatural strain on the body reducing injury and problems later in life.  The health side of kata training gives a yogic kind of health but not in a static way, it’s in movement and within combative strategies.  In old age the martial artist also maintains an excellent training method to assist in the healthy enjoyment of life and extended longevity.


A martial artist has to learn the basic fundamentals of movement to encourage good health and then gradually chain those together into the fluid motion of martial technique.  The strategies of the art have to be employed within those techniques and these have to be mastered to a reasonable level before being put into natural combinations and practiced two-man drills.  When put into combination, the beginning and end of each technique changes to accommodate the former and subsequent move.  This requires an element of adaptability and the ability to ‘think on your feet’.

From the health training, a natural power will arise with the ability to utilise postural alignment, breath, mind, core strength, and internal connection and these should flow naturally through the strategies and technique within the connected movements.

In kata all this is taken into a more advanced form of training.  Different kata serve different purposes in training.  Some focus on the health aspects, some on power training, some are complete training systems and some are ‘filling in’ skills that may not be trained elsewhere in the system.

With an element of mastery over fundamental and basic technique, some combinations with different entry and exit to and from technique in fluid motion and basic application to the movements, it’s time to ‘up the ante’ in skill training.

Kata is specifically designed to enhance skill training, the combinations might not be what you would typically find ‘in a fight’ but they will train and enhance those combative skills in a way that takes the practitioner to a very advanced level that could not otherwise be achieved.

Notice how kata cover the entire range of body movements and how you move from high to low, from one direction in the most difficult way to another, how the powering of one technique is enhanced from the previous movement and then the motion can add power to the next (if you can move fluidly).  See how specific skills are categorized so the kata can act as a mnemonic reminder of the system.

When many kata were devised, most people were illiterate, there were few books, no DVD’s, no internet, not much travel, people communicated long distance by minstrels and storytellers, information was passed down through the generations in dances, songs and rhyming poetry so that it could be accurately remembered.

After 30 years of training I decided to try and invent a kata that summed up all my knowledge, when putting together all the strikes, blocks, locks, throws and dislocation techniques and strategies for entering, sticking, blending, redirecting, breaking down and destruction I discovered that the basic body skills and movements behind all of them came down to eight principle ideas, as long as these were rigorously practiced, they could be adapted into all the techniques.  This made me look at he existing kata with new eyes as I realized that I was ‘re-inventing the wheel’!

It is the skill training that is fundamental, the more advanced that training becomes – the more skilful and powerful the practitioner will be. 


By looking at kata through the equally important eyes of health and skill, the plethora of applications becomes apparent.  It’s like unraveling a knot, you examine the skills and see how they can be applied to striking, blocking, locking, throwing, dislocation, evasion and entering and you realize that what you have is a method of training a complete skill base that can be unraveled into a complete arsenal of techniques.

Even the ‘health’ kata is full of skills that are essential for three hundred and sixty degree self defence.  The ‘boxing’ applications of kata will not work properly without knowledge of the health and skill aspects as they permeate and empower every part of the application of technique.

The word bunkai means ‘to break down and explore’.  So when working on bunkai it is essential to understand the trinity of kata and examine each part to get to the ohyo (practical application).

The ohyo are the peacekeeping skills that enable an experienced practitioner to re-establish and keep the peace, even if the situation is life threatening.

Kata is an invaluable tool in training in Karate and will certainly help develop your skills to prevent you from having to ‘fight’ with anyone and will enable you to deal with violence and confrontation more skillfully.

Written by Steve Rowe 2nd April 2009
Martial Arts Standards Agency British Judo British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body The World Union of Karate Federations Shi Kon Martial Arts British Council for Chinese Martial Arts – National Governing Body Safeguarding

Contact Us

Telephone (01256) 364104.


Shin Gi Tai Martial Arts Academy,
The Annex @ ITT Industries,
Jays Close,
RG22 4BA