Our Mission: Fitness and Self-Defence - "Train Hard, Fight Easy" In 1976 the Grovehill Community Centre, Hemel Hempstead was brand new. A young man who had just moved into the area and thought it would make a good Martial Arts Dojo. As the Centre, at that time was new and had no regular bookings he managed to negotiate a pretty good deal. This was just as well because he was skint. The deal was no students - no rent!
Luckily some rent became due as a trickle of students began to attend the classes. As the years rolled on the club became stronger and steadier although the summers produced a few lean times.
Tom Hill was that young man, 24 years old and wondering what he'd do if some big guy turned up who decided this 'Goju' wasn't up to much. As it turned out he did get a few big guys who thought they'd try their hand - they turned into Toms regular students. In those days it was 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squat thrusts, sparring, lots of shouting and if they were real lucky we would do some Martial Arts.
Today new students see if they can manage 10's of each and work up slowly and careful to their personal maximum depending on age etc. We are also delighted by interest shown by ladies and have several at Black Belt level. Now almost 40 years later, Tom is a seventh Dan in Goju.co.uk and is also graded in two other Martial Art styles. He is busy trying to make his body keep up with his mind and spirit. He still thinks he is 25 but at 61 years old, his body won't believe it. Nevertheless, he is still fit and strong.
The club has moved from the Community centre to Sensei Hill's private Dojo and the club is busier than ever, especially so over the past two to three years. Acknowledged for being the oldest continually run martial arts club in the area we have produced over 20 Black Belts with 4 or five Brown Belts close behind. There are ten belts in the system all of a different colour, that are gained as you progress and grade. We pride ourselves on being a friendly club and open to all irrespective of age, ability, experience, gender etc. The Martial Arts taught are primarily based on Goju-Ryu however as an open club our training incorporates many additional techniques and practices from other styles.
Our grading syllabus designed by Sensei Hill outlines clear steps, through 10 elements that students must achieve to progress up the syllabus. It has never been the policy to grade students to a fixed time-line. Students will be invited to grade only when they are capable of passing the grading. The Grading is taken in front of a panel of senior grades who individually score the student on the 10 elements. The overall scores are calculated and an average used to determine if itís a pass or fail. We like to think