Elite Karate Academy is a unique outlet to develop children’s confidence

By Echo Reporter

KARATE changed the life of Gareth Fitzgerald, and the experienced sensei is now installing the same sense of purpose and self-development in those who attend his Clondalkin academy.

Since moving his Elite Karate Academy club to a purpose-built 1,400 sq m facility in Green Isle Business Park in 2014, Fitzgerald has expanded the business full-time, upgrading his services to include anti-bullying classes, everyday fitness and bootcamp classes for people of all ages.

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Having taught karate for 25 years, Fitzgerald Elite academy offers a unique outlet to develop children’s self-esteem and character.

“Up to 80 per cent of people who attend the club are children, but we are unique in that we don’t compete for trophies like a lot of clubs do,” said Fitzgerald.

“The ethos of this traditional Wado Ryu Karate-Do (the way of harmony). It’s a club of self-development, improving confidence and avoiding fights. We turned out our first two black belts last year – it takes an average of five or six years to achieve that, training two to three times a week.”

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Learning the correct mental attitude and fighting spirit, which can be lacking in academia and other sports, is something that has been appreciated by parents, who are effusive in their praise on the club website.

Another unique development aspect of the academy is word of the week, which fits into Fitzgerald ethos of mentoring members.

Fitzgerald continued: “We have a different word every week, loyalty or self-control. Karate changed my life, it gave me an outlet for aggression. We can all learn morals from it, like you get from you parents. If you are a better person, you will help build a better community around you. We’re another cog in that wheel.”

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