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Leading international martial arts instructor Sensei Marc Stevens puts Moray students at Karate Academy Scotland through their paces at Elgin seminar

By Craig Christie

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Moray martial arts students have been learning from a high-level international karate instructor.

Sensei Marc Stevens passed on his knowledge to Moray karate students.
Sensei Marc Stevens passed on his knowledge to Moray karate students.

Sensei Marc Stevens represented Belgium on the world stage for 15 years, before becoming a renowned instructor.

He concentrates on assisting and demonstrating for two of the sport's biggest names, Master Kase and Master Shirai who both helped to spread the popularity of karate from Japan to Europe.

Sensei Stevens has been followed for the past 25 years by the Karate Academy Scotland club in Elgin and Forres, which is run by Moray-based Sensei, John Craig.

He led a recent seminar at Elgin's Bishopmill Primary gym hall, which was attended by more than 50 people.

Craig explained: "We had students from Germany, Italy, Switzerland, England and all over Scotland.

"We were collecting students from airports in Aberdeen and Edinburgh and filling up local accommodation."

He detailed the achievements of Masters Kase and Shirai, whose skills and knowledge Sensei Stevens helps pass on to young martial arts hopefuls.

Students from across the UK and Europe attended the Karate Academy Scotland event.
Students from across the UK and Europe attended the Karate Academy Scotland event.

"Master Kase was very well known for leading the introduction of karate out of Japan and into Europe and further," Craig said.

"He took the best students and toured all around the world. These students set up their lives in different countries to promote karate.

"He is still following and assisting Master Shirai who is now 86 years old and in 1962 won both the kata and kumite championships of the JKA (Japan Karate Association), thereby becoming one of very few to receive the title 'Grand Champion'.

"The aim of these seminars is to pass over clear tuition from this strong lineage of instructors and to keep a strong connection as a traditional karate organisation.

A demonstration at the Elgin seminar.
A demonstration at the Elgin seminar.

"Sensei Marc Stevens created a well-structured course with a junior class and a senior class on both days, expertly challenging all the students even though they were all at different levels.

"This is his first Karate Course in the UK since Covid.

"We presented him with some Scottish treats and gifts and we had a student who kindly played Scotland the Brave on the bagpipes."

Craig has been teaching karate in Moray for over 25 years, and holds the grade of Yondan and Kase Ha instructors qualification.

He formed the Karate Academy Scotland clubs in Elgin and Forres, who collectively have 45 members and are part of the Grampian and Northern Karate Club.

The club trains four nights a week. For more information visit karateacademyscotland.com website or Facebook and Instagram accounts, or call 07787812214 or 07841137056.

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