This Christmas – a political message

I should probably know better than to mix karate with politics, but something has happened, which is so big and significant in our lives, that I feel it trumps such sensibilities.

Brexit has been a divisive issue in our society, but last night it became an inevitable reality. Both Neil and I have been deeply saddened and angered by the decision of the British people, but most of all I think it’s left us heartbroken.

If the UK had not been a member of the EU I would have never come here. Neil and I would not have met and Kanshin would have never been created. Shotorama and all the other special and wonderful things we dreamt and created would have never come to be. Likewise, many of our members, past and present, would not have come to these Isles, lived and trained amongst us and touched our lives. For Neil and I that is the true meaning of Brexit. We are faced with the loss of something very dear and fundamental in our lives that it is almost like losing a loved one. Simply put, we are in mourning.

All the while we are also acutely aware that our country is in the midst of a social crisis. A crisis of homelessness, of poverty and of children going hungry. This Christmas there will be children going to bed on an empty stomach and young people sleeping out in the freezing cold. This is not happening in some third world failed state, but here, in the world’s fifth richest country.

So here we are, the nightmare of Brexit will now become our reality. It will make things worse not better, especially for those vulnerable communities that voted for it. The forces that conspired to bring it about are too great for us to tackle, but perhaps this Christmas we can make a difference in the lives of just a few people. Perhaps in this very dark hour we can shine a little light of hope even if for a moment.

Neil and I have each given £50 to The Number Five Project, a charity that provides night shelter for homeless people. We have also decided to dedicate all proceeds from Neil’s upcoming session on 28 December to that charity, so participation will be free. If you intend to come and train or just feel sympathetic to our cause please consider giving as well. We hope that with your help we can double our contribution and reach our target of £200. You can donate here.

In any event, we are still all karateka and we hope to see you at the event, which will be free, regardless of your thoughts in the matter.

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