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Our Club

Burton Ki Society was founded by sensei Roy Cliff in 1978, following a visit to the UK by sensei Koichi Tohei. Initially based at the Budokan, Stapenhill, the club moved to its present location, the Burton Judokwai, in 1988. In 1999 sensei Cliff relocated to Scotland (Tain Ki Society) and sensei Mike Hayes took over as instructor.

The Burton Judokwai underwent a dramatic refurbishment in 2004 which took several months to complete. There are male and female changing rooms, a small kitchen/refreshments area and seating for non-participants

.Burton Judokwai

Judo has been in Burton-on-Trent for over 40 years; the first club, Burton Judo Club, was formed in the 1950’s by Mr J R Lloyd who had trained under the 8th Dan Japanese Master Gunji Koizumi, known in the world of judo as the founder of British judo.Over the years the Club had various meeting places, mostly over public houses and when Derrick Skivington joined in 1957, it was held at the Rifleman Inn, Derby Street.  The mat was made of a wooden surround filled with sawdust and covered with canvas.  In 1959 the Club moved to the Green Man, New Street and for the first time ladies were allowed to take part.  Mrs E Pratt (nee Stephens) was the first lady to join and she stayed with the Club for many years, attaining the grade of 2nd Dan.

1961 saw the Club move to All Saints Church School Room and the name change to Burton Judokwai.  Now with more floor space, two new portable mats made of jute and canvas were purchased.In 1962 the first junior judo classes for boys and girls were started and for the senior players Club Kendo, Aikido, Karate and Atemi Jutsu were introduced.Due to alterations, All Saints School Room had to be vacated and the Club came to a standstill but with weekly Committee meetings at the Scout Headquarters, Edward Street, the members kept the Club alive.  Then, in 1969, the Club took advantage of an offer by Mr F R Kerry to lease Broadway Hall, providing a permanent Club Room, and Burton Judokwai was reborn.The Club is run by a Committee, currently comprising Derrick Skivington, Murray Horton, George Fargher and Jane Skivington, all Black Belt Instructors who give their services voluntarily.In 1982 Derrick Skivington was awarded one of the town’s most prestigious awards, “The Sports Administrator of the Year”.  George Fargher also received this award in 1988.Funds are raised by subscriptions, mat fees and raffles etc.  these funds have helped finance judo courses run by top internationals which have included Brian Jacks, Dave Starbrook and Angelo Parisi (all Olympic medalists) and more recently, Roy Inman, who is currently the National Coach for women.  This has all helped improve the standard of Judo in the Club and consequently Burton Judokwai has produced 17 members of Black Belt status, five of whom are women.

The Club was amongst the few sporting organizations which pioneered the town twinning link with Lingen in West Germany and since 1983 annual exchange visits have taken place, with Burton Judokwai and Lingen Judo Club taking it in turns to play host and provide a hospitality which has been second to none.The association the Club has with Lingen takes place on a home-stay basis, thus providing members with the opportunity of spending time with a family in a different environment and returning the privilege by entertaining their counterparts.  During these visits judo training and competition is combined with social events, making each trip a most memorable experience both on and of the judo mat

.The Club has members who have become fully qualified Referees, Club Coaches, Area Champions and Squad members for the Midland and England Squad, and one international player who was 1979 Ladies British champion.Members of Burton Judokwai have formed the Town’s representative side for judo in the Clarke Staffordshire Games since the event was introduced in 1982 and, in 1987, beat South Derbyshire in the Inter-Town Competition.  They also went on to win in 1988 and 1989.

In 2002-2003 the Broadway Hall premises underwent a complete renovation including a new roof, floor, electrical rewiring etc at a cost of approximately £70 000.  In 2005 further improvements including new toilets and showers were added.  The Club has 1000 square feet of mat area, consisting of 2m x 1m vinyl surface mats.The Club has approximately 105 members, of which 82 are boys and girls between the ages of 7 and 16; 14% of these are of ethnic minority origin.  This total includes the membership of the Ki Aikido club which is regularly visited by a senior (8th Dan) Japanese instructor.

Thanks to Mr Derrick Skivington and Mr George Fargher for supplying this information.