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Kokoro Kai Ju-jitsu Association is a large and widely recognised group within the British Ju-jitsu Association Great Britain (BJJAGB) – the governing body for Ju-jitsu in this country. The club is also member of the United Nations of Ju-jitsu and Jikishin International.

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Hornchurch Kokoro Kai Ju Jitsu Association

Venue: Horncurch Sports Centre, Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch

When: Monday and Friday -Juniors 6:45-7:45pm / Seniors: 7:45 – 9:30pm

Price: Juniors (6-15yrs) = £5

Seniors (16yrs +) = £8

Contact: www.kokorokai.co.uk/ e-mail: mc.fitzgerald@ntlworld.com/ Tel: 01708 455375

The club was opened 26 years ago at Hornchurch Sports Centre by coaches Mark and Claire Fitz-Gerald, who are now retired from competition.

All Kokoro Kai instructors are fully qualified and CRB checked.

The club aims to promote a friendly atmosphere among students and between clubs where everyone mixes together. There are also numerous social events throughout the year.

The group is particularly concerned with helping children and young adults gain a valuable life skill and to promote fitness, good behaviour and build self-confidence. This in turn has a positive effect on their school life and approach to work in general.

Since setting up the club, Mark and Claire have worked tirelessly to promote and teach Ju-jitsu to the people of Havering and they continue to enjoy success through the many achievements of their students – none more so than their son Harry, who joined them on the mat aged six.

Harry himself has now been competing nationally and internationally since the age of seven and gained his junior black belt by the age of 13.

He has more than 50 titles to his name and has proven himself a great ambassador for the art.

A team of seven children recently competed at the British championships in Walsall.

They achieved an outstanding result of ten medals, including four golds and four British titles.

Claire said: “We have truly enjoyed every minute of our life together in Ju-jitsu and wouldn’t change it for the world. It has enriched our lives in a way that only other sports-minded people would understand. We have two families – our biological one and the one we have with all our Ju-jitsu friends.”

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