Take part in a day full of karate at the Oxford Karate Academy’s Katathon this Friday and Saturday.

The 24-hour event will be held at the United Reformed Church in Headington to raise money for members of the Academy to go to Japan.

People are asked to make a minimum £5 donation to take part.

The money raised will help fund 17 members to compete in karate competitions in Japan in July. The trip is also for educational purposes.

Children have already kick-started the year by learning karate at the Academy which teaches different styles such as Goju-ryu and Goju-kai.

Free classes held this month only, allow children as young as four to get a taste of the martial art.

They can build up their confidence and start to master karate under the direction of three-time world champion and instructor, Paul Coleman.

Oxford Mail:

He is the only original member of the academy which started in 1974 and has loved seeing the personal transformations of people as he teaches.

He said: “It’s amazing how much people change.Children who started off mumbling, later become able to shout and count in Japanese - it makes my eyes well up seeing them become so confident.”

Mr Coleman said one woman who was a victim of domestic violence used to flinch at every move, but after three years she managed to get her black belt in Japan.

The instructor, who teaches alongside his wife Natalia, is the highest graded non-Japanese in the Japan Karate Federation for Goju-kai and said that not only does it build confidence and bring health benefits but it is also a great way to have fun.

There are four main schools of karate at the academy and summer classes, museum trips and educational trips are also held throughout the year.

Oxford Mail:

The academy, which is Internationally recognised and registered in Japan, is for families too and they can get discounted admission where only two members will be charged.

The Katathon starts at 6pm on Friday and there will also be special workshops available for people to go to.