Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Aberdeen karate master leads virtual lessons to lift spirits

Ronnie Watt teaching from his home.
Ronnie Watt teaching from his home.

An Aberdeen-based karate master is providing free online classes in a bid to boost morale during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Ronnie Watt, who has been a professional karate instructor for more than half a century, says the free classes are a “way of giving something back”.

The well-known martial arts master has been campaigning to keep fitness at the top of the agenda for many years and says it is “vital now more than ever” that people keep moving for their physical and mental health.

After overcoming initial technical teething troubles, the latest class, which took place on Mr Watt’s 73rd birthday, attracted almost 90 participants.

Mr Watt said he is now receiving e-mails every day from parents whose children are taking part in the classes, thanking him for the classes.

He said: “We’ve had a hugely positive response to the project from students and parents are just over the moon with what we’re doing.

“We have around 300 members and having almost 90 taking part right from the start is fantastic.

“Aberdeen has always been vulnerable to economic downturns and this is not just impacting the oil industry – people are losing their jobs right across board.

“With the added effect of people having to stay at home where possible, it’s a perfect storm both physically and emotionally on people and the longer this goes on, the worse it could be for people.

“Karate is a fantastic way to get both a physical and mental workout so I’m providing these classes free of charge to members as a way of giving something back.

“The response we have had from people has been fantastic and we are now moving from providing two classes per week adding a third on Saturdays.”

Mr Watt says he will continue teaching from home until regular classes can resume

Four schools in Aberdeen helped alert students to the project and with the latest announcement that restrictions on movement are set to last for at least another three weeks, Mr Watt says he will continue teaching online until people can physically attend classes again.

Mr Watt has been teaching karate for 56 years, teaching more than 20,000 students and has achieved international recognition for his work promoting the relationship between Scotland and Japan.

In 2010 he was accorded the rare honour of being presented with the Order of the Rising Sun on behalf of the Emperor of Japan and received an OBE in the 2011 Mey Years honours list.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]