A KARATE CLUB in Gwynedd is celebrating its 30th anniversary during 2019.

The Seki Ryu Zan group has been based at the Normal Site in Bangor since August 1989.

Over its three decades of existence, the traditional Karate club has produced 148 black belts from the local area and currently boasts a strong core of 38 of them who still train regularly.

Current Seki Ryu Zan (which means Mountain of the Red Dragon) club members range in age from seven to 70 years old.

Three of the founder members still train at the club too; Kevin Banholzer and brothers Gwyn and Alun Mowll.

Speaking on the success of the club, 65-year-old Gwyn said: "It was always a club for the members, not run for profit, but purely to teach traditional karate.

"We all had professions so it never became a business. People stayed, for the training.

"The number of people who have trained here must be in the thousands by now. We have had members from all walks of life - teachers, solicitors, doctors, caretakers and so on."

Gwyn, from Llanrug, has been a 5th Dan at the club since he beat Belfast's John Richardson in his "most memorable fight" in 2005. He is also a former headteacher of Rhosgadfan County Primary School.

He says Karate has been a constant theme in his life for more than 40 years. He was a young student in the 1970's when he went to see a Bruce Lee film - a movie which then inspired him to search for and eventually create his own Martial Arts club.

"That young student had studied to be a teacher at the Bangor Normal College and now I am still here 46 years later but with the Seki Ryu Zan group," he said.

"This club has been my family and I've made so many good friends. We've had lots of fun and of course some bad times and injuries too but overall there's a great camaraderie."

The Seki Ryu Zan group is a member of the Governing Body with Olympic Recognition and access.

It is based at the Gym at the Bangor Normal Site and welcomes new members every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7pm.