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Catherine Johnson – “What is a Dragon’s Heart?”

What is a ‘Dragon’s Heart’?

To find out, I visited a Sanjuro Martial Arts class in North London to meet Glenn, Anita and the young people they work with. After a tour of Bruce Grove Youth Club, I watched the disability group in action – and wow, it was active! There was no let-up in the energy and focus of the class. From the parents and carers, I heard how important the group was in developing confidence and physicality. The young students from an earlier class joined in, demonstrating Sanjuro’s emphasis on helping each other. They helped me too, when my spelling skills failed!

A week later, I was at the JC Dragon’s Heart Europe Community Centre (House Madelief) in Hoogvliet. Kitty and her friendly team made me very welcome – and even persuaded me to join in a tai chi class with Olympic coach Chris de Korte. Madelief Huis feels like a family home – an inviting, cheerful place that provides activities and company for isolated elders. The local community can pick up second-hand bargains at the Centre, which encourages a mix of all ages. I was very tempted by the paintings and the records – next time I will take a larger bag.

I’ve learnt you don’t need the skills of Jackie Chan to have a Dragon’s Heart. Just courage, compassion and the determination to take on a challenge – whether martial arts in a wheelchair or meeting a new neighbour. We can all inspire and support others, in great ways and small. That’s our Dragon Hearts beating.

Catherine Johnson

Catherine Johnson visits Huis Madelief!

This is a translation of an article that appeared in The Botlek in Rotterdam

Last month, Catherine Johnson in her role as Patron of Jackie Chan’s Dragon’s Heart Europe went to Hoogvliet, Rotterdam at the request of President, Kitty Engelmoer, to visit the Huis Madelief project set up by the Charity.

This is a project for elderly people who live independently and have little or no social contact.  The Charity invite these people to spend time with each other in the recently-opened JC Dragon’s Heart’s Europe Community Centre in Hoogvliet, Rotterdam.  To fund the get-togethers and activities, the Charity organises flea markets and small markets full of fun and cheap items.  When Catherine was told about this, she instantly said that she would like to see it.

Catherine writes for the theatre and film in England.  Her biggest hit is the musical Mamma Mia!  She wrote the story and produced the musical together with Bjorn and Bennie from ABBA, says Kitty Engelmoer.  Kitty is also trying to bring the famous movie star Jackie Chan to Hoogvliet.

In a recent interview for The Botlek, Catherine said, “I have lived in Bristol since I was 5 years old and knew that I wanted to be a writer when I was older.  At a young age, I won prizes and I still take great pleasure in writing.

A special experience for me was a TV series called, ‘Love in the 21st Century’ which is now no longer shown on television but at the time played a major role in the sexual liberation of women … a lot different from a cheerful singalong film like Mamma Mia!’

She says that she still finds it ‘awesome’ that she has worked with 007 Pierce Brosnan!

                         Catherine meets Ambassador, Chris de Korte

We would like to thank Catherine for taking the time out from her busy schedule to visit Hoogvliet and meet with some of the elderly people and the volunteers.

Sanjuro End of Year Certificate Presentation – July 2018

Recently we attended the end of year certificate presentation at Sanjuro Martial Arts Club in London.  On this occasion, we were delighted to be joined by our recently appointed patron, Catherine Johnson.

Catherine took charge of the certificates, writing in each young person’s name on their certificate (no mean feat with around 50 to get through!) before presenting it to them.

Food and soft drinks were available for everyone and the youngsters also got to choose a special gift from the charity which had been donated by Jackie.

It was a great evening, thoroughly enjoyed by young and old alike!

Here are some photos from the evening.

We would like to thank Catherine for taking the time to visit Sanjuro, presenting the certificates and interacting with the young people.  We know it was very much appreciated!

In London – Celebrating Bruce Grove Youth Club

On 28 March 2018, Ben from JC Dragon’s Heart Europe, attended the Celebrating Bruce Grove Youth Club event. The event consisted of two Sanjuro Martial Arts classes followed by food and drink for all.

It was a great evening for everyone, including parents, and wonderful to see the students persevering and showing dedication in their classes.

Many thanks to Glenn and Anita of Sanjuro Martial Arts (www.sanjuromartialarts.com), and the students and staff at Bruce Grove Youth Centre.

Here are some of the photos from the event –

 

   

   

… and finally …

 

 

JC Dragon’s Heart Europe Community Centre

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We are so excited to announce that on 14 October 2017, the JC Dragon’s Heart Europe Community Centre, and home to the ‘Huis Madelief’ project, was opened in Hoogvliet, Rotterdam.

The official opening was performed by Kitty Engelmoer (President of the Dragon’s Heart Europe charity), Janny Heine, Regina Bussing and Edwin Smid, who is Chairman of the local council.  Edwin expressed his appreciation stating that such facilities in the neighbourhood are of vital importance where people can meet, make friends and find help if they need it.  Kitty thanked her volunteers stating that without them, it would not have been possible.

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As well as hosting the ‘Huis Madelief’ project, the Community Centre is available to hire throughout the day/evening Monday-Friday.  Among the groups already meeting there are a computer club and tai chi group. There is also a recycling programme where people are welcome to bring their unwanted items … and perhaps buy something they do want!  Sun beds are also available to hire.

As the opening of the Centre was such an auspicious occasion, board members from Germany and the UK travelled to Rotterdam to join in the celebrations.

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“For the charity, this is a big step forward,” said Jane. “We are now receiving income we can use for our projects.”  They were pleased to see that there was so much interest in the opening. “This shows the importance to the environment.”

This is the first official Dragon’s Heart Community Centre in the world

 

A great initiative!

Chris Jones, a full-time martial arts instructor with his own school in North Yorkshire (www.chrisjonesmartialarts.moonfruit.com), and a dedicated Dragon’s Heart supporter has come up with a great idea to promote our charity.

Having sought our permission, he has used our logo on the sleeve of his polo tops. What a great initiative!

Many thanks Chris for the extra bit of advertising.

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Sanjuro Certificate Presentation Evening

Dragon’s Heart Europe support a very unique martial arts class for young people with special educational needs and associated learning difficulties at Bruce Grove, Tottenham, North London.

On 19 July 2017, the UK Board members paid a visit to award these dedicated students and their volunteers with Certificates to mark their Achievements over the last year.

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This was a great evening shared with the students and their parents. Huge thanks, as ever, to Glenn Delikan of Sanjuro Martial Arts for making it all possible.

 

Joining Cultures: JC Fans Spanish Tour 2017

Between the 7th and 12th July 2017, a tour was organised by Spanish Jackie Chan fan, Antonio Ramírez Santandreu (Jackie Chan Spain) to visit locations in and around Madrid and Barcelona that were used in the films Wheels on Meals and Armour of God II: Operation Condor, along with other places of cultural interest.

The tour was a great success and was attended by fans from the following countries – Chile, England, Estonia, Germany, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Spain and Uzbekistan.

During the tour, one of the many fun events that took place was a charity auction which was hosted by Silke. Items for the auction were donated by the fans and The JC Group. These included collectors magazines, JC socks, action figure dolls, posters and other rare items. Over 700 Euros was raised from the auction and more has also been donated.

We at Jackie Chan’s Dragon’s Heart Europe would like to thank Antonio for organising this tour, and all the fans who attended and contributed to making this a great event.

Finally, we would also like to thank the sponsors: Zafiro Hotels, Norma Comics, Glups and SelectaVisión.

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The fans were delighted to find this building …

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Toni’s Movie Location Event

Two years ago, a dedicated Jackie Chan fan, Antonio Ramírez Santandreu, had a vision that Jackie Chan fans from around the world could visit some of the most iconic locations in Spain where the movies, Operation Condor (1991) and Wheels on Meals (1984), were filmed.

Well, this week Toni’s vision has become a reality as fans from 8 different countries will be doing just that!

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After much organising during those two years, over 20 fans will visit these memorable locations in Madrid, Segovia and Barcelona. Buses have been booked to get the group around together with a venue for dinner in the evening should the fans wish to take part.

We are delighted to hear that Toni has also agreed to a Charity Auction with any profits going to Jackie’s Dragon’s Heart Europe charity; we would like to thank Toni for agreeing to this.

We are sure everyone will have a great time, and we can’t wait to see some of the photos. Stay tuned …

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