April Duncan

I began my karate training in 1996. I have been trying to get it right since I was 7 years old! I started doing it because my brother and sister did it twice a week with Sensei Kidby in Newport Pagnell. I was not allowed to do it. I used to watch from the side of the class and used to enjoy most of what they did and finally I was allowed to join in. I have been training ever since. I like freestyle and my favourite kata is Hangetsu but if I am honest I have to admit I don't enjoy basics at all.

Karate is an excellent experience and full of fun but not always because you have to take it seriously and to get to get it right takes a lot of time practicing at home on your own too. If you do these things you too can one day can be like me, a black belt!

There are many advantages to karate apart from just streetwise self-defence etc. It teaches you discipline and listening to other people and doing as you are told. Karate is full of respect, everyone respects each other whether you are fat or skinny, small or tall, black, white, young, old or even just have a different accent - every one of us is treated the same.

Karate can be a family thing too. I did it because my family does it and now three of us have black belts. When I passed I was so happy and so proud. When I first went training after my grading everyone congratulated me on my achievement they were lovely. I hope being a dan grade will help me later in life. Anyway I still enjoy my karate and I hope I've got a sport for the rest of my life.