David Thomas


Read 'My Shodan Experience'!


I began my Karate career in 2006 taking my 10th Kyu grading that December and have come a long way since then.


My wife and daughter had started Karate some two years previously and, as I was away on a business trip and couldn’t look after him, my 9 year old son was coerced into joining too. That left me with little choice when I got back home but to join up too!


In truth, my reasons for starting Karate were little to do with self-defence or even the sense of accomplishment it gives me (these came later), it was more to do with wanting to do something together as a family that did it, and that benefit has been with us ever since.


In the 7½ years it has taken me to reach Shodan, there have been many times I could easily have stopped. Each time, it has also been the realisation of what I would lose by stopping that has helped me along and now, I can’t imagine a life without Karate. It is an integral part of my life and I wish I could have started 30 years earlier.


None of this would have been possible without the dedication and help of my teachers. Sensei Bigsby was a good influence from the start and Sensei’s McMahon & Waterhouse have been with me throughout my journey, giving good advice both inside and outside of the Dojo.


Where do I go from here? Well I think it highly unlikely that I will grade again (but I have said that several times before) and my Shodan grading was possibly the hardest thing I have ever done (certainly the hardest physically). But there are still many Kata to learn and basics to get right and whilst there is still something new to achieve, I expect to be trying to live up to Karate-Do for many years to come.