Eamon Kennedy


I was introduced to Shotokan Karate in November 2001. A work colleague had two kids that were training at the Newport Pagnell karate club, and he introduced me to Sensei Kidby when I mentioned to him that I was interested in taking up karate. That interest was born out of a desire to learn how to defend myself and to cope with any eventuality in the big bad world out there. Under Sensei Kidby’s tuition, I managed to attain 3rd Kyu over a three and a half year period.


During that time, I was sent to Japan on company business on two occasions for meetings at Nissan, and I was advised by Sensei to take my Gi with me and to try to find a dojo to train. I was fortunate to find a Shotokan Karate dojo in Atsugi, the city that I was staying in, and I was even more fortunate to meet Sensei Kohama, who welcomed me to train in his dojo under his instruction. To train on two occasions in Japan with such a respected karate instructor was a great honour, and a very memorable experience.


In April 2005, I was seconded to work at the Nissan Technical Centre in Spain. That meant having to say goodbye to my Newport Pagnell club for what was initially supposed to be a twelve month period, but which turned into a three and a half year stint as the company kept extending my stay in Barcelona. Fortunately I got to sample another culture and way of life, and to enjoy everything associated with it. Unfortunately I did not continue my karate training during that time.


When I eventually returned to the UK in August 2008, I made the decision to start back my karate training and to carry on from where I left off. I visited the Newport Pagnell dojo one Friday night in October to see if I could renew my membership. I was warmly greeted by Sensei who welcomed me back with open arms, metaphorically speaking. So began the second chapter in my karate training. I wore a white belt for about six months after my return, during which time Sensei assessed by capabilities, and when he was happy enough with my performance, I was once again allowed to wear my Brown Belt.


It took eight years from October 2008 until October 2016 for me to progress from 3rd Kyu to reach the grade of first Dan. It was really down to Sensei’s continuous support and patience that allowed me to earn my black belt. His belief in me was a major contributing factor, and for this I shall be forever grateful.


My karate training goes on, and I shall endeavour to train hard whenever I put on my Gi.