I began karate at the age of 8 years old. I was asked to join in a lesson that my mother and sister usually went to, I was hesitant at the start but agreed to try one lesson which I realised was very fun. The person who convinced me was and is the sensei who still instructs me today. After that first lesson I decided to make this my hobby and kept on returning for the lessons every Saturday. I began this hobby around October 2006 alongside my dad who began a few weeks after myself.
After two months I was ready to take my first grading at the leisure centre in Bletchley. I was so happy with my new blue belt (10th kyu) and as of then I was committed to Karate and had to always get the next belt. I realised that if I was to carry on gaining new belts I was going to have to improve my Karate overall. Over time I found that it wasn't just remembering all of the techniques but more on etiquette, strength, power, focus and spirit.
I have now been training in Karate for 7 and a half years and have recently reached the grade of 1st Dan black belt. The Shodan grading was like nothing i have attempted before, it required many hours of revision and training to the extent that this achievement was like passing an A level. Further reading and home training was essential to the grading and in my opinion was the difference between me succeeding and failure.
This grading was the hardest I had ever been through and was nowhere close to the challenge of all kyu gradings put together. When I was told that I had passed my shodan grading I was ecstatic. Not only had I passed the hardest thing I had ever had to but I had also made my club proud. Over the years I had become friends with all members of my club through all grades and ages. They have been supportive and helpful during my preparation for the grading that is just the end of the beginning for my Karate journey.
I am grateful for all sensei’s who have helped me to achieve this honourable grade. I thank Sensei McMahon, Sensei Waterhouse and Sensei Eagles for teaching me and preparing me for all I needed to know to be a black belt and I thank Renshi Kidby and Shihan O’Reilly for grading me to 1st Dan.
I am looking forward to continuing on my journey in the Karate part of my life and passing on my learnings to future Kyu and Dan grades alike…