I’ve made it to Shodan after years of rigorous training and hard work. Over the course of the years there have been up and downs, but it’s been the greatest years of my life. It was a long journey, but it has paid off.
I started my karate journey at the age of 7 in my primary school in Wolverton where Renshi Kidby taught the club. I gained interest in karate and contacted Renshi and started at Bletchley Leisure Centre in September 2016. I went to Bletchley’s Thursday club where it was taught by Renshi , Sensei Simon McMahon and Sensei Pam McMahon and I started to enjoy karate and meeting new people. This gave me motivation to really put effort into karate and try my best at all times.
As I progressed through the belts, I realised how important karate was to me and how much helps in life. While at the leisure centre, I graded up to brown belt and I had reached my peak happiness and it was a good time in my life. But covid hit and we had to stop karate face to face and instead we did karate zoom calls which is where I lost all my motivation and struggled with doing karate. I was very close to quitting because how much I was unmotivated, but I have to give credit to my parents for encouraging to me attend the zooms calls and trying my best. When I got the news and we started going back into dojo’s I was ecstatic and pleased because there was still hope for me. It wasn’t the same as before covid, but it helped a lot and I slowly regained my motivation.
After returning to the dojo at Knowles primary school and at Newton Longville, I trained as hard as I could to obtain my brown and white belt (2nd kyu) which I have to give a big thanks to my sensei’s who helped a lot. A year later, I graded for my 1st kyu and I was so happy and finally felt motivated to the highest.
My training for shodan was a stressful time and I would like to thank everyone to helped me along the way. I got the news that I had been invited to the Dan grading and continued training and studying every night for it. I had paused everything else in my life because I had been waiting for this moment for years and I knew I had to work hard for it. I was excited but also stressed. All I could think of was if I would pass or not or if I was good enough to be called a black belt. It had got to the day and as we arrived, I nervously waited for it start. Then it started and it was a long 2.5 hours but in the end it had all paid off when we were told we had passed. I was so happy for me and George as I knew how hard we both trained to achieve this.
I would like to thank Sensei Simon McMahon and Sensei Pam McMahon who over these years have trained me to be who I am today and who have seen my training over the past years. Also, I would like to thank everyone at the Bletchley and Newton Longville clubs who also helped me and pushed me every session. And a special thanks to Renshi Kidby who helped me start my karate journey and pushed to my limits. CFTS is like one big family and it’s always good to see new people start out karate.
I’ll continue to train as hard as I can and won’t give up no matter what. There’re still many belts to go and Shodan is only the start. Oss!