Thanks to a chance conversation with a stranger in a pub some fourteen years ago, I have been awarded shodan (first degree black belt), a goal that I thought I would never reach.
The guy in the pub happened to mention that he was training in Karate, which got me interested. I was nineteen and not doing a lot in my spare time, so I asked to join him on a training night (to give it go) and haven't looked back since.
My first teacher was the late Sensei Steve Bell (3rd Dan) in 1997; he was part of C.F.T.S back then. Under his instruction I got to 1st Kyu but never trained under anyone else, since he was the one that I trusted. When he passed on I had a 2 year break from Karate but never really stopped thinking about it.
After reading the village magazine that there was a Karate club just around the corner from where I live, I thought to myself, "It's time to get back into training". So on a Saturday morning I decided to get up and walk round to the school where the classes were taking place and have a friendly chat with the instructor.
Since rejoining C.F.T.S , I have enjoyed many courses and trained under many fantastic instructors.