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Nick Holloway

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

I would imagine that my introduction to Karate may be fairly typical for a parent of two young children with loads of energy. Both my children joined their school’s martial arts club, which for them meant a wing chun style based self defense club. My daughter loved it from a very young age of 6 or so and my son a few years younger joined as soon as he was allowed. Both would attend as often as they could and both progressed well even taking part in the big martial arts show SENI that used to be held annually at the NEC in Birmingham. Surprisingly wing chun didn’t appeal to me at all.

After a few years and a change to evening training, the effort required to get to their dojo in Newport Pagnell for 5.15pm and the traffic that came with it was too much. Thankfully a new Karate club had taken over the afterschool sessions at their school and both children switched after a few trial lessons. When the children started additional session in the evenings, I would take them and unlike the majority of parents at the time I would stay and watch. It didn’t take long for me to realise that this was something that I would enjoy and within weeks I had joined in.

To be honest we didn’t really know anything about Karate and the different styles so it was quite a while before we found out it was an Uechi Ryu style club, which to us didn’t mean anything but we all enjoyed our training greatly.

After a few years my daughter's enthusiasm waned and football became her number 1 interest along with most of her friends and she chose to leave martial arts behind. My son and me though were hooked and trained as often as we could and made steady progress up the grades. Unfortunately, after about five years the club lost direction completely and for reasons best not discussed and we needed a new club. Whilst still training with our old club we found CFTS through the internet and went down to Bletchley Leisure Centre to watch a lesson. For me personally it was apparent instantly that this was the club for us. Renshi Kidby made us feel very welcome and the clubs style Shotokan was a breath of fresh air with its ethos, structure, history and discipline, we joined straight away. For a while out of loyalty we tried to train at both clubs but it was obvious we knew where we belonged and we have been here ever since.

During our time at CFTS we have attended some great gradings, competition days and courses. I can say hand on heart that I have really enjoyed every course that I have attended including the often-mentioned Chinte course, although I was a kyu grade at the time. I learn something new every time I train and hope it will continue as long as I’m able to train.

To finish I would like to thank Renshi Kidby and all the Sensei’s at CFTS for creating a great association.



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