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Pam Waterhouse

I was persuaded to start karate by my son's school friend, Michael, when they were still at primary school. We duly turned up at Bletchley Leisure Centre on a Thursday evening in October 1997 to be greeted by Sensei Kidby, who suggested that I gave karate a try as well. I did so and found the frst lesson baffling but intriguing. I couldn't co-ordinate my arms and feet and had a very quiet, polite kiai.

However, I enjoyed the lesson and continued, gradually attending more sessions at Wolverton and Newport Pagnell as I progressed though the grades. I have never found karate easy but I persevered and successfully passed my Shodan grading in October 2003. I was delighted and couldn't stop smiling for weeks.

Four years later I took my Nidan grading and passed, gaining my instructor's qualification at the same time. Then in March 2012, I graded to Sandan, which is something I can honestly say I thought I would never do.

I now teach at Newton Longville Karate Club with Sensei Simon McMahon. I enjoy helping to run a club as it gives me a chance to share what I've learnt with other people. So many instructors in the CFTS have shown me a great deal of patience and kindness when I've struggled, so it's now my turn to try to help and encourage the students.

I enjoy many aspects of karate, including weapons training and sports karate and have competed both in the CFTS competitions and those held by other organisations.

My aim now is to continue to train hard and practice. Karate is a never-ending journey. There is always something new to learn and something old to improve.


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