I discovered karate by accident in 2000, aged 10. While waiting for a lift home from school I found myself observing a karate lesson instructed by Sensei Kidby and the next week decided to try it for myself.
I was not a gifted student and while I always tried hard I progressed through the Kyu grades steadily, more as a result of hard work and commitment than ability.
In 2007 I was persuaded to grade for shodan, a target that I had never really set out to achieve. The notion that achieving black belt is only the start of a journey could not be truer. I not only discovered the enjoyment I could have from constantly training but also made many friends, some of whom I still tolerate today!
Like many karate – ka, I have had my fair share of injury problems and have been forced to have periods of time away from the dojo, however, without the goal of getting back to training, (and being able to kick Sensei Whitworth in the head!) I am certain that I would not have recovered as quickly, if at all.
The highlight of my karate career has been the opportunities to train under Kancho Kanazawa. Each occasion had its own high point but my personal favourite was the hour spent on the last section of Unsu, where Godans and 2nd Kyus were equals in their inability to emulate Nobuaki Kanazawa’s demonstration!
As far as my future in karate goes, I will settle for being able to train as hard as I can, as often as I can, for as long as I can. And when my hips give up and I can no longer train...... I will still turn up just to irritate you all! OSS