Updated: Dec 28, 2021
I have been always fascinated by martial arts, both the mental and physical aspects of it. Finally in 2011 I had the chance to start training Shotokan karate in Munich. The first time when I watched black belts train in the dojo, I admired their strength, agility, and elegance. I loved the physically demanding training and I always pushed myself to my limits.
When I moved to Oxford in 2012 I was disappointed about the standard of the karate clubs and I found myself not enjoying karate anymore. I tried various clubs and styles including Shotokai, and Yu-Bu Kai. I trained Yu-Bu Kai for two years, which focuses a lot on sports karate and free style. It took me some time to learn the katas, especially as they are similar but different to Shotokan. It was very interesting to learn how the karate styles deviate from each other.
After having trained in six different clubs I never found the standard I was used to when I trained in Munich. Until I came across C.F.T.S, which not only teaches karate at a very high standard but also brings across the philosophical ideas of karate which I am able to apply to my everyday life. I started training with Sensei Kidby in Kempston in September 2015. From the beginning I have enjoyed being part of this welcoming and friendly club, which gives one the feeling of being part of a huge family. With the help and patience of Sensei Kidby I managed to brush up my Shotokan knowledge rather quickly and furthermore, I learned something new at each training session. One year later Sensei Kidby invited me to try for Shodan, which to be very honest, was a bit of a shock and surprise for me. I took me quite some time to get used to the new colour but over time I found myself to be much more confident in my karate.
Two years after I achieved Shodan, Renshi asked me whether I feel ready to try for Nidan. I looked at him with disbelief and just nodded. Only after I got home I realised what I signed up for! I found the preparation for Nidan far more challenging than for Shodan as the required Syllabus is not necessarily part of the usual karate class. Even though I was very nervous on the grading day I enjoyed it thoroughly. Now I feel like a complete beginner again!
I look forward to finding out where karate will take me and I hope I will be able to develop myself in many ways to make use of all the benefits karate offers.