Growing up I was lucky enough to be of a time that Bruce Lee and the original Karate kid where being shown in the local theatre, and I would come home from watching these with my friends from school and thinking we Were the “karate kid”. What really sticks in mind about those films was not the fight scenes but that they showed that if you were prepared to put the effort into something (not necessarily martial arts) you could achieve your goals. With this idea planted into my mindset, I put this into practice during my education and everyday life.
Once I had reached the age of 21 and my education was completed and work became a bigger challenge, I found myself having to reduce the amount of sport I could do, and with the extra pressure that came from work, I felt I was missing out on something. As it happened I was lucky enough to be working with some of my old school friends, two of which had become black belts in their chosen martial arts, And once again the “karate kid” was in my mind and I thought let’s go and give this a try.
I was lucky enough that locally there was a karate class that was run by 5th dan instructors so joined the new starter class. I was nervous on the 1st lesson and ached something rotten in parts I didn’t know I had the next day but was impressed with the way the art was taught with practised skill from the instructor who was still approachable and made everyone welcome. So 3 days later I was back for the next session, and I was hooked. I realised that it was something that I wasn’t forced to keep up with anyone else and yet I wasn’t being forced not to try but encouraged to be the “BEST ME”. from that point on I was training at least twice a week and as my level increased so did the amount of training I was doing up to 6 days a week in the run-up to my 1st dan (black belt)
It was during this time that I was lucky to train with two 5th Dans (that have become lifelong friends and we continue to train together even now in their garden) and asked if I would like to help in teaching the junior classes. It was this experience that showed me where I wanted to go with my karate study as watching the children develop and succeed and the joy the got from developing into well-rounded individuals was/ is the biggest reward I have enjoyed during my karate life, even beating my own success in the study of this beautiful art.