I joined ECKA around 10 years ago, when I was 5.
My parents are both black belts and my older brother had also started at another club, and I really wanted to get involved. I was interested in ECKA and their style of martial arts, because this was the style that my dad had trained in and that really inspired me.
I have learned a lot of skills and techniques from Sensei Jo over the years, but my favourite thing to do is sparring. I love learning how other people fight and adapting to their style. You can also pick up some great tactics for competitions!
More recently, I have also enjoyed being a coach for our younger pupils. They really engage with the sessions, and I love their enthusiasm!
My biggest challenge was to maintain my training and get ‘black belt ready’ during the COVID lockdown restrictions. The club and Sensei were supportive though, and I was delighted when I achieved my black belt last year. It is my biggest success, so far. I would like to achieve 2nd Dan and more and to be a Sensei with my own club one day.
Martial arts have been good for my physical health: I am able to confidently tackle other sports such as running; cycling and swimming safe in the knowledge that I will be able to compete due to my strong base built at ECKA. Due to the leadership opportunities, and opportunities to compete, I have strong self-confidence as a result.
When the going gets tough, I find it can be helpful to have a mantra. My favourite one is: “Your Mind Is Your Greatest Weapon”. I think that’s an important message right now, whether at karate or school or home.
Give ECKA a try it, regardless of what age you are! The club quickly becomes part of your routine and your life and who you are.
Black Belt 1st Dan & Class Assistant