How old were you when you started training and why did your parents chose martial arts? 

I was around 7 years old when I started ECKA. My mum chose martial arts because she wanted me to develop self confidence, make friends and have fun.

How do you maintain your school/training balance?  Has it ever stopped you training or been challenging or helped?.

 At times it has been challenging to balance school and ECKA training. For example, in middle school it was hard to make time for karate when I was training for and competing in school sports tournaments, however, I have found that doing karate has given me the fitness levels to be successful in all sports.

Did you ever feel like stopping?

A few years ago, I stopped for around 6 months because it was difficult to fit the classes into my schedule. However,  I quickly began to miss karate and friends made at the club and I realised I was still really determined to reach black belt, so I rejoined!

Has martial arts had an affect on any areas of your life outside of class?  (health, stress, confidence, energy, focus at school…)

ECKA is an excellent  stress reliever, and a great way to stay fit and healthy. It has also taught me discipline and given me confidence, after class I always feel energised and glad I went.

What did you think about your first few classes?

I thought it was a great community and very welcoming to new members, I quickly felt like I was a part of the club and enjoyed getting to know others.

What is the thing you enjoy the most in your training? Have you achieved more than you thought (if so what?)

I enjoy sparring as it demands great focus and control; I like working on new ways to improve through watching others fight and adapting my style. I also enjoy line work and learning new techniques for each belt. I definitely never thought I would reach brown belt when I first started.

What would your advice be to anyone considering martial arts?

Just go for it and have fun. Don’t compare your progress with other people’s as you’ll grow at your own pace. 

Do you have anything else you would like to achieve within your training or anything else you would like to add?

I would love to reach black belt and maybe further in the club as it’s always been an aspiration since joining. 

Isabel Hickson

Brown Belt

Age 15