Having trained briefly as a much younger boy, Nick restarted his karate training in 2016 with his kids, initially as a family affair. Unfortunately, the kids eventually lost interest but Nick is still holding out for either of them to restart…
Nick has always been keen on any form of exercise, has been a keen swimmer, a gym rat, and attended ‘bootcamp’ fitness classes, but a back injury curtailed many of these sports.
Nick as a white belt, training in 2016
Karate has a special combination of strength and flexibility that is back-friendly, and develops fitness, discipline, focus and attitude in a way that is rarely found in other forms of exercise. The intent and absolute focus on executing the technique correctly with power and finesse is a very mindful practise, and it is hard for the mind to wander in the way it can with the monotony of running cycling or swimming. As such it is a great way of switching off from whatever is going on at work or at home.
Nick practicing Kumite
Nick attained his 1st Dan with Sensei Andy Sherry in 2019 and although lockdowns meant training wasn’t exactly normal, continued to train regularly. Time was well spent in lockdown with Zoom training sessions, then a welcome return to the dojo, albeit with strange arrangements for practising kumite with social distancing. Throughout the pandemic, the camaraderie within the club, and the
dedication of all students and senior instructors to our training has reinforced just why the club is such a great environment to train. We really are very lucky to have such experienced instructors and a friendly group of students.
Nick and Sensei Jill Kelly after achieving his Nidan
In 2021, a return to training in the dojo allowed Nick to complete his Instructor qualification, and enjoys the challenge of teaching across the ability range - teaching gives him a chance to sharpen up teaching skills he had in a previous life as a secondary school teacher, and the old adage is true, teaching is one of the best ways to truly understand something. Return to more regular training also allowed further preparation for 2nd Dan, and Nick was successful in attaining this in March 2022 with Sensei Frank Brennan.
Sensei Jill Kelly, Nick, Sensei Frank Brennan, and Sensei Trish Bruce after achieving his Nidan in 2022
Having come to karate a bit later than many in the club, Nick’s focus is not on competing, but on self- improvement and developing his own practice towards future gradings. He is especially interested in deepening his understanding of bunkai of the kata, testing out the practical applications from the various forms and sequences.