I am a Shotokan Karate student based in the UK. I train in a club with mixed ages and gender.
At the time of starting this “blog” (although I would prefer it became a forum for open discussion and a way to communicate and meet like minded Karateka) I am a 3rd Kyu, which in my association is a brown belt, although I know other associations represent 3rd Kyu with other belt colours. This puts me very roughly half way to earning my black belt in terms of training time, although only have 2 more grades to go before I start to worry about my black belt grading.
I currently study Shotokan Karate, although I have been in and around martial arts from a young age, studying several different martial arts and different disciplines of Karate from the age of 8. I earned my first black belt in my early teenage years, and through a lack of wisdom at the time felt that was the end goal, rather than just the beginning, and stopped training.
My previous training includes Wado Ryu Karate, and Ju-Jitsu. Wado Ryu, while claiming to be derived from Shotokan, has many differences. It has a somewhat more flowing nature, which initially I enjoyed, but lacks, in my humble opinion, the solid structure and power of Shotokan. Although I am a firm believer in the “whatever works for you” school of martial arts.
If I was to pick a new martial art to learn now, it would probably be Aikido. I am massively interested in the techniques and science behind Aikido.
I would secretly love to learn Kung Fu, but I worry about making the change from a Japanese martial art to a Chinese martial art with such an esoteric focus on energy and spirituality.
I consider myself spiritual, rather than religious, aligning myself loosely, but most closely with the Zen school of Buddhism.
The religion of others does not bother me, as long as the practice of their religion does not impose upon the happiness of others.
Please send me a message using the “Got a question?” link if you want to discuss something I have written, if you leave an e-mail address I will get back to you. :)