A Mum decides to start Karate.

Debbie’s start in Karate training 

My Sister Keri, the club administrator, had been going to Karate for a long time. As had all her children, they were a family of Dan Grades, all trained at Portchester Karate club.
It only seemed natural that when my own children reached six years old and were able to try it to see if they enjoyed it, and that’s what they did. So on the twins 6th birthday we went off down to Portchester community school and they joined in their first lesson.
I sat at the side and watched them join in wondering if they would like it enough to stick with it.
Almost 2 years later I was still watching 2 of my 3 children, one of the twins, Connor, had decided that it wasn’t for him after about the first 6 weeks. Cameron had enjoyed it from the off and loved coming to training twice a week most weeks. My youngest son Dylan had joined on his 6th birthday also and had taken to it like a duck to water. So twice a week I would take the boys training and I would sit and watch. I loved the uniform movements and the balance and body control it helped the little ones with.
Keri had often said to me about joining and trying training myself. After picking myself up off the floor from laughing I had waved this suggestion off, Karate wasn’t for the likes of me, a mum, unfit and coming up to her 39th birthday! Was it?

It was at one of the junior training sessions that a friend I had lost contact with turned up with her son. It was great to catch up with Julie and we chatted as the lads trained. She said in a half joking manner, “I would love to have a go at that!”

Well I don’t know what came over me, but I blurted out before I could stop myself “Well if you will, I will!!”

I’m not sure how or where Sensei Merv appeared from, but as soon as it was said we somehow found ourselves agreeing to come training the following Wednesday whilst our Children trained in the other hall.
The week leading up to that Wednesday was a mash up of excitement and fear. Would I be able to do it, would I feel embarrassed, would I make a fool of myself? All things that rattled around in my head. Well Wednesday came and donning my loosest pair of joggers and t-shirt I collected Julie and we went into our first training session.

Sensei Sue took us in the warm up and then sensei Roy and Sensei Sue worked through some of the basics of punches and kicks. For the first time I realized that maybe I could do this. Just maybe.

So for about a month Julie and I went regularly to our Wednesday night training, we were usually taken by Sensei Sue which enabled us to get over our worries easily, and gave us the time and the support to feel more confident about what we were doing. The biggest step for me was actually getting a Gi!!
White was definitely not my colour and really made me feel like a marshmallow….but once over this hurdle all of a sudden it was time for our first grading!!

We had been joined on our little Wednesday evening session by 2 other ladies, one was another mum and the other was a sister of a member who came to the senior training sessions after we had finished.

That first grading went in a blur and I was amazed to find out that by the end of it I had my orange belt. I looked around our little band of 4 and we all smiled on happily knowing that next week we could add some colour to our gi.

After we had our Orange belt Julie, Lynn and myself decided to come on the Saturday morning training session. We thought we had been nervous before… well that was nothing compared to walking into that hall with lots, and I do mean lots, of Brown and Black Belts.

Despite this, we urged each other on and made our way into the hall, and we were once again met by a fantastic group of welcoming people.
The lesson was different to our close knit Wednesday night training but it was good different, we had a perfect balance. So that became our new training ritual.
Wednesday and Saturday.

Now almost two and half years on, our Wednesday training is always busy with the parents/beginners class. My other son Connor re started Karate a few weeks after I started. He hadn’t been ready for it at six years old, but at eight, he decided that he wanted to come training and has been ever since. Our Saturdays are still as popular as ever and each week it’s great to meet up with people who are always only too happy to help you with a Kata or a particular move. It really is a Karate Family.

Julie and I are now Brown Belts, and I would never have believed it back then when I started.

I look back at all the times Keri said to me “Go on, try it, I think you’ll like it.” And at how I managed to find some excuse as to why it wasn’t the right time for me. I look back and wish that I had done this years ago, as my Wednesdays and Saturdays are my little bit of ‘ME’ time. If anyone is thinking of doing this and isn’t quite sure, just try it, because you wont know till you do and you may find, like me, that you end up loving it.

Brown Belt… wow, now the hard work really starts!

 
Karate Day time lessons

Daytime Karate lessons are now being held on Thursday mornings at the Castle St, Portchester,  Day Centre. For further information please ring 07713284430 or email mvodonnell@portchesterkarate.co.uk

These classes are for a range of people with varying abilities and in particular for the older and fairly active person that would like to benefit from the health aspects of practicing Karate and at the same time exercising their minds in the learning of new skills.

Existing students of Karate are also catered for in the lessons. In particular those on shift work and others that cannot get to their regular training lessons.

 
Further information

For the Portchester Karate Club and clubs in other areas or different training times, please email modonnell@portchesterkarate.co.uk or telephone 07713284430.

 
School Half Term. Wednesday training, 24th October.

The club will be meeting on Wednesday the 24th October, at the Portchester Community School in White Hart Lane. PO16 9BD. The training times are as usual.

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