Julie Jeffries 3rd Dan

My daughter Hayley started her karate career in April 2006 at the age of 6. I have always shown an interest in her activities and have enjoyed the martial arts films (i.e. watching Bruce Lee and Jean Claude Van Dame and others.) I was able to watch every one of Hayley's lessons from White Belt to Black Belt (Shodan) which she achieved in July 2012.

With the encouragement of some other mum's, I decided to experience Wado-Ryu Karate with my first lesson in April 2010. It has been one of my best decisions, I have ever taken. At the time I wasn't fit and not doing any exercise at all. I wasn't one for going to the gym, swimming and definitely not jogging around streets, so I thought let's give karate a go. I have never looked back! I would add it is really good, but not so common, for parents to train with their children and work together. There are not many clubs in Horsham that offer this, and more often you see separate classes for juniors and seniors.

Like all other Black Belts who have gone before me, I started karate as a beginner (white belt) and slowly worked my way through the coloured belt Kyu Grading system and I enjoy all the aspects of the karate syllabus. Not only do you learn the correct kicking and punching techniques but you learn a new language….. Japanese! I achieved my Black Belt (Shodan) in November 2013 at the age of 44! I now have the added enjoyment of Instructing in the dojo and it is very rewarding, seeing students both junior and senior reach their potential and gain their next coloured belt and grade. All Instructors and students work well together to ultimately achieve their personal goals.

Wado- Ryu Karate is excellent for the mind and body as you use every muscle when performing punching and kicking techniques. In addition, you never know when Wado Ryu Karate might come in useful for self-defence purposes, especially for those females' students, but not forgetting, Self Defence is a useful skill for everyone regardless of age, male or female.

For those of you, who may be concerned about starting a martial art at a mature age, I took up Wado at 41 knowing that I had a serious knee injury, following years of netball training; to the point where I was unable to kneel down. However, I can assure you that Wado-Ryu is a non-stress intensive style of karate and I have found that my injured knee has dramatically strengthened no end, coupled with the fact that I can kneel down and perform the respectful bows before and at the end of training.

So if you're thinking of starting martial arts come to Semka, Horsham Karate Club and give it a go and enter the dojo! You never know it might be the making of you!

The hardest part is entering the dojo for the first time, but after that it's pure pleasure and enjoyment! Let's hope I see you at one of our classes!


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