martial arts, shotokan karate, self defence

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Martin Cunliffe - 1st Dan

First of all I should say that I never imagined myself becoming a black belt in karate, let alone at the age of 51. I'm not the conventional sporty type, and certainly not a natural at karate, but I've always kept myself in shape, having played badminton for many years as well as being a keen canoeist and white-water kayaker ~ but in early 2006 my wife and I caught sight of an advert for a new karate class at Claybrooke Magna village hall and decided to go along to see what it was all about.

Luckily for me the class was being taught by Sensei Conroy. With his help and encouragement I soon found myself the proud owner of an orange belt and was really enjoying it. By the spring of 2007 I was a 7th Kyu and had started training twice a week.

Over the next few years, slowly but surely my techniques improved and I worked my way up through the coloured belts, finally achieving 1st Kyu in December 2009.

In September 2011 I was graded 1st Dan by Sensei Conroy.

Now that I am a black belt I am enjoying Karate more than ever and would recommend it to anyone as a fun and enjoyable way to keep fit, flexible and “sharp”.