martial arts, shotokan karate, self defence

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Brian Danson - 3rd Dan

I first started karate aged 54. My interest in karate started, when my eldest grandson joined a local club in the style of Go-Ju. My daughter then aged 15 listened to him talking & describing what he was learning & wanted to join her self. I took her along to join & stayed to watch. I carried on taking her & watching for about 3 to 4 weeks. I would loved to have joined but felt I was to old. The instructor (sensei) Paul Grant convinced me that you are never too old to start karate. I stayed with sensei grant for 3 years & 3 months reaching the grade of 1st kyu, which is one below a black belt.

Unfortunately, sensei grant had to return to Liverpool for family reasons. Being the eldest student he asked me to carry on & run the class for him.  I did this for about 2 months, but being only a 1st kyu, I felt I did not have enough detailed knowledge to instruct properly.  Myself & 4 other students decided to look for another club to join as there was not another Go-Ju club in Leicester.  This meant we had to look for another style, I remember looking in the local paper & reading about an instructor who had just passed his 5th Dan in Shokokan.  His name was Tony Conroy.  I later rang Sensei Conroy & explained our situation & he invited us to come & watch, at the end of the session I was very impressed with the quality of his instruction.  The black belts were of a very high standard.  We asked to join & were accepted.  We started classes in November 1998.

I train twice a week, Tuesday & Thursday’s, also occasionally Saturday, which are specialist training sessions.

Shotokan is in a different style to what I had learned with Go-Ju, & I didn’t know any of the Shotokan kata’s.  I had to start from the beginning again (white belt). I worked my way up through the grading, till I achieved my black belt (Shodan) in August 2001 and 2nd Dan, June 2004

Why do I still train & practice karate?

Because of what I gain in fitness, confidence and all the camaraderie with the other students, also for the love of martial arts. The other main reason is Sensei Conroy, the quality of his instruction, his enthusiasm & dedication to karate.  It never ceases to amaze me his vast knowledge of the sport

I deem myself fortunate to be a student of his school of karate.