About Sensei Alan
I, Sensei Alan, teach Karate on a Monday evening, and like to help out and train on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. My everyday job is a sales manager for a local fastening supplier. Some of the skills that I have learnt from karate (mainly confidence and self-defense) are used effectively when working part time with my SIA badge.
Everyone’s martial arts journey is different. Mine started back in October 2005. It took me 6 ½ years to get my Black belt. I still remember thinking that I was going to be the only person to never grade to a yellow belt. I believed that I would never be able to learn my first kata. Clearly I was wrong and I got my yellow belt. It wasn’t too long before I started to help my instructor teaching class and loved it!
Teaching classes and passing to Black belt is when I really started to learn the true meaning of martial arts. Watching and helping other progress to the next stage of the Martial Arts journey. No matter how small or large that step is. It is such a great feeling it makes all the hard work, sweat and tears all worthwhile.
Why train with us?
My job can be extremely stressful at times. Being able to come to the Dojo and train hard is an awesome way to forget about life’s stresses. It provides a welcome distraction.
Every student is different and has very different needs and requirements from their instructors. At MSK we realise this and work hard to help people progress on their journey with the help that they need.
MSK has become my second family. We all love to welcome as many as possible into our club, both socially and to train with us.
What do I get out of Martial Arts?
Watching fellow students training hard to achieve their Black belts, as well as pushing them to their limits (then a little more) at gradings gives me a warm feeling inside. But watching that moment when they realize that getting their Black belt is only the start of their journey can be just as rewarding.
But not everybody finds it easy to get there. Sometimes the achievements along the way can be just as satisfying to observe. To some it can be that moment when a kata “clicks” and they get it, or sometimes working hard just to finally touch their toes!!
What make me, Sensei Alan, different?
Personally, I have always had difficulty learning kata’s. So I understand others with the same problem and have several simple ideas to help them. Flexibility is another issue for me, but I can honestly say that if you keep going it gets better. Nobody thought I would ever be able to kick head height, until I did!
So I try to focus my lessons on helping people combat their weaknesses and to slowly improve the things that they need to work on.
My personal belief is that karate should be available to all, irrespective of age, ability or medical issues. I also believe that everybody has a different journey and all improvements should be met with positivity, even if it is just being able to touch their toes!
During the last few months I have found training at home during lockdown challenging at times. But I am so relieved to finally be back in the dojo interacting with my fellow students (in a Covid secure environment) and seeing my karate family again face to face. We have worked hard to ensure that it is safe to get back into the dojo and to carry on as close to normal as possible.
I would like to finish by thanking all the people that have allowed me to teach or train with them over the years, and especially those who have very patiently taught me. I genuinely feel blessed to have known you all.
Just always remember, a black belt is a white belt who refused to give up!!!
See you guys in the dojo soon.