Ethan West (L4) first started practicing Kenshin Karate when he was five years old. Last month, after 6.5 years of training, he obtained his Black Belt. In this blog, he shares his journey to this stage:
"I started practicing Kenshin (Korean) Karate with Phoenix Karate Club when I was 5 years old at my local village hall. I started as a White Belt and have since graded up 13 times. On 21 November, after 6 and a half years of training, I obtained my Black Belt and Junior 1st Dan.
When I first started as a White Belt, training sessions took place only once a week for 1 hour. As I progressed up the belts so did the amount of training required. Most recently, working towards my 1st Dan, I trained 3 times a week for a total of 5 hours. It has been incredibly demanding both physically and mentally. At the time of my recent grading, I was the only pupil left from my original age group.
Covid-19 has obviously been a real problem for training, progression and development. During lock-down, we had to resort to online coached sessions which was not ideal. Since returning to live training, I have been volunteering as an assistant coach for the new, youngest club members. It has been a very fulfilling experience which I intend to continue.
My Sensei (coach), is Vivian Trory. She is a 5th Dan Black Belt and an Intentional judge at World Championship level. We have now started working towards my Junior 2nd Dan. It will take two years to train for my next grading."