HOME Made – Kickstarting Karate

Welcome to HOME Made, where we’re delving into some of the cool skills and hobbies our clever bunch of Homies have.

This time we’re chatting with Sarah G, our Head of Group HR & Operations, about her recent uptake of Karate.

Right then, let’s start with what it is you do as a hobby?

In what feels like a moment of madness, I decided to take up Karate. Old dog, new tricks? Well yes, I guess so. Essentially my little boy Daniel has been doing it for 18 months or so and the majority of the time it’s me who takes him.

Usually I would just sit outside the dojo whiling away the hour either doing work or chatting to the other parents, but I started to figure I could maybe get something more out of this for me too!

For starters it’s an extra two hours of exercise a week I wouldn’t otherwise be getting! But also, if I can get up to the same level as Daniel, I figured I would at least be able to help him practice when it comes to his gradings, so it’s a win-win all around.

I’m also determined to achieve my black belt by the time I am 40 (in 4 years’ time!), which by my reckoning means I can only fail a couple of gradings along the way… Eek!

That’s a pretty cool sport to take up – how long have you been doing it now?

Only about two months, but I am absolutely loving it! It definitely is not as relaxing or as gentle as Mr. Miyagi’s wax-on, wax-off makes out. I realised that when I got hit in the face and the stomach the other week! I am finding muscles I never knew I had, and I don’t think I have ever sweat so much!

What do you love about it?

I can totally forget about the stresses of the day or week, I am learning something totally new (and alien to me), I feel like I am using a different part of my brain and even better, I get to do it with my son. My proudest moment has been when he said he was really pleased I had started karate with him. At least I know I am not cramping his style (yet!).

Is there a favourite thing you’ve learnt so far?

Learning the kata for my first belt. It is essentially a detailed pattern of movements executed as a specified series of moves, with stepping and turning, while attempting to maintain perfect form… For me, it’s like dancing but the moves are punches, blocks and guards, not shuffle-ball-change and heel step.

Do you have any advice for people who fancy giving Karate a go themselves?

I’m in a class full of kids so firstly I needed to get beyond the initial looks and comments from 5 and 6-year olds thinking “why on earth is there an adult in our class”.

You don’t need any special kit to start with, however, so that I felt less like a sore thumb, I did buy myself a gi (after all, mentally I had committed to it and it’s all or nothing with me).

I was definitely all the gear, no idea at first but the family who run the club are amazingly friendly and welcoming, and I felt like I fitted in right away.

I would just say, if there’s something you fancy doing, please don’t let the views of other people put you off or hold you back. I am so glad I have started Karate and can’t wait to work my way up the belts.

Written by:

Sarah.Grace Head of Group HR and Operations

Category:

What we're doing

Date:

29/07/2019

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