How long have you been training in martial arts and which ones have you done?

I have been training in Karate for over 18 years and have 15 years of experience in other Martial Arts including Kickboxing and Hapkido but always kept Karate close to my heart. When I got my black belt, I went out and studied many different styles to add to my arsenal, often training with Masters on an individual basis, to increase my knowledge and hone my skills in all areas of Martial Arts and self-defence.  This is something I still do now to ensure I am constantly improving and moving forward.  Many years have passed since I first started – but I am still training as a student in Karate as well as; Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Jeet Kune Do, Boxing and Hapkido, plus I do a lot of fitness and strength training as well.

What made you start?

I’ve always wanted to do Martial Arts since the age of 8. It was something you see on the TV and say “that looks so cool; I want to learn how to defend myself like that!” It was an overwhelming passion and desire.  But back then my mum couldn’t afford for me to go, so in time I stopped thinking about it but never forgot about Martial Arts completely.  Then, when I was 18, someone knocked on the door and asked if I was interested in Karate and I signed up on the spot!  From that day forward I’ve trained hard and never looked back, reaching the level I am at today, carrying all those years of knowledge and I am still learning with an “empty cup”.  I intend to keep going and never stop.

How & why did you become an Instructor?

To be fair I didn’t intend to become an Instructor, I was happy the way I was – learning and soaking up all the knowledge I could take in, to then go home and practise my techniques and improve as much as possible.  However, when I was still an orange belt I was approached by my Sensei. I guess he noticed my respect, humility and skill level and he said to me; “Keron I want you to become my Sempai*…as long as you get here on time and help me out”. This was my first official role and one step towards becoming an Instructor.  I was happy to take on this this role, guiding and helping others alongside my own training, until I reached brown belt.  Then sadly my Instructor left the club which I was really gutted about.  He handed the class down to me and my best friend, Sensei Barry and trusted us to do a brilliant job – which we did! We carried on running the dojo and in time I was awarded an Instructor belt by another, higher ranking Sensei, and I have been an Instructor ever since.

*Sempai – Assistant Instructor

What’s the best thing about being an instructor?

The best thing about being an Instructor is all the experience I have gained over the years in my training that I can now give back; helping others and seeing a student grow in their knowledge of self-defence, technical skill and confidence in their abilities. When you see a student grow from the age of 5, 6, 7 or 8 into a mature young teen then into an adult, it’s amazing knowing what you have taught them and now look what they have become! Plus, they mature and gain that discipline, humility, respect and have a good heart, meaning well to others. This is what I’m about and this is what I teach and love to see in the students and team I train alongside.

“Also the bond you form with everyone associated with the dojo makes for a very unique extended family and knowing that we all look out for each other and help each other to grow.” (Sensei Vas) I agree 100%! I don’t just see students as a student, I genuinely care about them like family and want to see them grow and do better in life. I’ve always been this way.

What other experience do you have

I have a Level 2 Fitness qualification and would like to go for Level 3 in the future. I’m always in the gym, working out using weights or doing pure cardio fitness training, so this would be the natural next step. I also train others at this stage on a 1-2-1 basis.

I also have experience working with children and have previously worked in a secondary school, in a mentoring role. I was part of a team talking to kids when they got into trouble and had problems in and out of school.

I have vast amounts of skills in video editing and pictures which I thoroughly enjoy. Please have a look at my Instagram (top of my page for link) which I take time and effort in producing content for you to admire and learn from. 

What do you do outside the dojo … what are your hobbies and interests

Well, my biggest hobby would be Martial Arts (lol) as it is my main occupation.  I know hobbies are supposed to be different to your job…but Martial Arts is my biggest passion and takes up most of my time. I am really happy that I am doing something I love as my main job and daily focus. Even some of my holidays involve Martial Arts training!  Apart from that, I like basketball, singing, reading, cooking, watching martial arts videos, travelling around and going out with friends and  family.

Favourite Technique:

Aww, I have so many I can say but the most effective is the mae geri, front kick, as I can use it in so many different ways.

Favourite food:

Rice and chicken and fish, Typical ain’t it!  Well, I am Caribbean.

One interesting fact:

I love my team of Elite Instructors – all except Sensei Barry (only kidding) and learning new languages.