Andy Achieves Black Belt!
So in January we started the year with another addition to our Black Belt family here at Ruach Karate- The Spirit of Karate with Andy Keyes taking home the much desired prize. I asked Andy a few questions following his achievement:
Where do you train?
Ruach Karate – Stourbridge, Hagley and Solihull clubs
How often do you train?
Training one-three times a week around work and family commitments.
When did you start training?
I originally started Shotokan Karate in the late 1980s at the Secondary School I attended. I did that for a few years, then drifted away doing other things that teenagers do.
In my mid-twenties I looked around for a local karate club, preferably the Shotokan style as I had done that before. I started attending Sensei Ronnie Christophers’ club in Stourbridge that would later become “Ruach”.
I did that for a few more years, moving up through the grades. Then my wife and I had children so karate went on hold for a few years.
When our eldest child was old enough (6 years) I returned to the same local Karate club in Stourbridge, with my son to pick up where I had left off. Later my daughter joined – they are now both brown belts.
Training as a family, we spend time together and have a common interest and while I hope they never need it, should need arise hopefully they will be equipped to defend themselves.
Even though work commitments often meant I could only train once a week and sometimes I felt too tired to train – I knew if I ever wanted to reach that goal of attaining a black belt I needed to keep it up.
Finally in January 2019 – it happened – I gained my black belt, which means I can now tick off a BIG item from my bucket list.
That’s not the end of the story though …. achieving Black Belt means the basics have been learned …. There is still plenty to work on and learn.
Hopefully my son and daughter will also achieve their black belts – when they are ready – and probably a lot younger than I did.
Why did you do karate?
I took up karate partly because I was one of the “quiet ones” at school and wanted to learn self defence, but also inspired by 80s martial arts movies, such as the Karate Kid, and stars such as Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jackie Chan and of course Bruce Lee.
Thank you Andy for the insight to your journey and a fantastic well done for the dedication and determination you have shown, brilliant role model.