My passion: Paul Lockwood, operations manager at Bellingham IT, started karate as a child

Paul Lockwood now teaches karate.
Paul Lockwood now teaches karate.
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Karate started as a childhood hobby, now I’m teaching it, writes Paul Lockwood, operations manager at Bellingham IT

I studied a style known as ‘Wado-Ryu’ and reached purple belt. As with many things, my passion dwindled during my teen years, only to be reignited again in my mid-twenties when I started to learn a new style of Karate called ‘Shotokan’.

I’m still studying Shotokan and Karate has become a huge part of my life. I take my training very seriously and am now a qualified first Dan Black Belt working towards my second Dan – so I know just how my students feel when they are training hard to reach their next goal.

I can honestly say that I enjoy all elements of the art, but what I really love is teaching it. Being an instructor is a passion and a real honour that I get to enjoy every week through my own club in Grimethorpe, which launched in August of last year.

Like most sports Karate offers kids, teens and adults so many personal benefits. It supports cardiovascular health through improved fitness, helps with concentration skills, direction and builds confidence and self-esteem. But, it delivers so much more. It develops great friendships and teaches great morals, which is a real benefit for our local communities.

Although our club is relatively new, it’s amazing how much progress my students have made. It’s a real privilege to see them develop and start to reap the benefits that come from embracing the sport. I set myself and my students an assortment of challenges, so they can develop and push themselves to the limit, achieving their goals and growing as a result. I know that they are learning skills that will last forever and creating memories that they will never forget.

As a club we’re growing fast and are welcoming people of all ages. We are also training our students to competition standard and hope to start entering very soon. Everyone’s worked hard so we’re all looking forward to getting those efforts repaid.

Even though the Sengoku Karate Club is still work in progress, the future is bright.

A new generation of young people from the mining village of Grimethorpe and beyond are becoming martial artists and black belts and will hopefully own positive values to enhance their own lives and those of others.