1st Dan Black Belt in Wado-Ryu
I started my Karate training when I was 16 for a variety of reasons. I had always been fascinated by the martial arts and wanted to learn something that was practical for self-defence as well as being disciplined but fun to learn and would increase my fitness, flexibility and reactions.
I looked at a number of possible martial arts clubs before finding the British Contact Sports Karate club in my home town of Loughborough, which was run by Jon Jepson (now 5th Dan), whose instruction further increased my enthusiasm and interest in the martial arts.
After effectively a 2½ year break from regular training between 1995 and 1997 due to a combination of back injuries, other sporting commitments, work and travel I returned to regular training and achieved my 1st Dan Black Belt in Wado-Ryu April 1998.
Since then I have also trained in a variety of other martial arts for varying amounts of time, including Tae kwon do, Ju Jitsu and Lau Gar, seeking to increase the repertoire and breadth of my martial arts skills and experience.
I have been very fortunate to find clubs with very open-minded instructors who have also trained a variety of different styles and welcomed alternative input from other styles.
I recently discovered SOMA whilst looking for a place to continue with my Ju Jitsu training after moving into the area for my job. I have already been impressed by the opened minded and high quality of instruction at the club, which is the most unique and practical martial arts club I have seen. I feel very fortunate to have again found an excellent place to improve and broaden my skills in the martial arts and intend to train with them on a regular a basis as my other commitments allow.
Nikolas Hill 21st October 1999