PENARTH karate enthusiast Steve Price is celebrating a long- held ambition - the award of his 1st dan black belt.
A member of the local South Glamorgan Karate Do-Shotokai Club, Steve's road to the top grading was, in fact, precipitated when he noticed a poster on a chip shop wall.
Steve's interest in martial arts began when, as a teenager, he watched as many Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films as he could in the hope that one day he would be able to emulate their dexterity, power and, most of all, their coolness!
Despite always wanting to try karate, though, Steve never really got the chance. Even one of his colleagues in work was a black belt and was constantly taunting him to give it a try, but Steve said: “I was worried that I was too old to start. However, it was never something that really left my mind and the seed had been planted.”
Following a move to Penarth, Steve thought more seriously about the idea of trying a martial art and then came his 'chip shop moment' and the ad for the local karate club. Deciding that fate was trying to tell him something, Steve resolved to finally give it a go and, one telephone conversation later with chief instructor Jonathan de’Claire (4th dan), and he was attending his first karate class.
Steve said: “The warm welcome I had as a newcomer and the continued camaraderie we have on a weekly basis means I have never looked back. I'm always glad I made that call.
"This year, I finally achieved something I (and most other martial artists) dream of - my black belt. It was a fantastic feeling to finally achieve the goal I set myself all those years ago. It has been a lot of hard work to get the belt and I feel very lucky to train in a club that has a long and successful history in Penarth.”
However, the achievement does not mean the end of Steve's training. He said: "There's always more to learn, more to achieve and more pints to drink during our legendary social outings!
"The team spirit at the club really makes it the success it is. While continuing my karate journey, I also know that I'll have the support and friendship of some really great people. I look forward to continuing training with the club, and we hope to see more budding martial artists soon."
The club is this year celebrating its 40th anniversary and a similar connection with Master Mitsusuke Harada, MBE (principal Instructor and founder of the Karate-do Shotokai), and they are privileged to benefit from this training and wisdom.
Anyone interested in joining Steve at the club can contact Jonathan de’Claire by e-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org; 07875430001(mobile) or visit their website - www.penarthkds.com