SEMPAI TOM KENNEDY
Probationary 2nd Degree Black Belt (Nindan-Ho) - NUCA
I was introduced to Coastal Dragons in 2009 by Nathan Dowe, a man training for his Second Dan in Zen Do Kai at the time. After a couple of months of working with Nathan he finally convinced me to come along to the Coastal Dragons Dojo.
I admit that at first I was sceptical, coming from a boxing/brawling background I had seen karate as waste of time, standing in a hall throwing punches at no one and making noises. Upon arrival at Coastal Dragons, I was immediately impressed to how it was different from other martial arts I had seen, each black belt knowledgeable and talented, the training was contact based and only focused on what is useful and a style that was truly street combat orientated not based on sport. I became hooked quickly and began training regularly.
What I like about NUCA that it focuses on street combat whilst still keeping a traditional karate form. The instructors acknowledge the difference between a street fight and ring fighting and teach accordingly, making the journey to black belt a long and worthy pursuit by holding a standard that shapes the black belts to be both a talented martial artist and a street fighter.
In keeping to a traditional form NUCA employs the use of kata. Something that I felt was useless as I could not see the purpose behind it. At first I was terrible at kata and thus I hated it but in time I came to see its importance and uses, I even saw improvements in my abilities thanks to the practicing of kata and bunkai. I am glad I joined the Coastal Dragons family as I truly believe kata would have remained over my head if it wasn’t explained like it was by Shihan Grant Rohde.
My training at Coastal Dragons Dojos over the past five years has not only improved my abilities as a fighter and martial artist but has improved me as a person. I have gained some lifelong friends and brothers through my time in the coastal dragons’ family and shall be forever grateful for my journey thus far and the journey to come.