My black belt journey started when I was 6 years old. I started as a white belt with my instructor who was my dad, Master Denis. There were times when I was at training and I thought my parents were both picking on me when I was younger. I then realised they were only telling me for my own good as they thought I had potential. It’s just very difficult when the instructors are your parents.
As I was going through the ranks learning each new movement with a new pattern I thought I could pass all my gradings easily, until I failed when I went for my blue belt. After hard work and determination I passed my blue belt grading and went up the ranks till I got my black tag.
I was due to go for my black belt in March 2010 but I had GCSE’s to study for which prevented me taking my black belt when it was due. In September 2010 after months of hard preparation and training I was finally ready to take my black belt grading. At the hall before I took my grading I had so many butterflies in my stomach it was unbelievable. I didn’t think anybody could ever get this nervous. They called out my name to go and perform. I started to think ‘am I ready, do I know all I need to know, I hope I know the answers to the questions’. I got through my grading almost unscathed; Nermeen cut my finger with her foot while we were sparring and even managed to answer some questions.
Whilst waiting for the result of the grading, I had time to relax and think about how I performed. Then I finally got the news I was waiting, and hoping for; Christopher Denis you are now a black belt, but you can’t be called Mister yet as you are a junior. Ah well at least I passed.