Mr Nick Slane 1st Degree Black Belt
I first started martial arts when I was about 10 years old in the style of Contact Karate. My mum and I joined together and I really enjoyed doing Karate. I knew from the first time I stepped into the Dojang that I wanted to get a Black Belt one day. I only did Karate for a short time about a year or so, unfortunately I was not able to get into town to attend lessons after my mum decided to stop training.
It wasn’t until I was 24 that I decided that I wanted to take up Karate again and work hard to get the Black Belt I had wanted all those years ago. I could not find the old school I was part of and one of my friends had told me about a TaeKwon Do club that had recently opened up in a village not far from me. I was reluctant at first but I decided to go along and give TaeKwon Do a go.
My first lesson was great, I was warmly welcomed by Mr & Mrs Hall and it turned out that I had known Mrs Hall and her family since I was very small. Everyone in the club was really nice to me and we did some knife defence that lesson. I remember Mr Hall asking me to come up and do some knife attacks on him in front of the class. He asked me to attack from the right and I kept getting my left and right confused, it made the class laugh and broke the ice. That’s one of the things I most love about TaeKwon Do, everyone’s your friend from the first minute you enter the Dojang.
I did my first colour belt grading a few months after I first joined, I did a double grading for Yellow Tag & Yellow belt because I had some previous experience of a martial arts. My grading examiner was Master Clive Harrison 7th Degree Black Belt (now 8th Degree), who has over 41 years experience in TaeKwon Do. I felt like I had done really well in the grading and I found out a week later that I was successful in achieving my grade. I got a high pass mark, which made my smile from ear to ear, I was so chuffed with myself.
All of my subsequent colour belt grading’s I managed to achieve the highest possible pass mark, this is something not everyone can say they have done and it is something I am extremely proud of.
From the first lesson I knew I wanted to achieve my Black Belt in TaeKwon Do, although I had previously enjoyed Karate, I knew TaeKwon Do was the martial art for me. I started entering some competitions. I first entered a memorial competition for a student of TaeKwon Do who had sadly passed in a car crash some years before I started. I entered both patterns and sparring and I gained medals in both categories. As a yellow belt students entering my first competitions and winning two medals put me in great spirits and I have been entering in competitions ever since.
I have won many trophies and medals from gold to bronze for both sparring and patterns from competitions held in Scotland, England and Wales. I always look up to my instructors as they always enter competitions and I think this sets a great precedence for students to follow.
In November 2014 I was put forward to grade for my Black Belt under Master David Dykes 7th Degree Black Belt, BTF President. I was tested on my physical and technical ability and destruction skills. I was the only student to grade on that day so all eyes were on me. I was successful in passing and it was one of the most proud moments of my life.
I was promoted to assistant instructor in January 2015 which was a great privilege and something I’m very proud of. I’ve come along way since starting TaeKwon Do and it shows that Mr & Mrs Hall belive in me and my abilities as a student and an assistant instructor to pass on the skills and knowledge they have taught me. I always strive to be as good as my instructors and teach at the highest level as they do. My TaeKwon Do journey has only really just began and I’m on a long, rewarding path that I look forward to traveling with the support and encouragement of my instructors and seniors.
Mr Nick Slane
1st Degree Black belt