Not very ladylike, is it?' That was the reaction of my mother when, back in 1984, I announced that I was starting karate. I have to say that, along with the car racing and parachuting, I'd never been very ladylike and once I'd sampled my
first class, I was hooked! It's been a great journey which I hope will continue for many years yet. I began my career in Shotokan karate with Sensei Dev Barratt, going on through the next 13 years with Sensei Rick Jackson, Sensei Mick Jackson, Sensei Pat Murray,
Sensei Mick Billman and many other great Shotokan people. We trained with fervour and travelled the country doing tournaments during the days of Frank Brennan, Terry O'Neill, Andy Sherry, Bob Poynton, Ronnie Christopher, etc. I feel privileged to have been
able to witness these legends first hand in their heyday. In all that time, I'd only taken time out for the birth of my children, Laura and Chris, so when serious injury struck in late 1997, I was devastated to find myself having to take an extended break.
Two years of hell ensued - both of my parents fell ill and died - so one wonders whether some things are meant to be. At least the break gave me the time and space to nurse them and do what had to be done, but it left me at the start of a new millennium looking
for a new direction.
That direction was given to me by my daughter, Laura. After years of travelling around the training venues and tournament halls, never showing any interest whatsoever, she announced that she would like
to try a martial art! I considered a return to Shotokan, but that would mean that I would be way ahead of Laura and I wanted to make the journey alongside her. So we looked around and found Tang Soo Do. I've been practising Tang Soo Do now for 16 years - I
began with Master Tony Johnson and came up through his ranks rather too quickly! He knew my old Sensei and knew the sort of training I'd undergone as he'd trained with him also. I split from Johnson's Tang Soo Do in late 2006 and, together with 6 other instructors,
formed the ATMA. Since the split, we've had the opportunity to train with Tang Soo Do Masters and Grandmasters from around the world and starting travelling around the circuit of seminars and tournaments available to us, opening up a whole new world to our
students. We also encourage our students to cross-train in other arts to broaden their understanding and appreciation of the vast world of martial arts. I believe that there is an art for everyone and an instructor for everyone - you just have to be prepared
to look carefully enough.
I'm delighted now to be training with GM Dominick Giacobbe, 9th Dan, from the USA. He visits the UK twice each year and we travel around the country together for his seminars, which are always inspirational.
I love what I do - and people tell me that it shows in my teaching. I've been fortunate enough to work with some great people and I hope that my cup never becomes too full to take in any more. There's a big world of martial arts out there and
we should all be free to sample whatever we choose - that way you can find what you're looking for.
What else do I do? I train regularly with other instructors and have my own gym at home - the garage has a much better use than housing
my car! Ten years ago, I discovered Ryukyu Kobujutsu with the RKAGB and Sensei Julian Mead and Sensei Ray Wilks. The study of weaponry has really expanded my empty hand practice and understanding. Working with these instructors is a journey of discovery and
constantly stretches me, both physically and mentally. I get to travel around the world with them and have met some great people - all of whom are willing to share their knowledge...thank you. I don't really do holidays - my travel usually consists of training
and tounaments, but I love it. I get to see the world and train...what could be better? I live in the village where I was born - in fact, I live in the house I was born in, so I have very strong roots and enjoy a good, strong community around me. I have a
Doberman - many of you love the tales of Crap Dog. It's taken us over 10 years to settle into some vague form of understanding each other - if ever there was proof of my tenacity, he's it! I have great kids - Laura Drayton is featured on here as one of our
instructors...an awesome talent. After getting his degree and working as a Sound Engineer for a time, Chris is now with the British Army...I'm immensely proud of what he's achieved. Life is good....
I currently have classes in Bedworth,
Nuneaton, Coventry, Redditch and Kenilworth For your FREE trial call me on 07703 345210 or email on - firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also contact Master
Fisher through her Facebook profile - Jacqui Fisher