Name: John Dolan
Grade: Shodan, 1st Dan Black Belt
Full time or volunteer: I have been a volunteer instructor for the past four years and absolutely love it, and I’m lucky enough to now teach the class that I did my very first lesson in!!
Why did you start: As Sensei Helen said in her write up, karate was recommended for one of our boys and having trained in Shukokai karate as a child and having ummed and ahhed for a few years about trying again I decided it was a great excuse to jump in line and give it another go. A friend of ours recommended Red Tiger and put us in touch with Nicola Holland who taught the Radcliffe class at the time. After that first lesson I was hooked and was soon Assisting in her Rochdale Dojo and in February 2016 I started my own class in Bamford.
What keeps you training: I love karate but also the friendships that I have built up over the years mean that I always look forward to getting into the Dojo.
Job in the real world: Foreman in a paper mill making tea bag paper, yes it is as exciting as it sounds, but could you imagine not being able to have a cup of tea!!
Favourite part of karate: I enjoy all the three main parts of karate, kihon, kata and kumite but also being able to train with my family and friends is a big part of what makes karate so important to me. Also karate really does change your life outside the Dojo as well as in it and when you see the confidence that it gives to some of the students you teach it really does make it all worthwhile!
Hobbies other than karate: I am a big video game fan and spend a lot of time playing games but also after a mini midlife crisis where I learnt to ride a motorbike I like to spend a lot of my free time on rides out.