Name: John O’Donovan
Grade: Shodan, 1st Dan Black Belt
Dojo: Chantler’s Primary School, Elton (now you know where the nickname came from!), Bury
Full time or Volunteer: Volunteer for over 3 years
Why did you start: I used to take my youngest daughter Lilly, to Radcliffe dojo, with Nicola Holland. Every week I sat there watching until I came to the conclusion why wasn’t I joining in? At the time I had no other sports/physical activities so decided one week to ask to join the club and was welcomed in. Initially as all new students feel, I went the wrong way, didn’t understand anything and feeling like a fish out of water, slowly with the help of Sempai Berny and Denise (now both Sensei’s) it started to make sense.
After a few years I became a Sempai with Sensei Teresa at Chesham, after about a year was offered my own class at Chantlers (initially refused, as I didn’t think I was ready but talked round by wife, Thank You Netty xx). Now been running my class for about 3 years.
What Keep’s you Training: Easy, I love karate, the Club and the people. Whenever I have a bad day in work my brain always kicks in that I can go training, be it teaching or being taught by the many amazing Sensei’s.
I love all aspects of Karate, Kata is my favourite but I do like Kumite, apart from the fact I am very good at using my face as a block. Every time I go into the dojo I come out with something new to learn be it a technique or a Kata/Combination, that’s the amazing thing and probably the unique thing about our sport is that you will never ever stop learning for as long as you train.
The great thing also is that it is a family affair as well as Lilly & Amy both being 1stKyu’s, Amy is also in the Assistants training program.
And lastly and most important is the people, it’s now my extended family, I have made so many friends for life since joining and hopefully as we continue to build the club this extend the family even more.
Job in the real world: Consultant Support/Report writer for Frenkel Topping Ltd. Doesn’t sound the most interesting role but I am very lucky as my role is to help put in place financial plans for people who have had catastrophic injuries so that we can ensure we can provide them with the best life possible.
Favourite Part of Karate: Kata and Kumite, the unique way that moves are put together to either complete a kata, or playing a live game of chess in kumite, reacting to other people moves. Also teaching to watch students who starting as white belts, gain confidence and just to be part of their karate journey.
Hobbies other than Karate: Probably easier to define myself as a Geek, love playing videogames, watching Sci-fi, Fantasy and horror movies (currently re-watching extended Lord of the Ring trilogy). Watch and attend wrestling events (yep I do). Read Comics, Terry Pratchett books.
Yep a Geek and proud of it.