Name: Louise Hopkinson
Nickname: Lou / Muuuuuum! (Always from a different room!)
Grade:1st Dan Black Belt. I achieved my black belt in September 2019 and I am very proud of that achievement.
Dojo/s: I instruct at Tottington Primary Dojo on Monday evenings (then shoot myself straight over to senior class to train myself!). I also train at Darwen with Sensei Mike Beckwith and train at other classes whenever I can. I also love attending training seminars with guest instructors from other clubs, especially when we get the opportunity to train with visiting Japanese instructors.
Full time or Volunteer: I am a volunteer Sensei. I only started instructing in July 2019 and Tottington dojo is my first proper class of my own! I always felt very anxious about standing at the front instructing and lacked confidence in myself and in my own karate, so I intended to say an absolute NO when Mike Sensei asked me to be a Sempai, but for reasons unknown to this day I said Yes! & I’m so glad now that I did. I was a Sempai for Sensei’s Mike & Leesa for ages before I plucked up the courage to finally take the plunge and become a Sensei with my own class. I now absolutely love being an instructor and seeing my students flourish. Karate has done wonders for my own self confidence.
Why did you start: I started training in Karate because my son Luke joined the club and I didn’t want to sit on a bench bored for hours watching him. My first ever class was with Sensei Teresa at Chesham dojo in January 2014. She wasn’t too tough on me, so I went back again with my son the next week! I got hooked and have never looked back! My son has since stopped training but I wanted to carry on. I have made some lovely lifelong friends at karate and Red Tiger is a very friendly and supportive family club. I always encourage other parents to kick off their shoes and jump in line and have a go, and I love it when other mums join in!
What keeps you training: I love the fact that there is always something to work on in karate, you can never know it all, and that is what keeps me training. There is always a new kata to learn, new kumite drills to practise, always a way to perfect move, so karate never gets boring. Karate is ongoing, there is always something new to learn. I love it and looking forwards to a time when we can train in a dojo again!
Job in the real world: I work full time and I am a special educational needs teaching assistant. I work in an SEN high school. I love my job and am lucky to work with some truly wonderful students and staff.
Favourite part of karate: My favourite part of karate is kata. I’ve always felt that I could do better at kumite and it’s something that I have to work on. But, I believe, to be good at karate you have to have the balance of both. I enjoy training, even if I feel tired before a class, I always walk out buzzing and glad that I trained.
Hobbies other than karate: Other than karate I love hiking in the countryside (there’s nothing comfier than a pair of hiking boots!) and I enjoy going for long walks with my dog. I also love visiting my little caravan that I keep in Cumbria at the weekends, and can’t wait to visit again after lockdown is over – I’ve missed it!