Name: Mike Beckwith
Nickname: Depends who you ask 😉. Nowadays its Beckers, however, when I was at School it was Beaky after the song “Captain Beaky and His Band” simply because it was loosely similar to my surname and not because I was a very brave animal!!
Grade: Yondan (4th Dan Black belt)
Dojo’s: I teach on a Monday at the Dukinfield Dojo and Wednesday at Darwen Senior Class for Brown Belts and above but I train wherever and whenever I can.
Full time / Volunteer: Full time Volunteer – lol. I Volunteer but do as much as I can to help the club.
What keeps you training: Hmm that’s a tricky one..
Originally I started because Leesa (who was my new Girlfriend at the time) wanted to do it as she worked in Manchester and wanted to feel safer when walking to the Car Park at night. There was a knock at the Door and we were recruited by GKR and started training with them.
At that time, it was purely a fitness thing, but as I got more and more involved the camaraderie with my fellow students took over.
Training then turned into a “Social” thing (if hitting and kicking your friends can be classed as a social evening – lol).
I then got in to teaching and did tournaments within GKR and my focus then turned to being the best that I could be to bring Students through and compete as best as I could.
Politics and in fighting high up in the ladder soured my experience of karate though, and Leesa and I both stopped training for a while. Paul Sensei then set up his own club, initially named Rising Phoenix before becoming Red Tiger. He asked me and Leesa to join which (bizarrely) we turned down! The persistence however of both Paul Sensei and one of my former students got me to come down to one of Paul Senseis senior classes at Chesham Dojo on a Friday evening.
I remember clearly leaving home that night with the intention of NOT joining!! Leesa called it right though, as I left she said “You will end up joining you know”, “No I wont” I replied, “I’m only going to stop Fred (real name changed – but you know who you are Kev 😉 ) from mithering me to join”
2 hours later I came home with 2 forms, one for us both, to go and give it a go and we have never looked back.
The reason I tell you all this is to explain my motivation to continue training now – I hope to motivate other people to continue training and be the best that they can be! Even when they cant be bothered, are too tired, the weathers too nice (or bad), etc etc.
The camaraderie of Red Tiger and the friendships we have made are what keeps me going. Seeing students go from White Belt to Black Belt is an incredible feeling and to think you have had an input in some way shape or form is excellent! A couple of students that I used to occasionally teach even went on to start their own, successful club 😉
The youngsters are so talented and so well looked after at Red Tiger its incredible, they are encouraged to be better and pushed to their full potential in a friendly environment.
Job in the Real World: You mean karate isn’t a real world!!!
Seriously I am the Manager of a Finance Accounts department, but don’t let that stop you reading on 😉
Favourite part of Karate: The opportunities and the challenges. Being part of the JKS has allowed me to go to Japan and train with some fantastic Karate-ka.
The challenge of mastering a new kata, move, combination etc keeps the old grey matter working 😉
There is always something new to learn or something to try and improve
Hobbies other than Karate: I like watching Football although I have not played for a number of Years and Leesa and I have started to learn indoor Sky-Diving!!