Name – Rachael Elizabeth Wolstencroft
Nickname – Rach (you’ll need to ask what Paul Sensei calls me!)
Grade – Yondan 4th Dan Black Belt
Dojo/s – Darwen, Denton, Reddish, Haslingden, Tottington
Full time or volunteer – Full Time
Why did you start – I started as a child way back in 1997. My Mum and Dad sent me as I always managed to find my way into trouble, my Dad was also a Black Belt. My temper always went from 0 to 100 – REAL quick! I think they thought I might need the discipline. They were absolutely right. It changed my life.
A couple of my first Instructors were Mike and Leesa Beckwith Sensei. I’m so glad they managed to whip me into shape! I also met my husband at karate and he was as grumpy then as he is now.
What keeps you training – This question is a tough one because karate gives you so much. It really has shaped my life in so many ways. I think what keeps you training will always change. What used to keep me training when I was younger no longer interests me. I wanted to win loads of medals, be a black belt and be well hard at fighting! Over the years I have learned that there is so much more to karate than this. I realise it is all about respecting the art, respecting others and perfecting your character.
I have never allowed life’s distractions to throw me off my course. I have always found my way back to the dojo. I love training, I love fighting and the dojo is definitely my happy place. I understand what is like to be a teenager or a young adult and other things can take priority and then training takes a backseat. But I guess this is my opportunity to say that you will always be warmly welcomed here. Karate is a journey for life, no matter how long it is since you’ve put that Gi on.
I am constantly inspired by all the seniors that I train with. I have accomplished so many personal goals throughout my career including competitive karate, personal gradings and training in Japan. I have also accomplished many goals as an Instructor and Co-Club Owner. Yet I am always looking to achieve more and more. To always learn and pass as much as I can on to others so that they can grow and reach their full potential. Karate teaches you humility. I keep training to give our students all the best available opportunities for growth and progression.
Karate keeps me strong in both mind and body. It has helped me bounce back both mentally and physically from two terrible pregnancies. As an adult, it allows you time out of your day to focus, just on you. Not thinking about the ten million things you have to do that day, just you working on whatever is being taught to you.
I cherish the friendships I have made with both our Instructors and our students and their families over the years.
Job in the real world – Karate Instructor and I love it – the best jobs are the ones that don’t feel like work.
Favourite part of karate – Can I pick two? I’m going to sorry! Kicking and Kumite.
Hobbies other than karate – Karate does take up most of my time and all my other hobbies are to improve my karate to be honest. That is a bit sad! Vinyasa Yoga for flexibility and bodypump weight training for strength. Running for cardio when I am training for something in particular like a Japan trip or when I went training with Cris Cyborg. I also love watching the Champions Manchester City FC and Ultimate Fighting Championships.