JANET MASON MY LIFE OF TANG SOO DO
I joined Tang Soo Do in my thirties. I went along with two friends and joined John Bratchie's class in the community hall in Hawkes Mill Lane.
I found I really enjoyed Tang Soo Do and soon started to obtain my belts. Unfortunately my friends didn't carry on with the classes but I became more and more involved with the karate as the time went on.
Prior to taking my black belt I would travel to Huntington every other Sunday to train with Master Khan and Dawn Khan. On many occasions I had the honour to train with Grand Master Shin at Huntington, making many friends during this time.
I was also involved with demonstrations and taught Tang Soo Do at Exhall Grange School during which time I encouraged many students to join in competitions and also trained them to brown belt level.
I became interested in teaching Tang Soo Do to the blind and was involved With 'Learnington
Dogs for the Blind" arranging demonstrations and was very proud to have Tang Soo Do put forward as a recognized sport for the blind.
I have been on the radio promoting Tang Soo Do for ladies. During the course of my early Tang Soo Do career ladies came and went but I was the only one to stay long term. I eventually attained my black belt status at age 40 and in those days this involved being 5 hours on the floor training and 20 minutes translating Korean into English. I was the first lady in my class to obtain black belt status therefore having to stand my ground fighting with the men.
I then started a Ladies Self Defence Class, again going on the radio to promote Self Defence for ladies.
I attained my 1st Dan status at John Bratchie's class and during this time I owe a great deal to Jim Bratchie who helped me immensely. I also met some lovely people along the way who are still friends today.
Circumstances dictated a break from my Tang Soo Do career but I took it up again several years ago with Martyn Hubbard, also taking my grandson to class until his work commitments prevented him carrying on.
I am now at 2nd Dan level which I attained with Martyn Hubbard.