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Rosie Jennings

At the tender age of 6, Rosie faced a pivotal decision that would shape her life. Captivated by the discipline and strength she saw in karate, her heart was set on the martial art, despite a brief fascination with ballet. After her first trial session, she knew karate was her calling. Under the guidance of her dedicated Sensei and a row of inspiring black belts, she never looked back. Ballet didn't stand a chance.

Achievements and Milestones

By the age of 11, Rosie had already earned her black belt—no small feat, considering the rigorous physical and mental challenges she faced. But the achievement signified much more than a milestone; it was the first accomplishment she felt she'd achieved independently. Guided by her Sensei, she later achieved her junior 1st dan and full 1st dan, continually pushing her own boundaries and skill levels.

Discovering a Love for Competition

During the gap between her 1st and 2nd dan gradings, Rosie discovered her passion for competition. Initially seen as a task to please her Sensei, competitive bouts soon became a love affair. She started off competing in both kata and kumite but found her true love in kata—a Japanese form-focused sequence of moves. Fortuitously, her home instructor is also the kata coach for the  squad, further aiding her mastery of this intricate art form.

Personal Goals and Aspirations

The journey doesn't stop here. Rosie is now focusing on building her mobility, joint, and muscle strength to further excel in her chosen discipline. She has her sights set on upcoming competitions, including a British competition in Scotland this November and the Europeans in Venice this December. Her goal is simple: to be the best she can be. She hopes to earn a rating at these competitions as a marker for her ongoing improvement.

A Supportive Network

None of this would be possible without the supportive network that surrounds her. She is immensely grateful to her Sensei, her mentors, and the team at Movement Recreation Culture, led by Jacob Baylis, for their invaluable contributions to her karate journey. With unwavering determination and a little help from her incredible support network, Rosie is excited to see just how far she can go in her karate journey.

My Story

When I was 6, I had a choice to make; little did I know that I picked the best one. I first discovered karate while watching the Karate Kid movies, probably like most people. I was in the leisure centre when a group of people passed me wearing karate suits. I recognised them and asked my parents if I could try out. You wouldn't believe it now, but I had also taken a fancy to ballet. One of my friends went to the Brecon ballet school, and it sounded like something I could enjoy. Two different arts, both requiring discipline and strength, but demonstrating them in different ways. After attending my first trial karate session, I was captivated. I remember there being a row of black belts helping the Sensei, and I decided I wanted to be just like them. Funnily enough, I never attended a ballet class; I was too intrigued by karate. In the end, my decision wasn't too difficult to make. I haven't given ballet any thought since that day. In July, I will have been doing karate for 13 years, and I am still obsessed. It didn't take me long to achieve some exciting things. I managed to pass my black belt grading at the age of 11; it was one of the hardest things I have done to this day. You are pushed in ways you wouldn't believe you could be. This was one of the first achievements I felt I had done on my own (with the help of Sensei, of course). Each grading from then on required new skills and tests. A year after my initial black belt grading, I achieved my junior 1st dan, and two years after that, my full 1st dan. It was in the gap between 1st and 2nd dan that I discovered my love for competition. I had never really enjoyed it before then; I saw them as a task I was forced to complete to keep my Sensei happy. I attended many inter-club competitions and won my first medals. I had no grading to prepare for, so I could throw myself into it wholeheartedly. To begin with, I competed in both kata and kumite (fighting). At my first Welsh competition, I was told that I would either fall in love with one or the other, or I would not like competing at all. It was kata that appealed to me. Kata is a Japanese word that translates to "form"; it is a sequence of moves which are performed, and you must retain good form. Luckily for me, my home instructor is the kata coach for the Welsh squad, who has helped me massively to improve. The only thing I am missing is the mobility, joint, and muscle strength. This is how Jacob is going to help me. As far as goals are concerned, I am looking to be the best I can be. Kata is tricky to be good at, so I am just going to focus on myself for now. I am hoping to attend a British competition in Scotland this November, then the Europeans in Venice this December. I want to get a rating and use that as a marker to measure my improvement. I am very grateful to have such an amazing group of people helping me, and I cannot wait to see how far I can get.

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