Kate Taylor is one of SHOTORAMA’s more experienced instructors, not only in karate itself but also in the subtly different skill – some say art – of teaching. Kate combines a depth of knowledge with a wealth of insight to go with her high quality technique.
She was high on the wish list of instructors, one of the first to come on board in support of SHOTORAMA, and was quick to put forward some great suggestions for workshop topics. Here is some background info from Kate:
When did you start karate, and how long have you been training?
In 1979 – at surrey university – mainly because one of my friends didn’t want to go on her own. If you want to know how long ago that was then ‘do the math’ as the americans say.
What club are you at now, how did the club get started, how long has it been running?
Although I’ve trained at many different clubs, my home club since 1984 has been Haslemere SKC. The club has been running for about 45 years and Terry Brine – who started it all – is still training with us.
Have you tried/ do you have experience in other martial arts?
I started off with Judo when I was 13, trained in both judo and karate for a while, but eventually the karate took over … a brief return to judo later on did not end well for one of my training partners – I decided not to mix the two after that. Have also trained over the years with one of hampshire constabulary’s finest (and largest…) – Tony is also an ex royal marine and not all his jyu-jitsu techniques are on the home office approved list.
Who have been your major influences/instructors?
Again, I’ve trained with many instructors and learnt from all of them. Phil Reed (4th Dan) was the instructor at Surrey University when I started karate, and I trained with him and Steve Prince (4th Dan) for a long time (I still train with Steve). I used enjoy the Crystal Palace courses with Kase, Tabata et al and of course sensei Enoeda. Dave Hazard was a regular visitor to several of the clubs I trained with for some years. I’ve trained under all the senior KUGB instructors: Bob Poynton was a big influence on my early training and competition career – he was the grading examiner for our university club and always generous with his time and coaching expertise. Latterly I’ve enjoyed training with Bob Rhodes and also with some of the other Shotorama instructors.
How would you describe your philosophy/attitude to karate?
There is always more to learn…
What experiences from outside the dojo do you bring to your training/teaching?
I’m an engineer so I have an interest in biomechanics and the physics/dynamics of techniques
How does karate influence your life outside the dojo?
Largely in the self confidence it gives, particularly in respect of public speaking or difficult professional encounters
What is your favourite part/aspect of karate training?
The fact that it is totally immersive – you have to empty your mind of everything else
Do you have a favourite exercise/drill/kata?
Not really, I like to ring the changes – although it’s good to concentrate on particular drills or kata for a while
How would your students describe you/your lessons/club?
I don’t know – you’ll have to ask them
What challenges/ambitions do you have?
Mostly to still be training in 20 years time
Do you have any particularly memorable highlights of your karate career (so far)?
Obviously, passing my shodan was a big high – it was at least a week before I wiped the grin off my face. Of course then you realise that you are only at the beginning...