Tracey Drain

Class Instructor

My karate journey started many years ago at the age of 10 when I trained in my home town of Rochdale with shotokan karate club Saxon Karate Club with Sensei Leigh Smith.

I trained here until I was 13, but like most kids that age, became distracted by teenage life! It was not “girlie” to be doing karate and clothes, make up and not messing my hair up took over!

In May 2002, about 2 months after having my daughter, I wanted a sport and hobby that would get me back into some sort of pre-pregnancy shape and it had to be something that I loved. I didn’t fancy joining a gym because at that time, I was too self-conscious and it didn’t seem like fun!

I got a knock on the door letting me know that there was a new karate class just opened up in my area. I duly signed myself up and a week later went down to my first class with my husband’s comments ringing in my ears “It’s just a phase, you won’t stick it out – I’ll give you 3 months max!!!

Well, I’m still here all these years on! I had a fantastic time training with Sean & Tony Concannon who taught me as an adult white belt! I then had the privilege of training with Sensei Paul O’Donnell and Helen O’Donnell who were both excellent instructors. I taught a class in Newton Heath for 2 years before joining Rising Phoenix which then became Red Tiger Karate in April 2006. In September 2009 after a breakdown in relations with Red Tiger Karate club management I chose to seek out another club and instructor before I lost my passion for karate – my faith was restored by Alan Woods, a practitioner of traditional combat karate since 1967 – who I discovered was developing the skills of my friends Helen and Andy and Ivan at Cobra Karate and Black Panther Karate respectively.

I love teaching karate as much as I love training and there’s no greater reward for me that seeing my students (male, female, large, small, shy, confident) grade to their next belt that they all work so hard for.

I acheived my black belt in March 2007 on one of the most intensive, gruelling, exhausting but euphoric day of my life! And guess what……my hair got well and truly messed up!

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