Daniel Lancaster Sensei, 4th Dan Karate, Age 33
Interview with Sensei Daniel Lancaster. Founder and Chief Instructor of Cougar Ki Martial Arts.
How old was you when you first started in Martial Arts? And what inspired YOU?
Hi Vicky thank you for taking the time to do this interview and WELL DONE!!! For winning the interview comp with a great question.
Well I was 7 Years old when I started. I grew up in West End of Ashton, and I was bullied not just in school but out of school too. The out of school bullies were High school pupils, and I was only a Primary school kid. It got that bad that it came to a point where my dad said enough is enough your going to learn to defend yourself. So he took me to my local Martial Arts Club at Waterloo which taught Teakwondo.
But I guess my beginnings in Martial Arts are not that different from alot of kids.
(Emmy) Why did you choose Karate out of all the other styles there is?
I started with Teakwondo, there was no warm up first, so you pulled alot of muscles and sustained injuries, (laughs) that wouldn't happen these days.
Because of this I was taken out. From there I went onto Freestyle Kickboxing. That was to much contact for a 9 year old, also I was bullied by the instructors son. So I left there and went onto Kempo Jujitsu.
What did you personally achieve from your Training?
I liked the discipline of it, and it helped me to control my anger, (gave me a focus), the style Shotokan which I really liked and over the years I've found many more styles of Karate.
How long was you training at your first dojo? (we now know it was Waterloo)
I was training there for about 2 years in Teakwondo then left to go onto other styles.
How old was you when you had your first Tournament? How did you feel? Did you win anything? What did you gain from it?
I was 12 when I had my first, it was a Kempo Tournament with Full Contact. I was very nervous, as I dare say most people are at the 1st Tournament. I didn't win anything apart from a broken finger. The thing I gained most from this was experience.
How many Tournaments have you done? And what have you achieved?
I've roughly taken part in about 10 Tournaments, and personally I've achieved more confidence. Results wise I've achived UK Champion 3 times, Kent Regional Champ twice, Nort West Champion twice. My personal best was Rank number 2 in 2001, in Sydney Australia. But most of all I have gained alot of experience. Which is all I'd say anyone should do a Tournament/Competition for, the Medals and awards are just a extra bonus.
(Lisa) What would your dream Tournament be?
My dream Tournament, Dead or Alive? Dead is Bruce Lee because of his experience and how educational it would be, but also because he's great. Alive would be Steven Seagal or Van Damme, again because of the educational side also their experience.
Your teaching now, what inspired you to teach? And what do you personally get out of it?
I started teaching for other clubs, for other instructors. From that experience I gained alot of personal benefit, families training together, I had a student in the local paper for defending herself with what I had taught her. I wanted to pass on my knowledge to other people. I started teaching at the age of 21. Out of teaching I get personal satisfaction. Seeing a student grow, overcoming obsticles, pushing themselves beyond personal boundries, and seeing families grow together in the martial arts world together. At the end of a class seeing the smiles on students faces, and them sweating, knowing they've had a good class.
(Jake) How did you go about opening your own club? and when did you first open?
It took me 2 years to get recognition by the E.K.O (English Karate Organisation). Which is governed by the European Karate Organisation. The club opened on the 29th September 2011.
How did you think up the club name Cougar Ki Martial Arts?
I like the Wild Cat the Cougar (a mountain Lion), because it stalks its prey, by circling it to workout its weaknesses. They only pounce when they've worked it out. Which is like in martial arts, block then take out. The Ki is japanese for Chi, which is life internal energy. Martial Arts, is because I don't want to restrict it to just Karate. Because of this people can learn more styles, just as I did, and have more experience than just Karate.
What would you like your students to gain?
I would like them to achieve their own personal development growth in, confidence, discipline, patience and respect, their own personl goals. Also obviously some Kuro Obi (Black Belt) achievers would be good.
How do you think the area benefits from your teaching?
As a community we all need to be involved together/ conect. Not only does it bring a community together, but teaches the community to respect each other and work together, ie: Helping a old person across a road or helping someone if you see them struggling. This doesn't only show respect but also curtesy, which is another benefit of training you gain.
(Declan) How would you encourage new members to start?
I would start by Recruitment, advertising, promotional video, thats being worked on as we speak, and existing members word of mouth. If for example a student who is a member introduces a new student they both get that lesson for FREE!!! Also any new students gets their first lesson FREE!! Then you just pay your training fee either pay as you train or per month which ever suits YOU best. And if training as a family with 3 or more training at the same time/together, a family discount is given. We welcome anyone from the age of 4 years plus to come and train.
How long would you like to keep training/teaching
Thats an easy one for me. Until i can, until I'm on my death bed
Would you like to expand your club, and would you train your students to teach in your clubs?
Thats my GOAL to expand. I would love to train my students to teach for me, for their own personal growth and so they can generate a extra source of income. Also as a Instructor this is I believe something we strive for, for our student to carry on what we teach. And to give them ambition.
(Karl) What are the key benefits for yourself and your students?
The benefits for myself are character development, ie, patience and personal growth.
Students, Personal gains ie:- Fitness, Confidence, Respect, Discipline, Self Control, and inner security, mental and physical co-ordination, Curtesy, and in genral character development, the list is endless of what you can benefit from.
What would you like to achieve averall for the club and yourself?
For the club International recognition.
For myself I want to leave a legacy, I would love for people to continually benefit from my knowledge and experience and for it to grow.
Plans for the future:
Well in 5 years I hope to be Regional as a club.
To be a Senior Instructor in the North West for Abaniko Tres Puntas, as well as opening more clubs, Entering NAS (National All Styles) Tournaments.
Within 5 Years WASO (World All Styles Organisation) Tournaments (have a student Champion of Champions)
M.A.D.M.A UK up and running (Make A Difference Martial Artists UK) which also teaches kids and families financial education for the 21st Cebtury. (thats comin not to far from now)
My 10 Year goal is to be International. My overall goal/ dream is for Karate to be part of the olympics, and to positively effect as many people as possible, and be remebered for this.
Thank you to all Students at Cougar Ki Martial Arts, and to the following students for their contributions to this interview:-
Emmy, Lisa, Jake, Declan, and Karl.
Interview by Vicky Williams on 01/02/2013
Thank you Vicky