Karate Kid

Teen champion Nur Jahan Shaikh shows us her moves

Posted: 26.04.13

Karate has helped me travel the world.
I’ve been the English champion in my age group for the last three years running, after competing in tournaments in Malta, Serbia, Austria and Germany. Next up I need to get to the Far East, the spiritual home of martial arts!

Choreography is crucial.
I specialise in kata which is a series of choreographed moves. It’s like an individual performance and you compete alongside one other person – the highest scorer goes through to the next round until one person is announced the winner. Poise, posture and technique are of uttermost importance. I once competed against someone who was over 10 years older than me, I lost straight away but it’s all about the practice and experiences – I’ve still got a lot left to show and professional karate can go on until you’re 30, so it’s still just the beginning for me.

Success is all about motivation.
Mine comes from knowing that if I work really hard, I’ll win and nothing beats the feeling of that achievement, it really does make you feel like you’re on top of the world. 

My coach is no Mr Miyage!
Mine is a world champion but there’s no ‘wax on wax off’ or running up steep hills involved! Although I always get Karate Kid jokes – though the truth is most of the moves in the movie are kung-fu and not karate, they’ve been stylised to look very theatrical – although I like to think I have the same attitude. 

Sport has changed my life.
Karate has made me more than just fitter. I’m stronger mentally and physically and I take knockbacks – it teaches you to just pick yourself back up. Nothing is ever going to get in way of my ambitions...


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