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Sensei Focus: Joe Watkins

Friday 21st May 2021

Sensei Focus: Joe Watkins

Many of you will have met Sensei Joe and once you've had a class taught by Joe you are unlikely to forget it. Sensei Joe is known for his loud voice and bouncy nature (as well as his love for the Red bull energy drink). He brings fun and fear into all of his lessons leaving you at the end of the class head to toe in sweat while exhilarated for your next class.

Sensei Joe as a child like many others suffered with anxiety and shyness his parents thought martial arts was a good way to bring him out of his shell and at 5 years old Joe started his journey. Although trying his best it was not until he was 7 years old that his interest truly blossomed into this now 17-year love for the sport. Through the years his life has turned around, he now feels much more confident in his daily life (not to say that he no longer feels anxious occasionally, but he now has the tools to confront his obstacles which is a great achievement for anyone). For this reason, Sensei Joe believes that our Little and Junior Champs are on their way to being champions one roundhouse kick at a time.

In July 2017 while looking online and stumbled across our website, it was hard not to be intrigued so he called and made an appointment to meet and train with Dai Master Rafael and the team. It was the best decision he had made; he was the hyper bearded Sensei we had been missing so of course he fitted perfectly in Niedō team. He can proudly say that alongside his 2nd Dan in Shodon Karate Sensei Joe has also reach 1st Dan with vigorous training with Dai Master Rafael and two Spanish Open Tournaments. Joe has travelled twice to Barcelona to compete in Dai Master Rafael's winning team. The first in 2018 weighing under 65kg and after 3 fights it became very clear that the gruelling diet and hard work training all those months before had paid off as Sensei Joe brings home the gold. So, why would 2019 be any different? Joe fought in the light continuous under 70kg category at the Spanish Open proving that under the guidance of Dai Master Rafael and with determination Joe brought home gold for the second time. Unfortunately, due to the strange year the 2020 turned out to be, the London Open we had planned to host had to cancel, but if the world allows it then we know for certain Sensei Joe will be continuing his winning streak in all tournaments to come.

Sensei Joe has said:
"I love the teaching of others what I have amassed over my 17 years of martial arts and being able to improve myself whilst doing so"

In Sensei Joe's spare time, he is a keen gamer – he could happily spend his day playing online with friends from all over, as well as bonding and strategizing over a game of Warhammer. Besides kickboxing Sensei Joe loves a dip in the pool, he enjoys swimming and has done from a young age. Occasionally Sensei Joe will mix his passion for martial arts and the water as you can check out on Xen-Do Instagram page when Joe takes a Bruce Lee flying kick into the swimming pool (this was then reposted by Bruce Lee’s Instagram page).

It is not just the virtual world that Sensei Joe loves to explore! He has packed his bags and globe trotted through Ireland to meet family, Australia to meet friends as well as holidaying in Spain, Fiji, Dubai, Romanian, Germany, just to name a few. For Joe it is not just a holiday, he loves to experience different cultures, foods and lifestyles.


Niedō Instagram