First of all, can you introduce yourself in 2 words ?
I am born in 1981 in Luxembourg. I own a diploma from the university of Cologne in sport sciences. I work as a teacher in physical education in a college in Luxembourg.
Where, when and how did you come to karate ?
When I was a kid, I was a big fan of karate and kung-fu movies. At home, I was getting on everybody's nerves jumping around performing throws and kicks like crazy. My parents thus decided to register me in a club.
I was only 9-year old when I started my career in the karate club of Walferdange. My trainer, Sensei Franssen (3 dan), was at that time one of the first to teach karate in Luxembourg. I was a member for three years.
But due to a removal, I did not have any more the possibility to train there. I hence register in the closest club from my new home: the Strassen karate club. I stood there for 2 years. I was even a member of the national kata team During that period, I trained a bit everywhere in order to find a karate club that would meet my desires. Until one day, a friend of my father talked about a very good karate club in Arlon. We then decided to go have a look. It was the Sei-Sen Karate club from Arlon.
At that time, I was 2nd kyu (brown belt) in Strassen. After the first training, Sensei Lallemand suggested me to to start over at the level of 7th kyu because I was was too young to wear such a belt and my level did not match the belt level neither.
I hence restarted from scratch as a white belt with 2 stripes (equivalent to orange belt). For me, it was the start of a very different karate. In fact, it was, for me, the start of the true karate.
From 1995 and on, I had a lot excellent classes with Sensei Lallemand. I took part to a lot of karate camps as well as national and international competitions. During all those wonderful years, a deep friendship between André Lallemand, his oldest fellows and I was formed.
In 1999, I passed my 1st dan in front of Taiji Kase Sensei (9 dan). I then became Sensei Lallemand's second assistant.
I passed my 2nd dan 2 years later. Then in 2006, I took my 3rd dan exam. From that day, Sensei Lallemand elected me as the Sei-Sen's second instructor.
When in June 2009, Sensei Lallemand announced the end of his karate career, he asked me if I wanted to take again his club and that's what I did !
What is karate for you ?
Karate is a way of life. It's not like football or jogging. Karate is always present and accompanies you throughout your life.
It strengthens body and psychic. It is also a school of (self)discipline.
Karate often helped me in difficult situations and especially avoided me finding myself in dangerous situations. Indeed, karate develops the senses and makes it possible to improve perception of the things and the environment in which one is.
What pleases you the most and how do you keep your joy of teaching ?
The continual challenges which are posed are like hydrocarbon and force me to continue. If the practice of karate was something simple and unpleasing, I would have surely already given up. What is interesting in the art of karate is that even after as many years of practice, I keep finding things to be learned.
With the years, one starts to have a much more intense feeling of the body and of the mental.
Moreover, the club is for me as a big family where I've found very good friends.
The word of the end...
A very wise man said once : "Do not fear the slow progression. Fear the stagnation."