Sebastian earns his judo black belt
International pupil Sebastian SDH thought that his judo career might be over when he moved to England and the Royal Hospital School. However, this year he has achieved his goal of balancing his academics with his sport and earned his first dan black belt.
"I started doing Judo, when I was just four years old, back in my primary school in Menorca. From that day, I started to develop my passion towards martial arts. Thanks to my persistent coach and parents, I went through rough times of hard work. But then I started to see results; I won the Menorca championships four times, and came third in my first county championship, and second in my county championship.
"Following from that stage, I spent even more time training; improving my speed, technique and strength. Which lead me to qualify third in the Spanish championships; unlucky me, this wasn't enough to qualify for the Spanish Cup. The next year, I had to put my academics over my judo career, so I came to the Royal Hospital School in England.
"At that point, I assumed that my competitive career was over. However, thanks to Mr Etchells-Butler, my current English judo coach, I was able to transfer my brown belt into the British Judo Association. From that point, I took part in three competitive dan gradings. In my third and last attempt of the year 2018, to get my first dan black belt; I managed to pass the first two rounds getting two ipons, and managing to get the appreciation of Judo Masters, legends, holding sixth and eighth dans, people who have dedicated their whole life to this martial art.
"This allowed me to take part in a line up. Line ups, consist of three consecutive contests, of three minutes each. All my senses came together, allowing me to beat every opponent that stood between me and my black belt. I couldn't believe myself, I achieved the goal, I worked hard for, after 12 years of dedication to Judo. I reached my goal, and is only a matter of time to keep improving, making new goals."