Patrick, in his 30s, has always been into karate. So when Samantha, a member of the World Tang Soo Do Association, joined his support team, it was a perfect match.
Affinity Trust has supported Patrick, who lives in a village in Cambridgeshire, for more than 10 years. From an early age, Patrick had had a keen interest in karate.
In 2017, Samantha joined Patrick’s support team. By happy coincidence, Samantha practises Tang Soo Do, a karate-based Korean martial art. She explains: “It’s something I used to do as a child. I took time out to study and have children, but then went back to it about two years ago, and I love it.”
Samantha now trains three times a week – flexible working allowing her to train around work commitments – and takes part in competitions.
Samantha found out about Patrick’s passion for karate and supported him to take private lessons, starting in March 2018. His confidence grew and he was able to start mainstream classes in St Ives in November.
Samantha says: “Getting involved in Tang Soo Do has definitely changed Patrick’s life for the better.
“It’s made him a more confident person. Before, if we were out in the community, he would have stuck to the side of his Support Worker. Now he will go ahead and will pay for his own shopping, it’s really great to see.
“The other big change is that Patrick is now more in control of his behaviour.”
Patrick’s parents have noticed the changes too. When he visits them, he enjoys long walks with them. Before he started Tang Soo Do, he would walk to the end of the garden and not want to go further. Samantha says: “They can’t believe the difference in him.”
She adds: “Patrick’s instructor is amazing and he really has so much respect for her. We can talk to her before the class and explain for example if anything has happened in his week that the class could support.
“Patrick has one private lesson a week and then one class which includes everyone, all ages and all abilities, white belts to black belts!”
What’s next? Patrick is hoping to get his first grading late in 2019. Before that, there will be an all-day seminar in Cherry Hinton in April, attended by over 100 students.
Patrick says: ‘‘Tang Soo Do is good. I like playing a chopping game with my instructor where I have to block soft dice with blocks and kicks before they hit me. I think everybody should do karate because it’s lots of fun.’’