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What a belter from Vince as he lands 7th Dan

By Matt Leslie

MARTIAL arts expert Vince Tait took his skills to the next level as he gained a 7th Dan black belt.

Tait, who lives in Castletown but originally hails from Orkney, made the grade in the discipline of Chow Hoon goshin-jitsu.

That particular brand of martial arts is focussed on self-defence and is comprised of many arts including; karate, jujitsu as well as other arts such as Escrima and Kenpo.

Tait received his award from by Californian-based grand master and 10th Dan, Professor James Muro. Part of the reasoning behind Vince earning his 7th Dan is the work that he does for the community.

He said: “It was an honour to receive it – especially from James Muro. He is a fantastic martial artist who is like a supermarket of martial arts, offering skills and knowledge from across a range of disciplines and is simply one of the best.

“It’s been a long journey. To get to 7th Dan involves a lot of work and study. However, I’ve been lucky to have met the right kind of people – both in the UK and Japan – who have passed on a great deal of knowledge to me.

“The Dan award also comes down to what you do for martial arts in the community. For the past 15 years I’ve been running weekly classes for juniors and adults in Thurso, Castletown and Bettyhill.

“We have a broad mix of ages coming. We train kids and adults who are in their sixties.”

Vince himself is grateful to being introduced to martial arts as it helped him make the right choices in life.

He added: “I probably would be in the pub every night if I had not got into it. When I was first made aware of martial arts, I was at that stage in my life of needing some discipline.

“I was aware of the samurais and they intrigued me so I was keen to learn about them and the martial arts they practiced. It was an excellent way to broaden the mind and the more I learnt, the more interested I became to find out more.

“Martial arts has really helped me. You learn a lot about yourself and you learn how to use and rein in your inner aggression constructively.

“The movement aspect appeals to me because you really find out as to how much the body can do.”

Tait’s quest for martial arts knowledge has taken him to Japan when he once took part in a training camp in a Japanese monastery.

He added: “We went to a place called Shikoku Island and the monastery was situated on a mountain. It was a very quiet and calming place to train in.

“We did the samurai tour and we were granted the rare honour of being allowed to use samurai swords that dated back to 500 years ago. Not many are allowed to handle them but we were granted that privilege.”

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