This was written by 11 year old Tom, for a school homework project on:


The world is full of people to admire. Many are clever and are finding the answer to the common cold . Some others have endured unimaginable suffering and still keep jolly. But I have chosen some one who is never ill and to the best of my knowledge has only read 3 books in his life. What is even more extraordinary is that he is a Leeds United supporter – and I said I am a diehard Forest fan you may understand why this is such a statement.
His name is Andy Kendrick – he is about 43 years old and has blonde hair. So what on earth is it about him that I admire?
Let me explain……

Mr K – or sabonim as I should call him is my karate teacher. When I was 7 I badgered my Mum into letting me do karate. Now I am a 2nd Dan – a 2nd level black belt. From someone who at the age of 7 could hardly raise their legs and had bad asthma this is quite an achievement. He has even got my Dad, Mum and little brother involved so that only Mum is yet to be a black belt – no pressure there then Mum.

So what is it about Mr K that I admire ? Well 3 things come to mind.

First, he gets along with everyone. He can make instant friends with a nervous 5 year on his first lesson, charm their Mums ( Mums just love him – something to do with the biceps I understand) and be best mates with their Dads. It doesn’t matter which bit of Leeds you come from or even a posh place like Harrogate- he just gets on with everyone.

Secondly he is a really good teacher. As an end user of teachers ( if that is the correct expression) I have realised that teachers come in all varieties and that some a better suited to me than others. Mr K style suits me. He is patient and funny. He pushes you hard but never too much so ( well, I have seen the odd person be sick) . He is strict but never nasty. He can even get 15 year old boys on side which I understand is quite an achievement.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, he can bring out the best in his students. He believes in each one of us- sets us challenging goals and makes us achieve them. Now that doesn’t always come easy – no pain ; no gain as they say but it is worth it. When I graded to black belt it was the toughest hour of my life. I felt wrung out at the end and even the skin was peeling off the bottom of my feet but I was on cloud 9.

I don’t think you can put a price on someone who can make you feel that good about yourself. You don’t need a degree or save the world to be an inspiration to people. Just be a nice regular kind of guy who likes people and gives them the most important thing in the world – time. It is a true skill.