Many of you will have either trained alongside or been taught by Sensei Kuba. He has the pleasure to move between all the clubs to get to know so many students, so this is our chance for you to get to know him.
Let’s start by finding out how is love for martial arts started and what led him to start his journey with Xen-Do.
How long have you been training in martial arts?
When I was a young teenager there were only 2 options to choose from in the town where I grew up in Poland, Karate and/or Judo. I chose Judo as it was the closest one to where I used to live and I trained there for a few years, but at one point while growing up I simply got bored of it. I moved to London in 2010 and I started to think about going back to martial arts quite a long time after my teenage years. When I started to realise that I need some exciting, disciplined activity and this took me to Xen-Do where I joined as a student in June 2017.
Have you always been interested in martial arts?
Well, sort of. I grew up in the ’90s and if you grew up in the ’90s there is no way you didn’t see any of the classic action movies where there were martial arts involved. So, if watching all the action martial arts movies, and then trying to practice all of those moves on your older brother in the room until someone hurts himself, we can call it being interested in martial arts, then count me in!
What are your hobbies besides martial arts?
FOOD, of course! Originally, I am a qualified professional chef with over 14 years of experience in the industry which is why food has always been a huge part of my life. Whenever there is a chance I travel to new places, or I simply go out to eat to find new, interesting bars, restaurants, or street food places where I can discover new flavours and dishes.
Even though I stepped out of hospitality, it doesn’t mean I stopped cooking. I cook at home basically all day, every day, and I am always trying to play with some new ideas, maybe develop something new or I just stick to the classics, depending on the mood! On top of this, putting together my knowledge, skills and experience from being a chef with health and well-being, naturally I came up with more interest in nutrition and good eating habits which moved me into studying and educating myself in this field.
What was your biggest challenge as a martial artist?
I would say the biggest challenge is always becoming better than I currently am, keep moving forward, and breakthrough my own limits no matter what.
How did you find out about Xen-Do?
I was looking for a martial arts club for a good while, at the time I was still working as a chef. I wanted to change a lot about my health and well-being, do something which is going to push my limits and bring me a proper satisfaction after. I couldn’t find anything that would give me what I was looking for until HR from my previous job send an email with a Xen-Do offer for martial arts clubs in Central London. I thought this could be an interesting place, so I contacted the dojo on Goodge Street for my trial class, somehow survived it, and here I am!
About the transition from student to Sensei?
After 2 years of blood, sweat, and tears, pushing my limits I graded for my black belt which was absolutely a satisfying achievement that if someone would ask me a few years before if I would do something like this, I would say it’s mad! At one point I started to think that if I did it, maybe I could do something more and change something more in my life. I knew that there were some ex-students at Xen-Do who became Senseis at one point and I started to think that maybe there is a chance for me to work for Xen-Do as a Sensei too. I’ve had a chat with the team about it, I have been given a chance to prove myself which I took and here I am today!
What is the best thing about being an instructor?
There are a lot of good things about being an instructor and it is really hard to say which one is the best, to be honest. From having interaction with our students, meeting a lot of different people from all around the world, teaching them everything I have been taught those years, through hard training with other instructors under Master Raf’s eye who is making sure that we are on top of the game, and we won’t have much of an energy left after the training, loving it ;)!
Are you aiming to compete in the next Spanish Open?
Well, who knows