Karate is a very physical activity with all the fighting and defending, but not many people realise it’s not just about being fit and strong, it’s about easing away from modern life and putting your mind towards all of your goals. That’s something I like, because I have a lot going on evolving around me. The meditation we do helps a lot with this.
From this day writing, tomorrow is actually the black belt pre grading. I honestly am not very nervous, because karate has helped me build up confidence. Before I did karate, I could barely stand up in front of my class at school. That is only about twenty five students. But now at karate on my last grading I stood up and did one of my katas in front of about thirty people, maybe more. So I truly appreciate that one. I even was lucky enough to win a trophy when I took part in a kata competition at the dojo.
With karate you get to learn Japanese terms for all of the techniques. I think I am pretty good at that, and it is a nice thing to know multiple languages. We not only learn techniques, we also learn the numbers, and I can actually count to ninety nine in Japanese, just from learning eleven numbers being 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 45. So that’s pretty cool. We also learnt one small word with many definitions, that being osu. I probably say it a hundred times every day I go to karate it’s that substantial.
I rather enjoy when we do our board breaking, it’s quite fun, and it conditions my hands and feet. Last time I came to do it I broke one of the adult size boards, and also a board that wasn’t good for breaking because it was too stiff. Shihan said it was like breaking three at once which is a great achievement. I have one half of every board I’ve broken all on a shelf in my bedroom. They all have the words ‘osu well done’ on them and signed by Shihan with the year they were broken. I have broken boards on display for each of the years that I have performed this feat i.e. 2015, 2016 and 2017. I also enjoyed the jumping side kick competition.
Another challenging part of karate is learning weapons. I have graded in Bo, Kali, Nun-chucks, Machete and Sword.
I have made a lot of great friends at the dojo. We all support each other in training, as we learn new skills together.
My mum always takes a traditional photo on each of my grading days and even has a picture of me on the night of my first ever karate class!
I would recommend to everyone to learn karate – it’s awesome!
By Brody Marin