From being bullied to black belt

Kung Fu kid to Karate black belt
Two get junior Black Belt

On the 30th of May 2011 I started training at Shiryodo Karate. I had trained for a short time as a kid at Seido karate. I was going through a rough time in my life. I felt like my life had no meaning any more. I had never liked team sports but wanted some exercise and to get out of the rut my life was in. Since I had done Seido karate my mother suggested I give Shiryodo Karate a try. Since it was very similar. I thought what the hell I may as well give it a go. The 2 intro classes went very well I felt from previous training it seemed very familiar. When I started to train with the uniform it was a strange feeling I was no longer just Dylan, I was Dylan who did karate. I found by training it changed other parts of my life.

I felt like I wanted to eat better,excersize more, I wanted to be healthy, fit and strong. As I started to train more and graded to blue belt I found it difficult to keep up with the others. I believe I am very intelligent but learn in different ways to most people. Sensei Cynthia who was a first kyu at the time helped me to realize that we are all learning and just to stick with it and I will get there in the end.

I had a hard time growing up. I was badly bullied at school and have been bashed up several times as a child and a teenager. This made me bitter and angry with the world. Shortly before I started training at Shiryodo Karate, I cut ties with all my so called friends. As a lower belt people were nice to me and I felt very welcomed in the Dojo. I was quite shy and anti social in the beginning. By being around lots of different people I grew to open up and come out of my shell. My confidence started to grow again for the first time in a long time. It was nice to interact with other people and then just go home and do my own thing. As I went through the belts my confidence and reflexes improved dramatically.

I now feel safe to walk around at night with out carrying a weapon or wearing heavy rings. I feel confident that I can that I can protect myself and my loved ones.
When I started at Shiryodo Karate I was 68kg and 185cm tall unhealthley skinny.
Now I am 90kg 187.5 cm a healthy weight with good muscle tone. The strength and muscle developed while most of the time having fun training.
Over the years I have had a few incidences with some people especially when being hit in the head sparring, it triggered memories of being bashed up.
I have learned to control these emotions with the patients and guidance of Shihan Malcolm. I have also been conditioned and can be hit quite hard with verry little impact. I have built up a high tolerance to pain. At times it has been difficult it is not all fun and games, but the challenges I have faced throughout the years have helped me grow in mind, body and spirit. I would and have recommended Shiryodo karate to many people, family and friends throughout my years here.

I never thought I would make it this far but like our motto a black belt is just a white belt that never gave up.

By Dylan B.


Malcolm Ayles
Shihan Malcolm Ayles
The question I constantly ask myself is how can I help this person... what can I do to empower them, help them focus, help them become the best they can be.

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