Kung Fu kid to Karate black belt

Karate a Family Affair
From being bullied to black belt

My journey begins a long time ago in a county far far away, I was 4 years old and a prep at Milby Primary School, Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England. I was looking for an after school activity, when mum came to me with a newspaper advert for Kung Fu training at Little Ninjas, Sil Lum Kune Martial Arts Academy. Although I remember very little about Sil Lum Kune but I do have memories of training under the instruction of Sifu Paul Burkinshaw.

He was strict with us but taught us strong values of discipline, respect, confidence, hard work and dedication. I also remember clearly sparring junior black belts during my grading to red belt (5th kyu) and it feeling quite daunting. Back then I was very fit, we used to train for an hour and a half each class three times a week and for the last 20 minutes we would spar. My favourite move was the axe kick. I trained there for two full years and during that time, I developed social skills that helped me at school such as, respect for my teachers and other pupils and discipline with my school Work

In 2009 I left to move with my family to the great land of Aus. We settled and I started attending Roslyn Primary School, but within less than a year I started missing the fun and discipline of the dojo. When I came home from school one day, mum told me she had heard about a dojo in Grovedale called Seido Karate. I began my introductory class the next day on the 1st of March 2010. I felt like new horizons had opened up for me. I loved learning this new form of martial arts as it felt strangely familiar, yet many of the moves were rather different. Along with Shihan, I received a lot of help from the Senpai’s and seniors which really gave me the sense of belonging which I had missed. I soon became more comfortable with the new style. I had missed the dojo etiquette and the feeling of confidence that I get when I train. In the first week of joining it surprised me how unfit I had become. Straight away I attended three classes per week and quickly regained my stamina. This really helped me with my asthma which encouraged me to work harder.

I also started weapons at Brown belt as I wanted more out of Karate and weapons seemed like the perfect choice so I started off at Bo training and learning that alongside normal Karate was fun to say the least. I managed to learn three of the weapons before grading to black belt and learning two more since then. My aim is to eventually reach weapons level 10 so that I can help teach weapons if needs be. Since reaching Shodan I have done so many thing at Shiryodo like doing self defence demonstrations with Senpai Connor, Senpai Ainsley and Senpai Tim, helping at NAS multiple times and continuing to show contribution at kyu gradings.

Since then, I have developed my skills in karateka learning kata and combinations. Shiryodo has also made me a better person with moral values. At school I use meditation to block out unwanted noise in the classroom which helps me to remain calm and focus on my work. However, sometimes this does backfire when I also drown out the teacher. Over the years of training at Shiryodo Karate and being counselled by the fantastic seniors I have become the student I am today.

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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