One term turned into 6 years

Grading to black belt at 11
Geelong After Dark

In 2013 I was chosen by my teacher and principal to be funded to try a new sport for a term. I chose to try Martial Arts, something out of the ordinary for me. At the time I was dancing and had been doing that for 6 years. Shihan had told me that “dance would help with karate” and it did! I soon realised that Karate was far more than just a sequence of moves though.

The comradeship that comes with Shiryodo Karate has been a bonus. I have met new people and made friends of all ages. All the students that I have come across at Shiryodo have taught me something and I have learnt many new things along the way.

Karate has helped boost my confidence and go for opportunities in and out of school that I would have not normally gone for. For a short while I assisted in teaching lower belts, I loved working with everyone and watching them grow or further themselves in Shiryodo. It also inspired me to apply for a leadership, white water rafting camp in Gippsland in 2018. Just recently interviewed for the 2019 leadership camp. Shiryodo has helped me to strive for these.

When I first started I was so nervous but after learning to do one middle punch. My enthusiasm kicked in, the effort that goes into the kiai makes me feel powerful. In training this is where I’ve learnt a lot of respect and etiquette. Keeping in mind consideration for my Sensei’s, Senpai’s and each other’s comfort and safety level whilst in training.

Watching the black belts train with such precision and enthusiasm continues to inspire me to do my best and pushes me to achieve the most I can. Last year I was so close to quitting because I didn’t want to carry on with sparring. Shihan spoke to me about the quality of finishing what you start. Knowing that years of hard work and wanting to get my black belt someday that I know I would have regretted it in the future. With everyone at the dojo, family and friends encouragement I am glad that I have continued with karate and have enjoyed karate since making that decision.

Starting karate I knew I was going to learn a new language, Japanese. I was nervous to learn, not knowing how to pronounce them properly, or not remembering when a Sensei or Senpai asked me. I have now grown, having a lesson recently on how to say them properly has helped me so much.

By Mia Feldman

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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