Congratulations to both Faith and Miguel who have recently been awarded with their bronze medallions for training at SCK for 3 years. A great achievement. Well done Faith & Miguel!!!
Congratulations to both Faith and Miguel who have recently been awarded with their bronze medallions for training at SCK for 3 years. A great achievement. Well done Faith & Miguel!!!
Our 2018 Sign on Day may have come and gone, but the memories created will be remembered for a long time to come. If we were to sum up this event in a few words we would have to include, “community”, “team work”, “friendship”, “fun”, “inspirational”, “family”.
A huge thank you to everyone that came along to support this event. Without you here, it wouldn’t have been the same.
Reflecting on a Great Experience
Training started bright and early for our seniors on Saturday morning, followed by a BBQ breakfast, meetings and a little chill time before welcoming students to our Sign on Day.
Our seniors were instrumental throughout the morning leading by example, inspiring all students (members and guests) and sharing some spectacular demonstrations.
Gerard and Nikki came along bright and early to take care of breakfast for our seniors. Gerard and Nikki were later joined by Leanne, Charlotte and Bec. Our BBQ Team kept up with the morning rush in style. Husband and wife team, Gerard and Leanne always do an amazing job organising BBQ’s and are great team leaders for those that step up to help out.
And then, we have our “ladies in red” at the front desk, Debbie, Rosemarie and Karren. These ladies were run off their feet all morning welcoming members and guest to the dojo. I can’t remember the dojo ever being so busy, but they took it in their stride and worked together beautifully to take care of everyone.
Little Champions Class
We kicked off our Little Champions with a belt presentation for Charlie. Charlie is a hard working student who always gives 100%. It was great that she was able to celebrate her achievement with a much bigger audience than normal and inspire our new students trialling classes for the first time.
Our Little Champions were lead by Sensei Martin for this session and every student had a senior student/leader to train along side of for the session. We were extremely impressed by the manners and focus of all of students in this class and very grateful for the support of our seniors and leadership team members who allowed us to provide a more personalised training experience for everyone.
Karate Kids Class
Our karate kids class was jam packed and loaded with fun. Our leaders did an amazing job in this class inspiring all of our young karate kids. Leadership team members took the time to connect with students, train along side of them and offer a few pointers along the way. And, some students received personalised attention from some of our leaders.
We have quite a few photos of this class as well shared on our SCK Facebook Page. Not only do we have photos of the training session but there are also photos of: seniors with new students, family group photos and demonstration photos.
Below is a picture of one of our new families. Annie is an amazing mum being a great example for her kids, James and Lily. Annie not only trains along side of her kids (both Little Champions Class and Karate Kids Class), she also backs it up with training for herself in the adult classes. Way to go Annie!!!
And here is Peter with his son Ethan. Peter has practiced martial arts previously but is enjoying the challenge of learning a new system, Chito-Ryu Karate-Do. Peter trains with his son in the karate kids class. I can’t wait to see them both challenging for their yellow belt in the near future.
Father and son teams who have been at their training for a little while now. Ron & Jackson, David & Daniel. Ron and David also have other children training but we didn’t get them all together this time. Both Ron and David train with their children in the Little Champions and Karate Kids Classes from time to time and keep up with their own training in the adult classes.
Below we have brothers, Jamie and Robbie. They have both come along way with their training since starting and it is great to see them come together supporting each other and growing together. Robbie is currently preparing for his next belt and Jamie has been lifting the bar for everyone in our SCK Leadership Program.
Teens & Adults
Only a few people trialling this class at the Sign on Day but a highly productive training session. Our senior belts shared some valuable insight for all of our new students and junior level students and helped us wrap up a very successful Sign on day. They also inspired us with more great demonstrations.
Below is a picture of Terry and Rika. Both are nearing green belt/white stripe. They both train consistently every week and are a great example of commitment, consistency and great effort. Their training attitude is exceptional and lifts everyone who trains along side of them.
Below is a picture of Bailey and James. James has moved to Brisbane to study at Uni, but does visit the dojo as he can to catch up. Throughout this session we gave James a chance to train along side of Bailey. Bailey is an inspirational and dedicated young man when it comes to his karate training and the perfect person to challenge James for a class.
Below is a moment captured of some of the senior belts performing for our teens/adult class. In the background you can see Senpai Jack, Senpai Keanu and Senpai Matt. In the front we have our young adults Renae and Selina. Both Renae and Selina have black belt in their sights in 2018.
At the end of a long day, Rosemarie and Debbie are able to share a smile with us as they stay back to wrap up their work at the front desk. An amazing effort ladies!!!
The final wrap up for the day was select winner’s of our Sign on Day Competitions and present prizes for those who were there.
$100 Club shop Gift Voucher goes to Anthony Williams
Pum’s Kitchen (Homestyle Thai Food, at Big Top Shopping Centre) for 2 x Meal Vouchers go to Klaudia Caston and Ron Burgess (Alani)
Colouring in Competition:
And the winner is, Tessa Nielsen winning a $30 Gift Card. Below is Tessa’s artwork.
Congratulations to all of our winner’s of our Sign on Day competitions and thank you to everyone entering these competitions.
Until next time, from the team at SCK we thank you for joining us for our 2018 Sign on Day. It has been am amazing adventure these last couple of weeks and we look forward to welcoming all new members into the dojo next week to begin their training at SCK.
It’s a day of celebration today as we enter our final day of our countdown for our 2018 Sign on Day. We have had a lot of fun sharing this countdown with you all and we hope that you have also enjoyed it.
Below, are few photos of some of our team members that you will get to work along side of tomorrow. They are all real people, just like you. They all have their own ups and downs, but what makes them so inspiring to us is their ongoing commitment to grow themselves and have a positive impact on others.
A quality which many of them display ongoing – is the habit of “patience” and choosing to do “productive activities” whilst they wait for their break through moment. There have been times when some of these people didn’t have the strength or know how when it came to helping themselves as they navigated through life’s storms (us included). We don’t always know what to do to push forward towards our goals.
So, what do you do when you feel stuck or you are not clear on your next step? We keep it simple, “we do what we know we can do and let go of the rest”. This varies for people, but a great way is to take the focus off yourself a little and focus on how you can help someone else with the skills and resources that you do have. Helping others, helps you. So many break through moments present themselves when you choose this path.
Another great way is to “keep turning up” and “ask for help”. When you combine this with effort and time, you will bring about change in the perfect way and in the perfect time for you.
We know that you will be inspired by all of these people mentioned in this post when you meet them tomorrow. You may even notice that you have similar qualities and experiences to some of these people. Be sure to make an effort to connect with these people in the dojo. To begin, it only takes a smile.
Sensei Helen O’Grady (Nidan, Jun-Shidoin) celebrating with some of our amazing karate kids.
Senpai Matthew Stevenson (Shodan, Trainee Instructor) enjoying beach training with Senpai Klaudia. You’ll find Senpai Matt helping out in the teen/adult classes.
Senpai Bailey Keefe (Jr Shodan, Trainee Instructor) helping our Little Champions get familiar with bogu training.
Senpai Klaudia Caston (Shodan, Level 2) helping our Little Champions get a little strategic with kumite tag.
Senpai Jack Graham (Shodan, Level 2) helping out some of our intermediate/advanced karate kids.
Senpai Sam Hunt (Shodan, Level 2) sharing a few tips in our teens/adults classes
Senpai Keanu Caston, (Shodan, Level 2) enjoying some team kata practice with Senpai Klaudia and Senpai Sam,
Selina Strazzari, (1st Kyu) enjoying beach training with Byron
James O’Grady (1st Kyu) show casing a few of the Australian Team Uniforms from over the years
Junior Leadership Team Members
All students have the opportunity to participate in our SCK leadership program from 9th Kyu (green, white stripe belt). Pictured below are a few of our junior leaders “making a difference” in the dojo. They are a great help and we hope that they continue on and become instructors in the near future.
At the Sign on day, you will get to see some of these leaders in action. They always amaze us when it comes to balancing “Fun and Focus” in the dojo.
We look forward to seeing you tomorrow.
As promised, today we are going to share with you a little about what you may experience during your free class. Although, we won’t cover everything, but it will give you a bit of an idea.
So, let’s jump straight into it.
1. Entering and Leaving the training area
The picture to the left is the entrance to the training area at SCK. For some, these stairs are the most frightening part of their walk as they enter the training area. For others, it’s a piece of cake and quite exciting.
If it’s all a bit scary, take a breathe with each step. If it’s all a bit exciting, take a breathe with each step. You may be thinking, why the same advice for both?
Quality breathing practice will help you find “balance” and harmony within yourself. It will help you enter a more optimal learning state and it will help you do the things that you know you really “should” do and not allow yourself to be overcome by fear and self doubt.
There are times when we need to cultivate and lift our energy, and there are times when we need to “calm” ourselves. By deliberately breathing and allowing ourselves to feel and hear each breathe, with practice, we can alter our state relatively quickly.
At the top of the stairs, you’ll notice an A frame sign. I’ve taken a photo of it for you so you can read what it says (see below). Students will kneel down in a position known as “Seiza” and they will simply take a moment for themselves to slow down and once again pay attention to their breathing.
On the A frame poster there are 5 easy to follow steps for you to ponder on entering and leaving the dojo. Once you have taken a moment for yourself, you’ll notice students doing a meaningful bow before standing up and moving into the dojo. It’s not uncommon to see students bow towards the front of the dojo and in the direction of the instructor before moving into the training space.
2. You are in the dojo. What will you see?
Although we are unsure of how many people will be in attendance on the Sign on Day, we can give you a look at what the SCK training area looks like during one of our weekly karate kids classes. There is a toilet and shower facility in the back corner of the dojo for students to use and a tap on the far side that you can refill your water bottles.
3. Respect in the dojo
There is a good chance that you are going to see and do a lot of bowing, both seated and standing. Our teaching team will do their best to support you, but if our team are occupied helping others, whilst you wait, see if you can follow along with a senior belt. Senior students are usually positioned in the front line.
Two Japanese words you will hear often which express respect to others are as follows.
Please: onegai shimasu
Thank you: arigatou gozaimashita
You’ll also notice some of the following:
4. What’s with all the yelling?
Throughout your study of karate, you’ll be encouraged to develop your kiai, which is a short, sharp yell. Without going too much into what a “Kiai” is, it’s good to be aware that you will hear some shouts at various times of the class. In the beginning you may choose to observe, but in time you’ll soon appreciate the power of developing Kiai as a part of your training.
5. What are they saying?
It’s not uncommon to not understand all of what is being said in the dojo from day one, unless you have experience and knowledge of the Japanese language. You’ll hear a lot of counting from 1 to 10 in Japanese plus various one word commands. We aim to use a mix of both English and Japanese in the dojo. Be patient with all of us as we continue to polish our Japanese skills and of course be patient with yourself as you develop your skills.
6. Summer time!!
It’s good to know that the training area is not air conditioned and can get a little warm. Instructors will vary the teaching program accordingly, but it is also recommended that you stay well hydrated before, during and after classes. Always have water with you and a hand towel is useful.
7. Will everyone be looking at you?
One thing that is important to realise is that many people getting started, worry about what others are doing, and what others might be thinking of them. Once you are on the floor, you will soon realise that everyone is just doing the best they can to grow themselves. The only time you may experience people looking at you, is when we have asked our teaching team or students to assist you.
8. Will I be training with people my own level?
Yes, you will have time to train with people at your own level, and you will have time to train with more senior ranking students. There is so much that we can learn from everyone, so we aim to give students the opportunity to come together and learn from each other. Instructors may give you a technique or a key theme to develop and you’ll work together to improve yourself and each other.
9. What happens when the class finishes?
When it is time to wrap up the class, instructors will have everyone line up and sit in seiza together. Everyone will participate in a brief meditation and recite the “Showa”. You can learn more about the Showa by clicking here.
10. What next?
If you’ve have a great time and would like to learn more and join the Sunshine Coast Karate community, be sure to chat with one of our team before you leave after your trial lesson so that they can help you take advantage of any time sensitive offers available to you for being a part of the Sign on Day.
If it’s not your thing, we would like to thank you for coming along and having a go. We are always grateful to meet new people and have the opportunity to help more people. Please always feel welcome to return to SCK if your circumstances change.
And, tomorrow we welcome our final day of this countdown. After much thinking about what to share, we thought it would be a great opportunity to celebrate the existing students of SCK. Especially those who will be attending the Sign on Day to help you. All of these people have continually inspired us throughout their time at SCK and have been instrumental in making SCK a great place to be. So, when you visit SCK, you will have some familiar faces to welcome you. 🙂
Time has flown by and we are into the final days of our countdown. Only three days to go until many of us will come together for our 2018 Sign on Day. It is shaping up to be a lot of fun, all topped with a free sausage sizzle for you to enjoy.
It can be a little overwhelming for some of us when trialling new activities, where as others are quick to adjust and fit themselves in with ease. No matter what your starting point, this blog post will cover some of the essentials when getting started at SCK. Much of this information is based on the most common questions that have been asked previously by students getting started. In sharing this information with you, it is our hope that we can give you a warm welcome to SCK and help you relax and focus on enjoying your time at SCK.
Let’s get started:
1. When is a good time to arrive at SCK and is their any paperwork to complete?
We always advise that families arrive 10-15 minutes prior to their class. This will give a chance to complete a new student interview sheet (one per person), ask any questions and and get a feel for the facility. If you are trialling one of our later classes, feel welcome to come in early and watch the earlier classes.
At our 2018 Sign on Day, we’ll have an amazing team of ladies at administration. You’ll be able to find them by their red SCK team shirts. They will be responsible for taking care of you before and after your class.
Pictured to the left is Debbie with a few of her biggest fans at SCK. Not only does Debbie do a great job taking care of SCK’s administrative needs, she looks out for all of our karate kids and always has time for a smile and giggle with the kids.
Debbie started out at Sunshine Coast Karate back in 2006 on the sidelines watching her karate kids (now young adults). She continues to support her family with their training goals whilst also extending her support to the wider Sunshine Coast Karate community as our head administrative team member. Debbie will be leading our administrative team at our 2018 Sign on Day along side of Rosemarie and Karren.
2. What should you wear?
Light, comfortable and loose clothing. Be mindful that you may be attempting kicking techniques and various seated stretches so take this into consideration when selecting clothes.
If you choose to join SCK, our admin team will be able to size you up with your very own white Pyjamas (karate gi).
3. What about footwear?
We don’t train with footwear, so we encourage students to wear slip on style footwear to and from the dojo. Before entering the dojo, you’ll be asked to take off all footwear and jewellery. There are storage shelves available to store your personal items. Ask our admin ladies if you need assistance.
3. What else should you bring?
It is always a great idea to bring a hand towel and a water bottle to all classes that you attend. You are welcome to take hand towels and water bottles into the training space with you. Our teaching team will show you where you can store you water bottles when you come in.
Tomorrow, we’ll give you an idea as to what you can expect in the dojo during your free class and we’ll introduce you to some of our leaders who will be doing their best to help you.
With only 4 days to go until our 2018 Sign on Day, we would like to share with you a few life changing skills that can help you take control of your life.
A few years back we had a member who was a school teacher and he turned up in the dojo for one of our day-time classes. We knew he wasn’t on holidays, because it was the middle of the school term, so we had to ask…
“What are you doing here at the dojo in the middle of the day? Aren’t you supposed to be at school?”
He smiled and replied simply,
“I’m taking a mental health day!”
At the time, we didn’t think much more of it, but looking back we can really see wisdom in his approach. In fact, we’ve come to realise that we have a lot of members who use karate as part of their strategy for managing their mental health.
Whether it’s: stress, depression, anxiety, or social isolation. Karate is a great way to help keep you balanced and connected. Of course the exercise element of the training gives you a natural high through the release of endorphins, you get to do something just for yourself and you get to be a part of a positive, uplifting community of people who are serious about growing themselves. When it comes to managing your mental health, training at Sunshine Coast Karate really does tick a lot of the boxes.
Getting started can be quite tricky for some people. New students often feel quite self-conscious and they’re worried that they’re going to make a fool of themselves. Thankfully the reality is quite different. Nearly everyone is so focussed on what they’re doing themselves, that they don’t really get to see what anyone else is doing. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s true.
Recently, one of our karate mums has just started training with her son in the kids class as a way to connect more with her son and also increase her own training. Before she joined the class, her son said it was “OK, as long as you don’t embarrass me”.
Part way through the class, mum tripped and fell. She was feeling a little embarrassed and thought she’d made a fool of herself, until she asked her son at the end of the class, “did you see me fall over?”
And the answer… “No.”
We see this kind of thing happen all the time, students just get so caught up in what they’re doing they really don’t see much of anyone else in the class. Of course there are exceptions, because students are encouraged to train with partners and small groups at times. But even then, most people are still heavily focussed on themselves.
And if you’re ever feeling stressed out, sometimes simple advice is often the best.
Here’s something we say to students, quite a lot, “Just breathe”. At least that’s the first step in regaining control of the emotions and releasing stress from the body. By slowing down the breathing and deliberately working on your mind body connection you can allow yourself to get in the moment, but it all starts with taking time to breathe.
When we see someone getting anxious or stressed out, or when we see unnecessary physical tension, this is always the place to start. Of course, there’s a bit more to it than just breathing. Over time you learn how to breathe correctly, and in doing so, not only do you learn how to manage your stress levels, but you also take greater control of your emotional state.
In the dojo you will also learn how to develop good posture by lifting your eyes up, opening your chest and standing tall, while at the same time staying centred and in control of yourself. Posture is a powerful thing.
But even when when do everything else right, we can still be our own worst enemies by choosing to focus on thoughts and self talk that just breaks us down. Again in the dojo, you will learn to change the inner dialogue and become your own cheer squad.
Every time you train in the dojo you are learning all the skills necessary to put yourself in a peak mental and emotional state. When you take any one of these elements you can quickly make a change. With a little practice, this can completely transform your life.
Here’s a great TED talk covers many of these same topics. When I first saw this video a few years ago, I thought to myself, “this is exactly what we do in the dojo all the time”.
Of course, we’d love to see you at the sign on day this Saturday.
And we could say, Don’t stress out, Don’t worry, Don’t be shy.
We know, if you are going through some challenges right now, it’s not always easy to do what you know you need to and make the necessary changes or try something different.
But…. if any of this sounds familiar or it sounds like you could do with a bit of this in your life. Even if sounds scary or confronting. We really hope you can dig deep and take a positive step forward.
We believe in YOU.
Hopefully we’ll see you at the sign on day this Saturday.
Today we want to talk about the girls in the dojo. Before we get too far into this blog post, I want to be upfront that I’m writing this post from a males perspective, based on 34 years of involvement in Chito-Ryu.
For a long time, most martial arts have been very male dominated. It’s usually men that hold the highest ranking positions, men who make most of the decisions and men who set the culture for most dojos and martial arts organisations.
If you’re a woman or a girl, what I’ve said so far will probably make you want to run in the opposite direction, but hold on for just a minute, we’ve got some really good news for you.
The times are changing and Sunshine Coast Karate is leading the way.
My wife, Sandra & I co-founded the dojo and share many of the roles. As a result I think our dojo culture is very inclusive and encourages girls and women of all ages to feel comfortable.
Although Sandra looks to me as her senior in the dojo (because I started training before her), we’re actually both the same rank, 5th Dan (5th degree black belt) & Shihan (master instructor). Currently, Sandra is the 2nd highest ranked female worldwide in Chito-Ryu. She’s a world champion and an exceptional martial artist. And when I say that, I don’t mean she’s an exceptional martial artist for a woman. She holds that status in anyone’s company, male or female.
As a result of Sandra’s strong influence, a large proportion of our dojo membership is female. And this extends all the way through to the highest ranks. In fact our most senior student who is also an assistant instructor at Sunshine Coast Karate is also female.
With these strong female role models in the dojo, it’s not surprising that we have so many women and girls training. It’s not uncommon for some classes to have almost no men/boys in them.
And it’s not just young girls joining in either, we have teenagers, young women and mums too. Our oldest black belt, Debbie, didn’t even get started training until just before her 50th Birthday after watching her children training with us from the sidelines for a few years.
Last year, we were very privileged to have Minowa Sensei visit our dojo too. Minowa Sensei is the most senior female in Chito-Ryu worldwide. So it was a great opportunity for some of the women of our dojo to get inspired.
With the sign up day just 5 days away, I’d like to put the call out to the girls of the Sunshine Coast. Karate is just as much for you as it is for men. So, come along and have a go. You never know, you may just find karate to be a whole lot of fun.
The latest newsletter (February 2018 edition) is now available for download. Hard copies are available from the dojo or on the dojo noticeboard, or you can view it online – February 2018 Newsletter (PDF 3.2MB).
Download the newsletter now: February 2018 Newsletter (PDF 3.2MB).
As we continue to count down the days until our Sign on Day, we wanted to give you a chance to take a sneek peek at some of the fun we have at our social gatherings. These social gatherings are a whole lot of fun for the whole family and a fantastic way to come together to celebrate and strengthen friendships that begin in the dojo.
Throughout the calendar year we lock in a few social events for members and families to enjoy together:
And, there are a few events that seem to just happen along the way. Here are some of our favourite events that we’ve enjoyed over the years, “Kids Night Out, Parents Night Off”, “SCK Turns Spooky” (Halloween event), Mario Kart challenge nights, sky diving, Mt Coolum walk, Laserzone battles, Trivia Nights and school holiday programs.
Although we have a results driven attitude when it comes to our learning, we love to encourage students to slow down and enjoy the journey along the way. A balance of “Fun and Focus” and bringing families together has become a part of the SCK culture over the years as we all continue to grow ourselves as individuals and as a community.
At the upcoming Sign on Day, you can expect to see and experience a blend of “Fun and Focus.” We can’t tell you what is going to happen, but we can tell you that you’ll have a lot of fun. With an open mind, you will find yourself not only learning some great karate, you’ll make new friends, you are sure to smile and possibly have a good belly laugh with your mates. And, this is all topped off with a free sausage sizzle.
We look forward to seeing you all real soon. Not long now! Until then, here are a few photos taken at previous social events. If you have a few minutes you can browse the many memories captured at previous social events at SCK Facebook.
We can only speak of schools in our local area, but many schools seem to have the Japanese language as a part of their curriculum. Kids who learn Japanese at school and then come to the dojo for the first time, will often catch our attention after class to share their excitement that they can already count to 10 in Japanese.
Seeing the joy and enthusiasm in their eyes is priceless. Many of them instantly feel a sense of belonging and comfort in being at SCK. Even more recently, we have had students share their Japanese language learning with us at the dojo and we’ve been able to develop these words and phrases in the dojo environment with them. It’s a WIN-WIN for everyone on many level as we all come together to learn and grow our skills.
Below is a picture of young Hayden in our Little Champions program having some fun with Soke Sensei from Japan, during his visit to the Sunshine Coast. The kids absolutely love having Soke Sensei visit our dojo and always have a lot of fun.
Practicing the Japanese language in the dojo environment is fun, interactive and memorable for all of us. It provides another layer of learning which encourages all of us to expand our minds, even if we all get a little tongue twisted at times. At first it can be quite difficult, but in time you don’t even notice that there is so much Japanese language being used.
Just over 12 months ago, we welcomed Rika Tsuchida Sensei to the dojo. Rika Sensei is currently teaching Japanese at the Sunshine Coast University and has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of teaching Japanese. As busy as Rika Sensei is, she always seems to find time to help us gain a greater appreciation of the Japanese culture and develop our spoken Japanese skills within the dojo.
Rika Sensei was instrumental preparing our Australian Team members before they set off to Japan last year for the world championships and of course helping us develop some basic skills prior to Soke Sensei’s 2017 Australian Tour. Rika Sensei is also training at SCK and continues to raise the bar for all of us with her demonstration of commitment, self-discipline and enthusiasm to her learning.
Each year, our local association offers a training scholarship for a student to go to Japan and train at the International Chito-Ryu Headquarters in Kumamoto. If you’re interested you can read lots of blogs posts on our association website from past scholarship winners.
So, when you come and try a free class at our 2018 Sign on Day, we want you to be aware that there is a good chance that you are going to hear quite a few Japanese words being thrown around in the dojo. If you don’t understand everything straight away, that’s OK, but it is fun and it adds another element to the traditional aspect of the training.
If you’re the kind of person that likes to feel a little bit prepared, here’s a very short Japanese lesson right now. These are some things that you’ll definitely hear and use every lesson.
Counting 1-10 in Japanese
There’s a wealth of resources online to help. Here’s a short video from youtube to help you practice your counting.
A few other really useful words that you’ll hear and use quite a lot throughout the class are:
Onegai shimasu = please
(Doumo) arigatou gozaimashita = thank you
Here’s another short video lesson that walks through pronunciation and usage.
With just 7 more days to go until the sign on day, we hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about Japanese in our dojo.