The latest newsletter (March 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 – March 2018 Newsletter (PDF 4.3MB).
SCK is expanding
Easter Family Picnic & Training Day – Sunday, 25th March
Upcoming Events (Mar – April 2018, plus all 2018 gradings, tournaments & camps)
Committed To Black Belt
Sign On Day Success
Little Champions – Timothy Probert (17 lessons)
Karate Kids – William Baarslag (19 lessons)
Teens/Adult: Justin Otto (21 lessons)
Welcome New Students
Quotes of the Month
Committed To Excellence
Tayah Thompson (Certificate – 2 years training at SCK)
Miguel & Faith Hardy (Bronze Medal – 3 years training at SCK)
Matai Doughty (Silver Medal – 5 years training at SCK)
Sami Phillips (Gold Medal – 7 years training at SCK)
With the help of local builder, Stuart from Mack Builders, and the support from existing members, we are currently adding a second training space to our existing facility.
Below are a few photos that were taken a few weeks ago. Things have progressed further since these photos were taken, and we’ll share more updates in upcoming weeks.
A big thank you to Stuart for giving so freely of your time and expertise. Without your advice and assistance we wouldn’t even be this far along. If anyone is looking for a builder on the Sunshine Coast, we’d highly recommend Stuart.
This competition is open to all kids of the Sunshine Coast aged 4-13 years. Even if you aren’t a member of Sunshine Coast Karate we look forward to meeting you when you drop in to return your artwork. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!
Winner(s) will receive a $30 gift voucher that can be redeemed at one of the following stores:
“May all women be free to dream, express, create and live their deepest heart’s desires.”
~ Amethyst Wyldfyre
The following message is a gift from me to you. As we continue to navigate our way through life individually and together, know that you have all that you will ever need within you, to live fully and inspire all who are fortunate enough to enjoy your company.
You are special, you are of value, you are enough and you are here right now to add your special flavour to make this world a greater place to be.
So, together, let’s let go of “fear”, excuses and anything else that has been holding you back.Let’s make this day, a day you will remember.A day when you allowed yourself to feel “courage”, a day when you chose to stand tall, breathe deeply and step into a life filled with joy, love and hope.
It is my hope that every person I meet, will find joy and a spark in their life that leads them to great adventures filled with much love and laughter.If you are reading this message now, that includes you.
I’ve come to appreciate that when we take steps forward into the unknown we can be met with challenges.Challenges that can lead us to the darkest times. Times of isolation and the burden of walking through life feeling crippled by mental health issues and harmful habits.At these times it can seem that there is no other option other than to give up and let go of any hope or joy that may have existed in your life.It can be a time when we look externaIly for relief, a “time out”.But, there never seems to be anything that takes the pain away.
I wholeheartedly don’t believe these challenges are meant to keep us down or destroy us, but I do believe that our personal challenges will strengthen us and take us to greater places and greater experiences.We just need to come to realise and appreciate who we are.The power within us is great and can lead us to a life of stability and calm.It may take effort to learn about yourself and strengthen from within, but in time when you combine your knowledge with your growing strength, you can and will change your life forever.
I also believe it is important to be patient with each other, practice forgiveness and the acceptance of others, although at times it can be difficult.Above all, I believe life begins and ends with respect. In the presence of respect (self, others and surroundings) we can welcome greater harmony and abundance into our lives.Although life is not always comfortable as we are stretched and expanded into a better version of ourselves, in my mind at least, it always seems to be worth it in the end.
I also believe that anyone with the “power of intention” can do great things. When you “think” about good intentions, you allow yourself to plant seeds of hope, love, joy and abundance.When you “act” on those good intention, your life will feel warmer and you will put yourself to bed at night feeling more satisfied and accomplished.When you “speak” of good intentions, you connect, inspire and lift others up.
When you choose to live intentionally in all areas of your life, you will find yourself “leading by example”.This is one of the most powerful and positive ways to influence others, especially those that you love and may want to help most.When you lead by example, you create a mountain of good energy which propels you forward to not only achieving your dreams, but you will be equipped to gently guide others as they come to know the power that is within them.
Putting the Power of Intention to Work in Your Life
1. Choose to have the intention to strive to become your best version, no matter what challenges are presented. Some of the worlds greatest leaders and people, started out with “tough times” but their intention drove them to bring out their best.
2.Choose to have the intention to care deeply about others.Some of the worlds greatest leaders and people demonstrate great respect and have become responsible in inspiring and influencing so many others to live more fully each and every day.
3.Choose to have the intention to make today a great day.Some of the worlds greatest leaders and people plan out their day. They fill it with all the things they see as being important in bringing our their best, bringing out the best in others and making this world a great place to be.
4.Choose to have the intention to treasure each moment.Some of the worlds greatest leaders and people develop a mindfulness which allows them to treasure each moment, activating all their senses and truly embracing the experience before them with much gratitude.
Will you become one of the worlds greatest leaders? This I cannot answer, but you do have all the qualities within you to be a great person and a great leader in this world. It all comes back to the decisions that you make each moment of each day.
What do you choose to think, do and be today? Some days, you will nail it and have the most perfect day and other days it will feel as though you have fallen off your horse. But, for as long as you keep getting back up on that horse you will experience progress.
Crafting the most extraordinary person you will ever meet (YOU) takes time, effort and patience.Avoid rushing, and instead learn to enjoy the journey, enjoy being a work in progress and SMILE LOTS EVERYDAY!
“Here is to strong women.
May we know them.
May we be them.
May we raise them.” ~ Unknown
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.
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.
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:
Students refer to the instructors as “Sensei” and senior students as “Senpai”.
If you need to capture the attention of instructors (you may need an additional water break etc), you can put your hand up or if you have a leader close by you can ask them for help.
After instructors have given instructions, if students understand what has been explained, you’ll often hear the students respond with “hai”.
When students line up at various times throughout the class, you’ll notice how students line up in order of level.
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.