That’s the approach to training we promote.
Just the other day we had the pleasure of acknowledging Tom & Debbie’s training anniversaries. 18 years for Tom & 14 years for Debbie. We thought it would be a good chance to share a little bit of their stories and how it relates to our Karate 4 Life Philosophy.
For some people it’s about learning karate for self defence, to be able to save your life, protect yourself and loved ones, should the need ever arise.
For other people their training is to improve the quality of their life as a means of regular exercise, getting involved with the dojo community and forming strong, supportive friendships.
For the parents of a lot of our young students and even for many of our adult members, karate is a vehicle for personal development. It’s a great way to form good habits and good manners. It also teaches students how to work hard and persevere when things get tough.
Over time, the reasons that people train change as they age and their circumstances in life change.
Back when we first started teaching karate on the Sunshine Coast we held classes in a number of different community halls before establishing a full time dojo. One of those was the Bli Bli community hall. On the very first night we started teaching along came Tom & his 2 sons who were still in primary school at the time.
Over the years all of Tom’s family joined the dojo and trained with us for some time, including his wife and 3 other kids too. Now it’s just Tom training though. He hasn’t moved through the ranks very quickly but he’s still going. In fact it was only just last month he graded to 1st kyu, the final step before black belt.
This is quite unusual to be training so long and still not yet up to black belt. But for Tom karate is just a small (but important) part of his life. By day he works as a paediatrician and has done since we first met him and tries to balance this with having time with his family.
We’re very grateful that he’s still enjoying his training and still coming to class and sharing his joy of learning.
Debbie also got started at our old Bli Bli dojo. Her story was a little different. Her 2 kids got started first, around the same time as Tom. Debbie sat on the sidelines watching for a few years though. Eventually she decided to jump in an have a go after having her arm twisted just a little bit, and she’s never looked back.
Her son Rhys was one of our vey first black belts and was an assistant instructor at the dojo for a few years before he moved to the Gold Coast.
Debbie earned her black belt a few years ago and proudly holds the record in our dojo as being the oldest black belt 😉 We won’t give away her exact age, but she retired a few years ago and she’s been keeping active walking various trails around the world. But when she’s in town she’s always back in the dojo.
Just this week she returned to the dojo after taking some time off to trek from Perth to Albany in WA, 1000km walking over 6 weeks.
Thank you Tom & Debbie for being an inspiration to us and everyone who has the pleasure of training with you.
We are very grateful to still have you both in the dojo enjoying the journey with you and sharing in your life adventures too for so many years.
We are looking forward to lots more years to come.