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A Sneak Peek Into Sensei Sandra’s Life


To help get a little more practice with blogging before going to Japan I thought I’d share some of the special places where I spend a lot of my time.  Many students have asked me what I do in my spare time so here is a sneak peak.  To put things into perspective, each day I am continually exploring my life and how I can further grow in order to serve others.  Sounds simple, but I love serving others.  I love seeing people smile, I love seeing people grow in ways which literally transform their lives and the lives of their families.

Since having Sami and Steven come into our lives I have been on a quest to not only be a great role model at the dojo in order to help our students (extended family) but I have also extended this to our family home in all that I do.  How can I be a better role model for my children?  What miracles could I perform each day that will help them enjoy their day and be the best they can be.  And yes, I make a lot of mistakes.  Just ask Sami and Steven, but my heart is in the right place as I continue to understand myself (mind and body) and how I can become a better version of myself and contribute in a positive way in our community.

I feel grateful everyday to be studying Chito-Ryu Karate-do as it has provided me with one amazing vehicle to grow myself each and everyday.  I love being a student and I love learning everyday.  It is also humbling to know that my continual investment of time and energy into karate and self development is helping others in some small way.

The first picture below is a place in which I find myself lost in the moment time and time again.  It is a place where I enjoy some of the most amazing break throughs whilst at the same time it is a place in which I am continually seeking further improvement and understanding of myself and my studies of Chito-Ryu Karate-Do.  Some days I find myself rattled by the external world that I find myself just sitting in seiza and breathing.  Other times I am so shaken by the external world that I can’t complete a training session (or even start) so I’ll often find comfort with my family at these times and get back to my life basics.

To spice up the training experience at home sometimes I get to throw Martin around and other times Sami and Steven will get the stop watch out.  But for the most part, I’ll train on my own, listen to my thoughts, listen/feel my body and allow myself to be consumed by the training experience.  I really love the meditative state of training these days and feeling myself re-energising as my mind and body work together harmoniously to enrich the quality of my life.  A great way to start the day and at times finish the day.


Home Dojo
Our Home Dojo


I love to have a set training program (especially when working towards specific events) which I’ll update every few weeks and other times I’ll just get onto a more exploration type program where there is nothing scheduled and I just let things go where they need to go.  The exploration sessions never seem to go where I think I need them to go in order to further refine my technique, yet at the same time it is these sessions which I feel the most present and the most fulfilled on completion.  My most favourite sessions are the sessions in which are similar to how Soke Sensei (International Head Instructor of Chito-Ryu Karate-Do) will teach morning training  when we are in Japan doing our training intensives.

Equipment in our home dojo is quite simple really. Nothing fancy, just a few basic items that I like to play with from time to time. Very similar to the things you will find at our Sunshine Coast Karate facility.  It is also important to have a good team of people to help with the maintenance and cleaning of the dojo.  Especially Martin who is able to clean and smile at the same time.  :>)


Martin cleaning dojo
Martin pretending to clean the home dojo


What would a dojo be without the appropriate air conditioning.  We didn’t need to install an air conditioner in our current home as it came as a standard feature.  Training with the air-conditioner can be a lot of fun especially on weekends.  We have a lot of kids in our street that seem to find themselves at our house from time to time.  I think Martin scared some of the little girls one day when we were caught enjoying some kumite (not the norm in most households).  Can only imagine what they told their parents when they went home.  Sami and Steven’s dad is beating up their mum….  Luckily most of our neighbours are aware of our passion of karate so we haven’t had any police rock up at this point to break up our kumite matches.


Home Dojo View
Home dojo air conditioning


Below is a picture of my study area.  It is actually attached to the dojo so I can move between training and journal writing if something comes up that I feel is important to review further or share with others.  My study area is removed from our general living area so it allows me to once again get lost in whatever I am focusing on at that time.

And yes, I can also be a good housewife and keep the washing (laundry next to study) moving whilst I’m training, studying or working on key projects.  As Martin would say it is very important to get up and stretch those legs every now and then and you shouldn’t sit in front of the computer for too long.  I guess I might as well do the washing.

In case you are wondering what I have stuck to my desk.  Hiragana and Katakana tables.  I enjoy studying a little Japanese on the side as I feel it is important to better connect with Soke Sensei and other Japanese instructors when I am in Japan.  I have a long way to go with my studies but little by little I’ll get there.


Home Dojo Study
Study area attached to dojo. Martin has my study area next to the laundry so I can keep up with the washing. Just joking. I like to be close to the dojo.


Being a quiet kind of person I like nothing more than to sit outside and watch the grass grow.  I love being amongst nature and taking a few minutes to breathe.  As I am the sort of person that could happily work all day, I make a point to stop and sit outside and just breathe for a few minutes.  Life can be hectic but having a few moments like this each day to enjoy a chapter of a good book, have a quick snack, enjoy a chat with family etc all helps to keep me energised and feeling more balanced throughout my day.  The days in which I don’t stop to breathe… I can really feel myself moving out of the moment and into the the survival mode of having to get everything done fast.  I can feel tension/stress/anxiety taking over and disturbing my peace of mind.  It’s amazing how a simple thing like breathing can help keep a more natural, peaceful and calm state throughout the day.


Relaxing at home
Chatting with the trees in one of my other study areas when there is too much washing


I hope the above gives you a little sneak peak into the simple life I lead.  I like to position myself in environments that fuel me in a positive way (including the dojo) and allow myself to get into the moment as much as possible so I can tune into myself and work towards becoming a better person, parent, wife, friend and teacher.  In being the best I can be it is my hope that I can help others be the best they can be.

Thank you for reading this blog post and for those people I get to interact with each day (family, friends, students, teachers), thank you for continually inspiring me to be a better person.

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