My chosen martial art is Gōjū-Ryū Kenkyukai. It is an art form, a way of defending ones self and ones loved ones, it is a pathway to physical fitness, it is a pathway to mental stability, but most importantly it teaches the ideology that life’s struggles, and life in general can be overcome by the simultaneous use of Gō (hard) and Jū (soft). I have attained the rank of Black Belt in both Gōjū-Ryū and Zen Do Kai. I started at Zen Do Kai because I was friends with the Sensei’s son, but my ambitions soon changed from wanting a fun time (I was about 10 years old) to wanting to learn more and more techniques, katas and drills. As the years went by I climbed the ranks, I changed, and it changed me, and the dojo family decided to make a move to more traditional karate. We became members of Gōjū-Ryū Kenkyukai and have connected with the roots of the style by practicing katas and bunkai which are far more ancient than the young katas of Zen Do Kai. This was clearly traditional Okinawan Karate, and it spoke to me on a very personal level, and I began to understand my body and mind better through intense research and vigorous training. But at the time of this sudden self awareness I was not attending classes, I was mentally unwell, and the issues I was hit with by life were too much for my training to make a significant difference, I sought medical assistance. But through that progress of mental training that occurred during that time, I found strength. Only in the last few days. And in three weeks I shall return to classes, as I have mental barriers to break down before I can train again. I am training my body. I am training my mind. Martial arts will enhance my life and restore balance.

‘The key to achieving enlightenment in martial arts is to keep your cup empty, that way you can continue to learn throughout your lifetime’


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