As a young girl I grew up resisting sport, as in Australia it is so important that it has become an unhealthy national obsession. I was more interested in visual arts at school and had just one friend who sort of secretly did Karate without even telling me. Beyond that I knew little about this martial art.
My husband had already practiced the sport as a child and again briefly while in Germany as a student. He decided to take it up again, along with our two eldest children just a couple of years ago. I saw how it improved my husband’s health and how it brought confidence to our children in a variety of different ways. Observing them practicing I couldn’t help but get involved but tried my hardest just to watch. Our son enjoyed this being his time with Papa and I didn’t want to disturb that, but I was intrigued and couldn’t help wanting to give it a go.
So fast forward to the summer of 2016 and I became a karateka. I didn’t expect it, but somehow it just suited me. The philosophy, the combination of body, mind and spirit – the rhythm. It all just felt right. I love it when things comes together. I found that I enjoyed the movements and learning to control my body in a different way. I am also getting exercise and just feel physically better. It helps clear my mind also and I am learning a way to defend myself if I ever need that. It is actually liberating.
The way that it is a form of art is also important to me. Learning and performing a Kata is not just about practicing techniques to defend yourself, but it is also a performance that, when done well is very beautiful to watch. You must imagine the opponents as you move and your entire body, your breath, your physical and mental strength are involved. The Kata is my favourite part about Karate as it is almost a battle with yourself, encompassing art, sport, mind and spirit.