“Please don’t hate me, I’ve signed us all up.  Someone will call you in a few minutes.  *heart emoji*

That was the text message I received from a friend of mine. signed us up for what?

Errant thoughts of timeshare in a dodgy apartment we could ill afford or committing to sell some kind of cleaning product, ran through my mind.  I mentally prepared a few reasons for refusal before my phone rang as promised. 

Karate.  My friend had signed us all up, her family and mine, to do a three month trial.  Seriously, who does that?  I remember saying to the guy on the phone amidst an anxious chuckle or two, surely that’s just for kids?  I don’t think I’m really built to do karate, I’m not really sporty, in fact I can’t even do aerobics because I am so unco-ordinated…he had an answer for all of my misgivings.

The only reason I relented was because I knew my friend would be there beside me to share in the indignity of it all, and boy was I gonna make her suffer.  However, despite my apprehension I was a bit excited when I hung up the phone, I love trying new things.  Until I realised I had completely forgotten about the biggest hurdle of them all.  I had to break the news to my husband.

It took some convincing but never underestimate a woman on a mission.

Our first class was over 7 years ago and we’ve never looked back.

Karate Training as a Family.

As parents we tend to arrange new experiences for our children, pay the fees, buy the uniforms, drop them off and pick them up or endure the hour (if you’re lucky) by sitting in the car with the air-con on. 

There are few other sports or recreation activities that you can all do as a family and literally train side by side.  To Wayne and I as parents, it means that we have created more “family time”, been able to join in with Abby and present ourselves as role models, as she herself becomes a role model for other students.

We have practised kata on the beach and in the park, we have had sparring matches on the back lawn and fine-tuned technique in our lounge room. We’ve attended every grading together.  Hours of laughter, concentration and frustration – hours of valuable time spent together.

From Child to Young Adult.

Our daughter was about 8 years old when we started this journey and to watch her grow in confidence has been a marvellous thing, spreading through to other parts of her life, as well as improvements in her school work. 

Not only does she have a new peer group that is separate from her school life, she also has a large number of adult mentors, karate aunts and uncles, who fill an important role that we as parents can’t.

We’ve watched her learn valuable qualities that are equally important in the dojo as they are in everyday life.  How to be humble, how to accept defeat and how to win graciously.  How to push through ups and downs, how to persist and persevere, and that to approach things with a spirit of determination and joy will create a positive outcome.

Now she’s 16 and growing into a young lady, juggling school, karate and friends.  She is now teaching what she has learned to the next generation of young karate-ka who will inspire her and be inspired by her.  She is already on her way to creating a legacy of her own at such a young age.

Life with GKR Karate.

GKR is a family business that specialises in families and is indeed a club for everyone.  Regardless of age, physical abilities, or fitness level there is a place for everyone to learn the art of karate.  From the first moment we learned to tie our belts, we’ve had someone beside us, gentling guiding, encouraging and offering support. 

The physical benefits of any exercise is obvious but karate has become so much more.  It maintains our health and fitness, makes us interested and interesting, and allows us to be social.  Now, as instructors we are able to pass on what we’ve learned to others and hope it will impact positively on those whose path we have crossed.

GKR is a lifestyle because you very quickly become more than just a student – you become a part of something special.  What’s there not to love about that?


GKR Competition Region 29