What Karate Means To Me

My karate journey started around 1990 as a 13 year old boy, where I followed my Dad’s footsteps to join what was then called Shubukai Karate with Shihan and Sensei Lincoln. I trained for approximately 3 years to obtain my green belt. At the time I was preparing to complete my brown belt grading, I was also completing year 10 studies, working part-time at Coles, training and playing competitive cricket on Saturdays and Sunday’s and training and playing basketball. In the end, it all became too much and unfortunately I decided to quit cricket and karate.

In 2011, my then 5 year old son, Jack, told me that he wanted to start karate. I spoke to my Dad about his request and asked if he knew if Shihan was still teaching karate. I wanted Jack to be trained by Shihan as I look back at my previous training as a teenager and believe that it made me a calmer person. I believe this was very helpful as I adventured out into the world as an 18 year old.

Some 4 years later, Jack was still wanting to start karate and at the age of 9, I brought him down to start training with Shihan. On my arrival with Jack, it didn’t take Shihan long to ask me when I was going to start again. I thought about it and decided that if I was going to sit there for 2 hours and watch him train, I might as well join in myself. So the journey began again.

My second journey in karate has provided me with a different look on karate. This time, I have a better understanding of the journey I am undertaking and how deep you need to look to truly understand that you are not just punching, kicking and blocking.

This journey has reflected in my life, physically and mentally. As a 40 year old with a job that is not as physical as I used to do, the stretching and breathing exercises have helped me to stay in good physical and mental condition.

Prior to starting karate, I was working in an accounting firm that was very stressful and required me to sit on a computer for most of the day. I would constantly have back and leg aches from sitting in a computer chair all day and the stress from the job would constantly give me migraines. Attending karate and completing the stretching exercises twice a week, allowed my body to regain some form of conditioning, which removed all the back and leg aches that I used to get. The stress of that job also made me go home from work with migraines at least once a week. By participating in the breathing exercises and chi-kung exercises, this has allowed me to relax during karate to a point which meant I would leave karate at 9pm free of any migraines.

I now look back on my life prior to karate and compare it to my current life style, and can clearly see how much karate enriches my life. The mental stability that karate provides me in my working life, life as a father and life in general is something that I do not want to go without. It is a great feeling to truly have a real sense of belonging and calmness in your life which I believe is all due to my participation in karate.

Thank you to my son Jack for pestering me to allow him join a karate club and thank you to Shihan for approaching me whilst watching Jack train and offering to teach me our form of Karate under Sensei Tsubamoto.

By Nathan Daws 15th September, 2018

Nathan Daws began training at Shushinkai karatedo on 5th March, 2015, at age 38 years. He was graded to Shodan on 6th October 2018, at age 41 years.