What Karate Means To Me
One class, just after I joined Shushin Kol. Shihan said that everyone is ordinary and some people choose to be extraordinary. "Ordinary people do ordinary things but extraordinary people do extraordinary things" he said. This was then followed by saying that everyone in the class was extraordinary because they weren't at home watching TV or playing the computer. They were at class learning new things and were becoming extraordinary. In my mind I disagreed, I thought that being a karate member wasn't extraordinary at all; it was just a hobby ...
I have now been a member of Shushin Kai for 3 and a half years. Overall I have been doing karate for about 6 years and have been to three different clubs. It was not until I joined Shushin Kai where I have begun to learn true martial arts and how through years of training it really can help with your life and make you an extraordinary person.
I have achieved so much in the past few years and I know that being a member of Shushin Kai karate has helped me to do this. Many people have called me an 'overachiever'. I have won scholarships, many sporting awards and academic awards. These things have not come easily. By regular training, Karate has helped me to learn commitment and persistence. None of these awards I have received could have been achieved without these skills. I have learnt that when you are not in the mood to do something, you just need to endure it and keep going. From starting as a 10th Kyu and eventually becoming a 1st Kyu, I have found that if you truly are determined and put effort into training you can improve so much and achieve what you set your mind to. I think this determination and spirit will help me to become a better person and also will assist in achieving my goal of becoming a doctor.
Through karate I have gained confidence. A few years ago I was very unsure of myself. I hated doing orals at school, performing in front of others and even competing in athletics events to the point where I would feel sick and even sometimes break down. Karate has helped me through this particularly by going through gradings and teaching the class. Now I am able to perform in front of others in ease.
This year I performed a piano solo in front of over 700 people and I know that karate was one of the main reasons why I was able to do this. With that in mind, I realised I still have a long way to go but I am very proud of my improvements.
Karate has helped me in many ways so far in my life. At times I have gone to class with a problem or feeling stressed. Being at karate training has helped me to relax and to take a break from my concerns. In a way karate has been a good outlet and an 'escape' from the outside world. On countless times my problems have been solved by going to karate and learning something that coincidentally has helped me to find the answers for which I had been looking.
Quite recently I have learnt the importance of communication and being independent. I am a quiet person, it is who I am. But karate has shown me the need to speak up when you need to and not to be concerned about others' perceptions.
Karate has also enabled me to have a constant 'connection' to Japan. My mother is Japanese and before I joined karate the only times I truly saw or experienced the culture was when I visited Japan every few years. By taking up karate it has enabled me to remind myself of some of my heritage and allows me to keep in mind some of my family who live so far away.
Looking to the future I am very excited to move into the next stage of my karate journey. I know I have a long way to go and things will not always be easy. There have been many times where I have thought of quitting but I am glad I have persisted. I know that I have made the right choice in being a member of Shushin Kai. I want to continue karate for many more years and I am certain I will keep enjoying it and will learn many more valuable lessons and continue to be extraordinary
By Nicole Georgiadis, 1st October, 2009
Nicole Georgiadis began training Goju Ryu with Shushin Kai on 16th February, 2006, at age 13 years. She was graded to Shodan on 29th November, 2009, at age 17 years. She was awarded Nidan on 5th October 2013.