2018 was a busy year.
I went to Tasmania (my first time there) to attend the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame (AMAHOF) dinner and to be presented with my AMAHOF black belt.
A great and humbling experience being recognised by your peers.
Then in October I traveled to Naha, Okinawa, for the International Okinawa Goju Ryu Karatedo Chief Instructors training camp.
It was, as always, a great experience training with fellow karateka under the watchful eye of Higaonna Sensei.
Unfortunately when I returned to New Zealand I became ill. I had picked up a virus. I am not sure if it was before my trip to Okinawa, while there or when I got back. I was on antibiotics for 3 months and able to do very little training.
Sadly while I was sick I had to say farewell to a friend, Lee Kwok, who passed away. I met Lee through karate when he was a brown belt. Unfortunately he broke his neck in a car accident in 1977. His break was very high so he was unable to continue his martial art journey.
Lee was an inspiration as he never seemed to be down. His motto was “Enjoy the Small Things”.
2019 has started well with being able to get back into the gym, playing table tennis and back teaching at the dojo three times a week.
The club is looking strong and a few of us are going to Okinawa at the end of July to attend the 2019 World Gishiki & IOGKF 40th Anniversary celebrations.
The event will be headed by Master Morio Higaonna – IOGKF Supreme Master and Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura – IOGKF World Chief Instructor.
It is anticipated that there could be over two thousand participants with accommodation already getting hard to find.
We are continuing to hold our Women’s Self Defence on the last Wednesday of the month and I have been approached to hold some more wheelchair self-defence classes.
Here’s to a good 2019
Regards and best wishes John