Interviews with Karate Experts

As part of a new series for this site, we’re going to share some interesting stories fellow karate enthusiasts have given us.

Your rank: I have a brown stripe belt in Isshinryu Karate.

What was it like to get this far?

In order to get this belt I had to have great attendance, run 5 miles, maintain good grades in school, I had to know how to perform Seisan, Seiuchin, Naihanchi, Wansu, Chinto, Sanchin, Kusanku, Kusanku Sai, and To Ko Meni No Kun No Dai Katas almost flawlessly and participate in tournaments. I also had to write a paper on Isshinryu Karate and break 4 boards with shuto. I have received medals in Kata, Sparing and board breaking.

Brown Belt First Kyu.

I received my brown belt (first kyu) in two disciplines- Jiu-Jitsu and Aikido. I studied both styles for approximately 3 years before my brown belt grading. Reaching this far in my training was a rewarding experience as it was one step away from grading for my black belt. It was even more rewarding being the only female in my class to attain that rank in both disciplines at the time. I started training when I was already in my 20s, so it was always a challenge to keep up with the younger students who were quicker and stronger than me. This actually helped to motivate me as I always wanted to prove that I could do it.

Training was INTENSE!! I actually almost quit once after a serious injury to my jaw during a sparring session that landed me in the hospital!

Katas were not my favorite part of karate, I loved self defense techniques- this is why Aikido was so appealing to me. There is a certain ‘rush’ and feeling of invincibility that comes with flipping a 180lb opponent across a mat!

Attaining new ranks in karate is very validating to all of the hard work that goes into training, but the training itself is the reward. And seeing all your belts on a karate belt display is great.

Your rank: I was a blue belt

I was at first very afraid of going because of movies I had seen with really mean instructors, but Master Dill always said push yourself as much as you can but do not do injury to yourself. I remember the first time I passed a test to move to the next belt (yellow)the amount of pride I had and how empowered I felt. I found it a very rewarding experience.

Your rank and skill: I have a black belt in taekwondo.

The training is very vigrous and learning to block and move become second nature. Stretching is alot to do with it. To get a new belt is a very good feeling especially when you have many people under you. Getting “took” by someone lower ranking belt usually does not happen inless the sizes are way off.

Your rank: Brown currently, but I was yellow at the time of the story.

When I was 8 years old I went to a Karate summer camp in Scotland with my parents for 4 days. During this time I trained for and achieved my green belt. I was previously a yellow belt. The training was fun, we got up every day at 7am, went for a swim and then went to practice Karate for 3 hours in the morning. The afternoons where our own. During this time I learned much. The instructor split us into pairs and had us practice kata, defensive blocking and general fitness. It was quite competitive but a lot of fun and I achieved my best grade yet, probably due to the intensive training with many different people at different levels of expertise.

Your skill level: i earned black a few years ago.

The training was fairly difficult, but because I was young when I began Karate, I was resilient in spirit and body. The katas had to be repeated at least a few times a week, otherwise I began to mix up some of the movements of the lower-level katas with other ones I’d learned more recently.

I think my master unfortunately rushed those of us who had begun together to finish together, and although we were technically capable of the skills necessary to be a black belt, I especially felt that I wasn’t mentally mature enough, and that some of the skills I’d learned weren’t as flawless as I desired them to be.

How far did you make it?: I had the last brown belt.

It is a nice sport, that can help you become more calm and physically stronger.

You are going to learn kata’s and perform them when you do your belt exams and in competitions. It is not an easy sport because you have to learn to do it correctly with breathing included ( took me about 2 months to do this).I was attending karate lessons since the age of 6 and it helped me grow as a person.

All in all i would strongly recommend for everybody to start exercising.

Your rank and Dan?: Black Belt I Dan

How has it been for you?:

I have been doing karate for 12 years. The process of learning the techniques and kata is a perfect way to develop your personality. The main thing that has changed in me is my self-esteem. Trough the years I made a lot of friends, went to summer camps, which are one of the best experiences in my life. I consider my Sensei as a second father. I had a few of my love experiences come out of the people from the group. Basically, my whole life is defined by the years spent in the Dojo. :D

I started my karate training while I was in the fourth grade (form 4) in St David High School. I was 17 years old then. Many of my friends joined the karate class coached by Sensei Syed Pakri. I was training under the karate system called Shorin-Ryu, under the direction of the MSSKA (Malaysia Shorin-Ryu Seibukan Karate Association). My friends invited me to join the karate but I refused because I thought the karate was for fighting and very dangerous. Obviously, I was wrong.After many luring invitation by my friends, I finally gave in and decided to join the class just for fun. Eventually, I ended up with more anticipation to the next training day to come.

The training was hard because it was conducted on an open air basketball court with rather coarse flooring. Everyone had large painful blisters on their feet. But this passed very soon after each training because the skin on the feet grew back thicker. One noticable improvement for me was my health. I always had mild asthma and fever from time to time. Miraculously, they all were gone after training karate for some time.

Thanks to all our readers, and we will have more stories soon. Stay tuned!

Previous post:

Next post: