Aidan Lee, Age 15 (Kuyukai Richmond Dojo)

Through Karate I have learned many life lessons such as patience, discipline and hard work. It has taught me that success does not come easily and discipline is key. Besides that, I have leaned how to defend myself effectively and strengthened my body. It's affected my life because these lessons I have learned have transferred to other parts of my life such as school and sports. I was more patient when learning a skill and disciplined when studying.

To me Karate is both a physical and mental improvement of one's self. Through the practice of Karate I have become more relaxed and controlled. It's through this that I have gotten to know myself better. I have also learnt many Katas and Techniques that can help me defend myself. It is also more than a weekly activity, it is a life style that takes countless years of practice and hard work to refine. I hope that Karate stays a part of my life because there's no other activity that improves me mentally and physically like Karate does.

After earning my Black Belt, I will try to be an instructor and bring up the next generation of black belts. I can also be an example to younger generations and promote Go Ju Ryu, and stays on.

I think that Black Belts have the responsibility to keep Karate alive through their example and work. Teaching younger belts with patience and encouragement are some ways to keep people to stay in Karate. They should also try to promote Go Ju Ryu and Karate.

Que-Tran Hoang (Whalley Dojo)

I study Karate because I have a busy life. I'm a wife, a mother of a small child, an assistant to a politician, a graduate student, a volunteer in community and church, and a friend to many of my friends. A busy and stressful life, especially when I have to deal with politics for at least 8 hours a day for a living. So, I decided to study Karate, to keep me going and to save my time.

Studying Karate brings me at least 8 benefits as an all in one package:

  1. Stress relief ... You know when you're angry and you want to scream, but diplomatically you can't. But in Karate you have a legitimate reason to scream, and people love it when you scream in class. In Karate, they call "Kiai".... To let out your bad spirit. Yup, you bet! I do have many bad spirit during the day to let out...
  2. Exercise
  3. A practice of deep breathing... In Karate, especially Go-ju-ryu style, deep breathing is a life blood of it. Do you know that research have shown that deep breathing helps heal and get rid of toxin in your body?
  4. Meditation... It is important that you need to focus in martial arts to reach to a stage where your mind and body become one, so meditation is also a most important part of Karate Go-ju-ryu practice. But hey, not only in Karate, in our daily life we also need to focus if we want to be productive in what we do.
  5. Learn to be patient... Karate in real life requires a lot of practices years after years in order to master a skill. I cannot learn a new technique now and then master it in about 2 hours, then beat up a bad guy and become an Hollywood heroin. I need to be patient... And patience is an essential quality in life that we all need.
  6. Build my confidence... Learning Karate helps me to confidently serve other with all my heart. Our world has become complicated today that most of us would quickly walk pass an homeless man, and avoid making eye contact with him during a cold and dark winter night. It's not that we discriminate him or we are a cold blood type people. I think that we are just afraid. I'm sure at that moment, most of us would ask ourselves... What kind of bad things would happen to me if I stop and ask this man if he needs help..... Now, after years and years of practicing the arts of self-defense, I think most of us would confidently flip the question back, "what kind of bad things would happen to this homeless man if I don't stop and ask him if he needs any help during this cold and dark winter night?"
  7. and of course to learn self-defense
  8. at our centre, we also have class for parents and children where parents, like myself, can spend quality time with our family to learn and grow together.

And those are the 8 main reasons of why I study Karate. And the last reason but not least is to have fun.

Liz Cu - Inspiration from Karate
You  have helped me a lot in my self-improvement process.  I have grown very strong physically and mentally from being in your class.  You have shown me that there is strength in silence, in gentleness, and in peace.  You have inspired me to be the best that I can be, in my own way and abilities......and for that, I thank you.

Robert Collier - Why I chose Karate
The decision to study Karate was an easy choice for me. Having looked at several different styles and clubs which I found through Karate B.C., I was intrigued by the website so I decided to go and watch a class in order to give me a clearer picture into the style and teaching methods. I am glad I did, because it was a pleasure to watch; the movements, forms and discipline of the students, not to mention their focus and enjoyment. I was pleased to see that the class had a balance between warm up stretches and exercise and then form, movement and actions. Having made the choice to study Karate took some time, but once I watched that first class, I was hooked.

I originally took an interest in martial arts as I became aware of the need to grow, both mentally and physically. I needed more confidence and self assurance. As well, getting back into shape was a factor, but more of it stemmed from the realization that I needed other skills in life, mainly the need to defend my self as well as my loved ones.

Having researched many martial art forms, I was intrigued by the style but appreciated its discipline and form. I suppose an underlying thought may be that as a child my father studied Karate for many years and that had impressed on me the many good qualities and values of karate. I’m sure that part of that was just a child in awe of his father, but it is that which has implored me to seek out those values, which I find in Karate.

In my first three weeks here, I admit it has not been easy, but nor too difficult. There is a lot to learn, but it’s a lot fun! The classes are great, filled with really fantastic people who are always willing to help you out, whether in technique or form. I’ve met so many wonderful people and am having the best time. I would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for more than just a work out. It’s an art that enables both personal and physical growth. I love it!

Dan R Wilson, PhD. - Yes, it was worth it!
Late last year my 8 year old karate-loving son reluctantly left his (first) karate dojo, his first Sensei and fellow karate-ka. Some months ago, he joined the False Creek dojo to learn a new style of karate. Because Goju Ryu is quite different from what he had learned, my son also left behind his 8th kyu rank and orange belt for which he had worked so hard. As a beginner of Goju Ryu, he wore a white belt again.

Although my son’s mind readily embraced my view that attitude of heart and ability are better measures of true karate-ka than belt colour, his heart still knew that he had given up something of value. As he began training in his new dojo, he couldn’t help but ask “Is it worth it to start again as a beginner?”

It wasn’t long before he answered “Yes!” for he readily saw that False Creek dojo was unique in ways important to an 8 year old kid who loves karate. And over the past several months we have both come to appreciate and value certain characteristics of the False Creek dojo.

  • Personal progress is emphasized, as opposed to competition and “winning”. I expect this is because Goju Ryu at False Creek is viewed as a traditional martial art rather than as a sport karate.
  • Tradition is valued and practiced. This includes not only the notion that respect is due to those of senior rank, but also that courtesy and respect should be given to on another regardless of are or rank. We particularly like Dojo Courtesy Rule number 7, “Senior belts teach junior belts with kindness and patience” and wonder why it is not a rule everywhere.
  • Because standards are high, attainment of kyu level is particularly meaningful to a student. Having now passed his Goju Ryu 9th kyu exam, my son has a sense of genuine accomplishment.
  • Classes are led exclusively by adults, all black belts, often of senior rank. There seems to be a ready supply of volunteers to teach children. This of itself speaks well for the dojo.
  • The dojo is relatively calm place, even in the children classes! Discipline is maintained, and done so in a way that doesn’t require raised voices or a boot camp” environment. Training time is maximized to the benefit of all.

I asked my son to list the four things he liked most about the dojo.

  1. “Sensei Chan” – He holds Sensei, Sempai and all of his teachers in high regard
  2. “Type of Karate” – He sees Goju Ryu as a complete martial art.
  3. “The way it is taught” – How it is done just “makes sense” to him
  4. “It is traditional” – He enjoys and understands some aspects of tradition.

I have asked my son several times since he joined the dojo, “Was it worth it?” and he never hesitates to give the same answer, “Yes!”

Debbie Hoy – Additional Rewards from Karate
I have adopted a healthier lifestyle in the past few years. Last summer, I was searching for an active sport to provide me with overall physical conditioning, in addition to my other activities of outdoor running and gym workouts. I decided upon martial arts, in particular Karate, because I thought it would improve my physical fitness and it would benefit from learning self-defense. Upon practicing Karate, I found that there were additional rewards that just improving my cardiovascular conditioning and body flexibility. I had better concentration and calmness of mind, as well as clarity of thought and action, from the grace, power and discipline learned from practicing katas. I also gained inner strength and peace from striving to integrate the physical force and mental and spiritual force of Karate into training hard and being a good student in practicing Karate.

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