Karate is a very balanced martial art, which has punches, kicks, grabs, good defence and includes mind and spirit strength and development. I started practising karate 5 years ago along with my son. It’s a great way to keep physically and mentally fit. There is always something new to learn and improve in your karate techniques. It is surprisingly safe, however there are occasions you will get a bruise or two which happened to me recently during my grading this month, as I ended up with several bruised ribs! You need to be prepared to work hard and experience some pain.
I train twice a week (a total of 3 hours of training) and I have achieved my 2nd Kyu which is my brown belt with a black tip (the equivalent to my first taste of black belt). The coveted black belt is just around the corner, but there is still much to work on and develop over the next year. The karate that I practice, is a fusion between Shotokan and Goju which have very different philosophies and styles but both complement each other.
Karate has a rich heritage and culture and you develop a deep connection and understanding of its history. It requires huge respect and discipline from the minute you enter the dojo, but this also extends to being disciplined outside the dojo.
Karate is a lifetime study and long-term commitment. I have seen many people come and go. Self-motivation is really needed to push you to achieve your goals. My goal has always been to achieve my black belt and I know my son is proud that he practices karate with his mum. Anyone can start at any age as it’s a great form of physical fitness.
I have a huge respect for all martial arts and would love to develop my skills further. Perhaps in Kendo and the martial art of sword-fighting.
Ana Christie Q & A
1. What’s the biggest challenge to learning karate?
“Finding the time to commit to the training and having dedication. Also being able to pick yourself up when you do get injured and having the perseverance to continue and improve.”
2. Who would you most like to ‘fight’/have a contest with?
“There are lots of people I would love to fight, but I’ll keep that to myself. I grew up watching Bruce Lee films and was a huge fan, but sadly as he is no longer around, I would have to say Jet Li.”
3. What’s the main benefit to you?
“The main benefit is being able to improve my overall skills, self-defence, speed and agility. It’s physically and mentally challenging. Since starting my journey, I have also seen an increase in my confidence, my flexibility and my overall fitness.”
4. Which person in sport do you most admire and why?
“Shihan Anthony Ryan, who is an expert senior instructor and martial artist in Australia. I had the opportunity to train with him a couple of years ago. He is extremely inspiring and motivational. He has been battling cancer for many years and has the strength and determination required to beat this disease. He has taught me that health and nutrition play a huge part in preventing illness, as well practising karate to develop physical and mental strength.”