Five years ago Cooma Martial Arts Centre took the unusual step of affiliating with the Tezuka group in Japan. This enabled Sensei Jim McDonald to grade up to Black Belt, something normally reserved for Branch Chiefs (5th Dan and above) meaning Sensei Jim was able to charge less for classes due to not having to pay exorbitant joining fees to Australian groups to be a member of their group. Since then 14 students have gained the coveted Black belt and have been registered in Japan.
"Kyokushin Karate is not for all," Jim said. After 27 years of teaching karate he should know, but he says if you are willing to give it 100 per cent, listen, and pay attention, then you too could achieve your goal. Unlike other sports age is no barrier.
One of the centre's oldest members, Greg Evans, achieved his Black Belt at the age of 55.
While Tyler Pielli achieved his Black Belt at the ripe old age of 12, after starting when he was seven-years-old, so there goes the myth that karate is all about fighting.
"Yes, it's about learning discipline, that goes without saying, but it can also be fun, even if it is exercise. You also need perseverance, confidence ,which comes with time, all these things are skills for later on in life," Jim said.
Now because of this connection with Japan, the ACT Kyokushin Karate branch headed by Shihan Glenn Gibbons has joined with Cooma and the Tezuka group. This now opens doors for us to enter all their tournaments and Camps.
The ACT joining us is great for the further development of Karate, but to add a local flavour the centre will also be offering gymnastics and Tai Chi I now have been approached by two different people, one to start up Gymnastics, the other to start Tai Chi.
One of Jim's students Nowell Paske-Utrush, 9, approached him to offer gymnastics after she attended a camp in Sydney.
Of her own volition she designed a brochure with costs, dress code, and times and proceeded to hand them out at school. She forgot she needed a venue and the martial arts centre already had most of the equipment needed for Gymnastics her mother asked if they could run a trial period over Christmas. The beginners class will combine exercises such as beam walking for balance, springboard and mini trampoline for coordination, hanging bar work for strength and many more fun games, more details will follow.
The classes will be run on Mondays from 3.45pm 4.45pm. If enough interest shown this could become a permanent class, all ages welcome. Contact Kylie 0448 327 177 or Jim 0419 993 449 for more details.
An intrdocutory course to Tai Chi will also be run over Christmas.
Paul Griffiths will run the class. He has studied the ancient art of Tai Chi for nine years under Ging Mo Academy and has decided to share his extensive knowledge with the people of Cooma. He will be holding an eight week introductory course and if successful will start classes on a monthly basis.
Classes will be held Tuesday and Thursday starting this Thursday. For more details contact Paul 0404 624 933.
Any other ideas for classes such as women only self defence/fitness, or classes for the older generation are welcome and we would certainly cater to them if required.
Also under consideration is classes of limited time for the younger kids i.e. kids and mothers participating.
Please contact me on 0419 993 449 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.