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Kids get a kick out of learning karate

Sep 2nd, 2014 | By | Category: News, Top Picture

Goju Ryu Sensais

GOJU RYU: Sensais (from left) Angela Severinsen, Sharlee Athfield, James Burkitt, Vasti Venter, Steve Riley, Rajesh Ravji, Te Whiti Seeds, Sarah Riley, Sharron Riley, lead the children’s karate camp.

CHILDREN were inspiring their younger peers to achieve at a karate camp in Karori last weekend.

The International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-do Federation of New Zealand held their children’s karate camp at the Karori Recreation Centre.

Children aged five to sixteen and of varying skill levels were given the opportunity to learn from their peers and develop some deeper skills.

Throughout the day, the instructors and the more experienced children demonstrated their abilities to the group.

Sensai Rajesh Ravji believes the younger children learn to stick with training by seeing what the more experienced children have achieved.

“For them it’s to have fun, see a whole lot of things and then hopefully they’ll grasp something that inspires them to carry on training,” Sensai Ravji says.

He says karate is great for kids to learn discipline, etiquette, and a sense of challenge, which can be carried through to other areas of life.

Kids teaching the class karate

YOUNG MENTOR: Seven-year-old Ben Dudding (far left), teaches his younger peers at a karate camp in Karori.

The traditional karate style taught not only focuses on strength and self-defence, but knowing when to switch between the two.

Sensai Ravji emphasised at the camp about defending first and only attacking when there is no other option.

“Obviously we don’t want our kids fighting, but to have the mindset to take on a challenge and protect themselves,” he says.

Mother of two, Amanda Dudding, says she worried about her boys fighting when they took up karate, but says this hasn’t been a problem thanks to the Sensai’s teachings.

Her seven-year-old son Ben, who she says takes his karate seriously, has learnt better planning through the training.

“Ben has really good goal setting, and has a clear idea of how he will get to a blackbelt,” she says.

Adele Spicer says she has noticed more discipline and self-confidence in her kids since they started karate.

Sensai Ravji says karate is a long dedicated journey, which people tend not to embark on these days.

“Times have changed where people learn something for a little while then move onto the next thing, but it’s a long journey. They have to stick at it and keep trying,” he says.

He started studying karate at the age of 10 and says he found inspiration in great instructors, and hopes to pass that on to those he teaches.

“A lot of people do it because they want to win and get a medal, and be the best, but I enjoyed the training aspect. For me it was training hard and getting the buzz out of that,” he says.

The camps are held throughout the country every few years.

Kids at karate camp

KIAI!: Children participating in karate camp in Karori.

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