I have always been interested in martial arts and over the years I’ve studied a number of different styles. However I would not have rekindled my interest if it hadn’t been for my son Brody. Since he was 3, he wanted to learn karate but I was always concerned that he was too young to know karate. When he was about to turn 7 his mother and I relented. We looked at a number of different styles and clubs and picked Yoseikan because of the quality of the instructors and because the club seemed to cater for children. In hindsight it was a very good decision.
By the time Brody made his first State team I was sick of watching him train. I also felt that if I took up karate, it would be something we could do together. Unfortunately my age, health and lifestyle didn’t match my ambitions. Christine still laughs that my medical history is the longest she has ever input. My response has always been – without a before there is no point in having an after. I started training once a week, and peaked 6 years later, doing 14 sessions a week (including gym workouts). I’ve sustained lots of small injuries and a few large ones.
My health has been good, and it’s been not so good, but it’s a whole lot better now than when I started. At times I’ve been discouraged and thought I should just buy myself some gold chains and a red Porsche. My grading was difficult. But like everything that came before, I simply took it one step at a time and relied on my family and friends.
I would like to thank Brody for his encouragement and advice, and for not being embarrassed about his Dad – the old fat bugger up the back who sweats a lot. Petrice for hanging in there with me. Branco, Nives, Jessica and Brian who have become my extended family. Adam and the Scott family for being there at the beginning. Tony and Christine for their support and encouragement. All the students and supporters of the Melville club. Rob for the extra bag sessions. Peter and Maryanne for sharing the day with me. (Peter’s fights will remain one of the gutsiest efforts I’ve witnessed). And in particular I would like to thank everyone I fought at the grading. You got it exactly right. Whilst you pushed me to my absolute limits you also looked after me. I will always appreciate your efforts and concern. I hope my story encourages some other Mums and Dads to give it a go. If you’re willing to do the work it is a very worthwhile adventure.
– Adrian Koelewyn