This is where my life was saved
I was 12 when I got to do Karate. It was because of my sister that I got to do it at all. Classes were every Thursday in the Dairy Flat Hall. The teacher was Peter Lee, and he taught Go Shintai Kai Karate which was a blend of Shotokan Karate and Judo.
I found life here. I felt vibrant. It was my home and the start of my healing. For a traumatized kid it was the best place for me. Not only was it an outlet, but it also gave me an independence and control over my body that I had never had before. For once I was my own master. I excelled.
I was failing at school, yet succeeding at martial arts, passing each grade. I had found my path and dreamed of having my own school one day. It was a dream that kept me alive on the days when I didn't want to.
I attained my Black Belt 1st Dan, became an instructor. Then 2nd Dan and became Chief Instructor. These were my first ever qualifications which led me onto others. From here I moved to other arts and went on to create Kura Toa Warrior School and the Warrior Kids Programme.
But Go Shintai Kai is where it all began. I appreciate Peter and all that he did for me. He showed me what was possible and he believed in me. I am forever grateful. I hope he knows that his legacy continues. Today I stopped into the hall.
This blog was first published on Facebook and Linkedin July 20, 2021.
Copyright© Tim Tipene, 2021.