Otagai Ni Rei Newsletter

Edition 1, 2019

This is the first issue of the newsletter for 2019. I want to thank all contributors for providing material for the newsletter at such short notice.  Each person had a clearly defined goal and achieved that goal within the specified timeframe. That is what Sensei Michael Howe is encouraging you to do with your karate training this year. Our President, Sempai Lyndon Kurth, delivers some wonderful news about the new Dojo. This is one of the goals that Sempai Lyndon had set himself and he has achieved it. Sempai Alan Burnett provides us with an update on progress on the building of that dojo. Sensei Trevor Boddy has news about the kids’ kumite competition early this year and news about the reunion of AAMA students held late in 2018.

My goal as editor is to publish a newsletter at the beginning of each module to keep parents and students informed as to what is happening within the club. As well as provide you with some tips to help you improve your karate.

You may have heard Sensei or one of the other instructors say “Karate begins and ends with respect”. Perhaps you have not given it a great deal of thought as to what it means. Some people do not realise that if they do not respect themselves, then they cannot respect others and that creates problems for them. The Red Belt Program for the kids is about them learning respect for themselves and for others. 

There are many things that we do in the dojo that helps develop respect, for example, bowing in greeting others and the ceremonies that we start and finish each training session. If we respect ourselves and others then we will have a very happy club environment. An environment which makes learning easier because we want to come to the dojo because we enjoy the friendships that we make in the club and everyone feels valued as a person.

Each of us has a role to play in the club. Let us play that role as best we can, all of the time. Most have the role of being a student learning karate. Let each of us do that as well as we can. Remember in the ceremony at the start of training not only do we ask our instructors to help us but also our fellow students. We students can help one another by doing the attacks as best we can, enabling the defenders to defend as best they can. That is why AAMA instructors say “good attackers make good defenders”. From experience, you will learn that this adage is true. 

Have a great year with karate and in your life outside the dojo.  

Kees Hulsman [1st Dan]

President's Corner

I believe that our Club can look forward to a bright 2019 when the plans for our new Dojo will become reality.

It has been a long and sometimes frustrating journey, but we must be thankful for the support that we have received from the Brisbane City Council, particularly the Community Facilities Operations Team; the Queensland State Government and the Federal Government. The support of these 3 levels of government has been essential to our progress to commence construction of our new Dojo shortly. We should also remember the support of the Mt Gravatt Hawks Football Club who assisted us when we were in dire need of a training venue.

We have now submitted our plans for Development Approval for the new dojo and amenities building, and we have secured a 10-year lease for the site. In addition to 2 competition size mats in the dojo, the new amenities building will provide a more comfortable area for parents to wait whilst their children train, in addition to change rooms and meeting spaces for students.

I recently spoke to the manager of the Educational Funding Company (EFC) who provide the collection service for our tuition fees. EFC have hundreds of martial arts clubs, dance schools, yoga schools etc. as clients and they also offer consultancy services and conferences on how to ‘grow your business’. The EFC manager was hard pressed to name another martial arts school in Australia that was operated solely by unpaid volunteers, on a not-for-profit basis. We are very fortunate to have a group of highly committed instructors, committee members and parents who support each other for the benefit of all students. I believe that we can be proud to be a community club that seeks to maintain the Karate standards established by Shihan Keleher in 1972 and overseen by him since that time.

Everyone is keen to know when we will move into the new Dojo. Our builder, OZ-Cover, has said that subject to good weather and availability of materials, a 12 week build time is planned. We are still awaiting Development Approval from the Council and Certifier sign off on our plans. However, the end of April or mid-May remain as possible completion dates. Our budget is extremely tight at present, so it may take some time for us to complete all of our plans. Expectations should be realistic: so WiFi will not be available from day one, but we plan to get there.

The Australian Academy of Martial Arts Karate-Do Club Inc. is an authentic community minded sports club, where many people come together for the common goal of using karate training as a means to develop the mind, body and spirit of our students. When we all work together we achieve great success.

Feature Article (Sensei Michael Howe)

Setting Goals

The training year has just started and it is a good time to set goals.

Setting goals has become a popular and effective tool in sports performance. The actual process of setting goals fixes the mind to understand where the player currently stands and where they want to be sometime ahead.

There is an acronym called SMART which help athletes set goals. SMART stands for setting goals that are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and within a specified Time frame.

With karate the specific goal might be to attain the next belt. It is also a measurable example. But is it realistic? If you are currently 6th Kyu and your set goal is Blackbelt First Dan, it is not a realistic goal and it will not assist you in training. By contrast if you set a goal of attaining Third Kyu by end of year it may be a realistic, attainable sufficiently specific goal. It would also be measurable as you progress to Fifth to Fourth and then Third, within a specified time frame.

Setting a goal gives you a target to strive for as well as assessing progress.

Some sports psychologists distinguish between outcome goals, performance goals and process goals. For example, for a kumite player who competes, an outcome goal might be linked to placing in competition. The same kumite player might set a performance goal of developing a particular favourite attack or defence technique. A process goal for the kumite player to further the performance goal might be to practice the particular favourite attack or defence technique before or after class training with a colleague at least twice each week for a module.

It is just as important however not to set goals that are unmeasurable or uncontrollable. Setting a goal of “improving in kata” or “developing footwork” will be of little assistance as a motivator in performance, and if you want to win a team kata event but the other people in the team are not motivated or are not skilled performers, success is out of your control.

So – I urge you to set a goal for 2019 with the above in mind. I commend goal setting to you in your karate and also generally in your other life pursuits.

Sensei Michael Howe [4th Dan]

Dojo Progress

Well, what a start to 2019, I hope that everything that you hoped for came true. For the parents, for the grandparents and for the individual students, I can only hope that your dreams are now a reality. By now, you would be working on your New Year resolutions. I’m working hard on my goals. Some might laugh, but I can take it, I have tough skin, until doctors put needles in – then I turn to jelly. That aside, 2019 will be a very big year for the AAMA Club.

Our Club President has already alluded that we are now the proud owners of a 10-year lease from the Brisbane City Council. That’s a huge achievement! All accolades must go to our President, I cannot speak highly enough of his efforts. I can only hope that Lyndon stays President for many years, so that future projects benefit from his direction and drive. With the new long-term lease, we are now able to utilise the grants from all levels of Government. Laying the foundations of our permanent Dojo, works will start in January 2019.

The new AAMA Meditation and Training Facility (Dojo) will be completed as soon as the various contractors complete their part of the new facility. A Dojo is a place where characters are created and also where character is formed. A Dojo provides many opportunities for many different forms of training. Along with the development of behaviour, a Dojo and the associated training allows students to develop the mind, body and spirit. Meditation and mindfulness is developed not only within the Dojo, but as the student understands higher levels of Karate.

We have had a great working relationship with Hawks Football Club, so after we move, I can only hope that relationship continues. There will be opportunities for cross training for the soccer players. There will also be opportunities for other local groups (PCYC, Mt Gravatt Community Centre and the Men’s Shed) for their members to train at our facility.

For those that have not had the opportunity to look at our plans, following should be a layout plan. It shows that we will have two full competition sized mats to train on. Each one is 12 meters x 12 meters. It will look big! There will also be a parents’ area and hopefully access to coffee and somewhere comfortable to drink that coffee and relax. I don’t know if you can notice, but there should also be a small office where our President can hide. Or complete important paperwork!

Floor plan for the new dojo

Finally, on the matter of relocating, I would like to be in our new permanent home by the end of April-May 2019. Yes, it’s exciting times ahead. I’m glad that I live in interesting times!

Sempai Alan Burnett [3rd Dan]

Heavy machinery removing tree stumps from site where dojo will be built

Sighting along the western wall of the proposed dojo towards the existing amenities block

Karate Kids

Module 1 for Little Leopards and Dragons begins on Tuesday 29th January with the Little Leopards starting at the usual time of 4:15pm. Module 1 runs from January 29th to graduation on April 4th.

This module and indeed for the rest of the year, the focus will be more weighted towards sparring skills. These skills will be developed in the Dragons classes while the Little Leopards will continue a broader basic skills curriculum.

Kids’ competition

The Club will be organising a kids’ competition and match practice day on Sunday February 24th.

This will be an opportunity for children to put their learning to the test in a safe but competitive environment. The Club has a number of qualified judges and referees who will be providing guidance and advice on the day. More details about the running of the day a little closer to the event.

Action shot from a past kids club tournament

Please also note that the Queensland State Titles are being held during Module 1. The two-day event will be run on March 16th and 17th. There is a new venue for all the Queensland State tournaments in 2019 and it is the Cleveland State College. I think this will be an excellent venue and I encourage parents to go along to see competition karate and support AAMA Club members that might be competing.

Like all the other coaches, Annette and I are looking forward to working in the new dojo as soon as possible. The new club house and facilities will be a huge leap forward for the club and will give coaches new opportunities for activities and classes.

I look forward to seeing all students and parents/carers at the dojo once again and discussing your goals, challenges, achievements as they arise.

Sempai Vesa [3rd Dan] | Senior Children’s Coach

Special Events

AAMA Reunion 2018

In October last year, we had the biannual AAMA Reunion. It was a great night with over 100 people coming to see Shihan Keleher and catch up with their old club mates. Everyone enjoyed the memories from the 800-photo slide show. AAMA’s 1st student Tony Carstensen was there, as well as our 1st female black belt, Marea Plumb and 9 of AAMA’s graded Senseis.

Shihan Keleher and 5 long standing Senseis: from left to right: Glen Irvine, Bob Scott, Shihan Graham Keleher , Nigel Gough, Allan Todd and Perry Hamilton

Christmas Party 2018

The 2018 Christmas party was held at Nobunaga Yakatori Traditional Japanese Restaurant. Everyone had a good time eating and chatting with their club mates. The owner, Charlie Rich, a former AAMA student, really showed us a good night.

Kids’ Tournament 2019

Now that 2019 has started, it’s time to set goals for ourselves and look towards the Tournament season. On 24th February, we will have the AAMA Children’s Karate Tournament. We will add some matches for the Samurai and Adult students who are showing interest in competing this year. I urge every student to challenge themselves this year. You can enter Kumite (depends on rank and Sensei’s approval) and Kata. Please feel free to talk to me about it. Our tournament is a great way to start your preparation with the QKA Invitational & QKA Queensland Championships coming up in March and May respectively.

Sensei Trevor Boddy [4th Dan]

Michael Howe 4
th Dan

Managing Editor
Kees Hulsman 1
st Dan

Assistant Editor
Glenn Weiss 1
st Dan

Lyndon Kurth 1
st Dan

Vice President
Alan Burnett 3
rd Dan

Kids Head Instructor
Vesa Pekkarinen 3
rd Dan

Special Events Editor
Trevor Boddy 4
th Dan

Formatting & Publishing
Gabrielle Ingram 1
st Dan