Enroll your kids at Kiryoku Dojo for Traditional Karate classes
The word KIRYOKU stands for Durability of Spirit, Inner Energy and Willpower.
KIRYOKU DOJO is a traditional Okinawan, Shorin-ryu Shorinkan Karate and Kobudo (weapons) school, owned by Sensei France Harington – 4th Dan Karate, 2nd Dan Kobudo.
Kids Connection had the wonderful opportunity to meet and talk to the owner of Kiryoku Dojo, Sensei France Harington, and ask her a few questions about her Karate School.
Here is what the Sensei had to say at our Q and A.
Q. What led you into the world of Karate?
A. I was that kid that watched all the action movies. Anything with Bruce Lee was top of the list, but I never did get the opportunity to take classes as a youngster. Then typically as you mature you let go of those dreams. However, as an adult I took a short, self-defence course with my daughter and a friend. When my friend started joining karate classes with other moms, I took the opportunity to join in. Making that kind of a decision at the age of 35, with young children at home was not easy, but it has been one of the best.
Q. How many years have you been active in the sport?
A. I have been living this wonderful lifestyle for the past 16 years and the learning never ends.
Q. You are now offering Kids Karate classes – how did this come about?
A. I opened an ‘adults only’ Dojo in 2016, as I have a passion for teaching adults and believe that like me, many may have put that dream aside. When some of the adult students showed interest in their young children starting karate classes, it became apparent that this would be a great opportunity to bring this lifestyle to the whole family. Therefore, in January 2018 I launched KIRYOKU KIDS KARATE.
Q. How is karate as a sport beneficial to kids?
The benefits are many! Children can gain important life-skills, such as – self-esteem and confidence, strength, agility, discipline, character building, fitness, co-ordination and self-defence to name a few.
The focus of this dojo is on individual progress, even if it is within a group situation. This enables kids to grow in the sport, achieving goals at their own pace, however also coping in team situations. I have already seen great improvement in concentration from some of the children and one parent has already reported back that their child focuses more in school because of the karate classes.
Q. There are many misconceptions about karate – such as, it teaches kids violence, what you would say to parents?
A. If one teaches, as I do in this dojo, according to the 5 principles described in our Dojo Kun (maxims), namely- Character, Sincerity, Effort, Ettiquette and Self-control; a child will be taught to respect and develop social skills which defy violence. It must be understood that learning to fight is part of karate, but it is taught as a self-defence skill. Aggression is NOT part of true karate spirit.
Q. What are the details for joining the classes?
Venue: Moregrove School Hall, Port Elizabeth
Kids Karate classes: 6pm – 7pm
Adults Karate classes: 7.30pm – 8.30/45pm
Q. How much are the classes and what is offered in the classes?
A. Classes are R300 per month. Classes cover all areas of karate being Kata, Kumite and Kobudo (traditional weapons). Fitness training also forms an important part of our dojo training.
Q. There are other dojo’s offering karate classes, what makes your classes unique?
A. Absolutely, there are other classes and different styles. I believe what sets us apart is our individualism as Sensei. We all have a different karate journey and this is imparted in our teachings. Ultimately in my dojo, I strive to give students my undivided attention, while maintaining the level of respect and discipline it takes to be a true Karateka.
I aim to bring karate to the whole family, as I believe Karate is not just a sport, but a LIFESTYLE and students who appreciate this will find joy in their sport and grow into strong confident adults.
By Liesl Silverman
Photo credit: Kiroyoku Kids
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