Local woman could be the highest-ranked female karateka in the world!

Here at Village Buzz we were intrigued to hear that a local woman will soon be heading out to Japan where she stands a chance of becoming one of the highest-ranked female karateka in the world.

Malwina Martin is an instructor at the Ho Shin Do Karate Club in Wilston Road, Newmarket, and is hoping to achieve her 5th Dan black belt grading in the Go Ju Ryu style of karate. She and other members of the club, including her husband Roderick, will attend a training camp, be graded and compete in the Japanese Karate Federation (JKF) nationals in Wakayama in August.

Pictured: At a recent training session to prepare for the trip to Japan were, from left, Janine Boothroyd, Ollie Martin, Maia Martin, Rod Martin, Malwina Martin, Luke Morrison
and Mia Anderson.

The club organises an annual trip to Japan to participate in a two-week camp held by Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi who is a prominent member of the JKF and an 8th Dan karateka himself. Senior karateka from around the world attend the camp which provides an opportunity for learning and socialising.

"We always learn a great deal from the training camps run by Fujiwara Sensei during which we train for six hours a day for two weeks," said Rod, who is chief instructor at the club. "The experience is incredibly demanding physically and mentally and feels like the equivalent of running a marathon every day for the same amount of time!"

Those who will be heading to Japan on July 22 include Rod, Malwina, their daughter Maia, their son Ollie and club members Dr Janine Boothroyd and Mia Anderson. If successful, the touring party will achieve some major milestones during the trip.

As already mentioned, Malwina hopes to gain her 5th Dan and Rod, who has been training for the past 35 years, will attempt his 6th Dan in the All Japan Karatedo Federation Gojukai. This will make him only the fourth person in Australia graded at that level in Japan.

We chatted with club members before a recent training session and were fascinated to hear about their motivations for participating in such a demanding sport and to hear of Rod’s hopes and plans for his younger charges.

Everyone was in agreement that karate has been a major force for good in their lives and said it not only keeps them fit, but the total concentration it demands helps them to de-stress by emptying their minds of everything. They also agreed that the training helps to improve self-discipline and teaches etiquette and respect for others.

Rod said that karate had been through a dip in Australia in the past few decades but there has recently been a resurgence, especially now it has been reinstated as an Olympic sport for 2020 in Tokyo. He has high hopes that his young charges including Maia, Mia and Luke Morrison (who won't be going to Japan this year) will reach their peak as karateka by 2024 and make a serious impression in the Olympics that year.

We at Village Buzz wished the touring party all the best and said we hoped they would kick serious butt while in Japan. Ollie Martin replied it was more likely the tourists would have their own butts kicked, but that it would be a great learning experience anyway.

PROFILES

Rod and Malwina Martin: Rod currently is hoping to gain a 6th Dan Japanese grading while Malwina will go for her 5th Dan and both will compete in the JKF Nationals in Wakayama. The couple met in Australia, moved to London to teach karate, returned here and started the Ho Shin Do club in 2005. Rod now runs GO2 Health in South Pine Road at Everton Park.

Janine Boothroyd: Janine will be going for her 4th Dan while on tour. She is the current Australian Veteran Kata Champion in the JKF Australia and will be competing in the JKF Nationals in Wakayama.

Maia Martin: Maia will be going for her 2nd Dan. She is the current Australian Go Ju Kai Kata Champion and will be flying home early from Japan to join the Queensland team and compete in the Australian Karate Federation (AKF) Nationals in Sydney.**

Mia Anderson is hoping to gain her 1st Dan in Japan. She fights in the contact division, is a member of the Australian National team and will also compete in the JKF Nationals. Mia has a history of various championship wins in Australia and we wish her the best.

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** Ho Shin Do club member Luke Morrison who holds a 1st kyu Brown belt and fights in the points sparring division of kyu and Black belts, will be joining Maia in the Queensland team to do battle at the AKF Nationals in Sydney.

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