When I was younger, my father used to live with us. He had a terrible temper and would rage through the house, often destroying everything as he went.
As I got older, I found that I had a temper just like his, I would destroy anything and everything that I could. However, I would later regret the things that I broke as it was usually something my mother and I had built together.
As a teenager, I had mellowed out a little, but found that the tiniest thing in a long line of things would set me off and I would fume for days. About the age of 13 or 14, I found a martial art in the NT, they had been doing an offer, 1 month free for one + friend. I knew the moment I started my first class I had found my forever thing, my niche, my labor of love.


3 years go by, and I am two steps away from attaining my black belt when I find out we were moving. It was my last year of high school doing the international baccalaureate, a diploma not very common in Australia, but would allow me to get into any university around the world a lot easier than just a standard Australian high school diploma, as I wanted to study overseas. I have to redo half of year 11, finish off grade 12, and have a 6-month gap between that and university. During this time, I have fallen into a rut, depression and lack of life plaguing everyday living and I had found my temper slowly getting worse and worse again. University doesn’t hold a candle to my heart, and I found it hard to find work.
After starting work at AQWA and maintain a position for about 3 months, I decided it was time to start back at martial arts. I looked around online, there were some martial arts schools at the community center across the road that I only halfheartedly considered. Then I saw the WAIMA page and booked in for my intro as soon as I could. Sempai Brad took my intro and the professionalism he showed, and the fact that the school was an actual school, with actual jobs, and not just a hobby school really struck a chord. I knew there were cheaper schools around, but I also knew they would hold cheaper customer service too, and I knew that the teachers didn’t care about their students either.
I have since done many things I never imagined doing (the iska tournament, the WAIMA warrior camp, and becoming a level 4 instructor, and becoming the currambine ninja ru queen), and being able to work full time in a job and place I love is something not many people can say they do. Being able to do martial arts as a full time job helps keep my emotions in check, keeps me fit, healthy and accountable, and I get to do a lot of stuff others never have a chance to do.

Instructor Braelene Bridge