Nearly six years ago, I was like every other pregnant woman, excited for the arrival of their firstborn, then six months into my pregnancy something wasn’t right.
At 29 weeks, Alfie came bounding into the world, he couldn’t breath and was pretty sick. As he grows in intensive care, we were told the grim truth of what could be Alfie’s future at its worst. Luckily, he did better than predicted but I wrapped him in cotton wool, so little and fragile. As he grew the complications came to the fore, and Alfie endured many operations and hospital stays, some for months. He was so sick and fragile, I furthermore wrapped him in cotton wool, what was cold for most people was a lengthy hospital stay for Alfie.
By the age of three, it was apparent what I did may have been to Alfie’s detriment as he wouldn’t leave my side, go to anyone else, and this made things difficult. I tried to get him to have swimming lessons but after 12 weeks of screaming and vomiting in the pool, we were asked to leave the school with a full refund. We tried different things to give him confidence not to be stuck to me but with no luck.
Alfie started school, and he was happy and the separation was acceptable to him but it was only part-time. I wondered how he would cope being full-time at school, but he proved me wrong, and he excelled. We finally thought we cracked it, but I was clearly wrong. Alfie agreed to try soccer lessons for me, we paid our $400 and turned up every week for training and every week he hung to me like his life depended on it. A mum who didn’t know the situation pointed out to me that ‘you get what you give’ and she was right, I made Alfie like this, I stole his self-confidence and I felt awful.
The situation came to a head when a school mum SMS’d me to say that her daughter told her that a child was beating Alfie up. The school knew of the situation, and we’re trying to help but due to issues beyond their control there was only so much they could do. That is when the Britten family suggested we tried martial arts. I cringed, I knew this would be another waste of money, resulting a stressed Alfie, a stressed, heartbroken, guilt ridden and defeated mum.
We arranged for Alfie to go to the same Martial Arts lesson as Benjamin. Phil looked at Alfie while I did paperwork. When I came out of the office, I was shocked to see Alfie taking part in the class, and he was SMILING. I rang my hubby who didn’t believe me!!! I wondered if it was a one off but Tuesday came, and it was more of the same, he willingly ran into class and joined in. No clinging, no tears, no tantrums, no nothing. My baby was doing it!!
The Martial Arts class gave him confidence and with a one on one chat with Briana about bullying we went home full of optimism. The next day I was called to see the teacher, my heart sank, I was expecting to hear the more bad news, but that’s wasn’t the case. Alfie had used his new skill to yell at his bully to ‘back off’. That was enough to send the bully running scared. Alfie was proud of himself, not as proud as us.
It’s odd, since starting martial arts training, there has been a change in my son, not only confidence but something else. Alfie was so well-behaved for everyone else, but at home, he could be a nightmare, but now, well, I can’t recall the last temper tantrum, meltdown, general bad behaviour. I don’t know why or how but I am not arguing; it is making my life easier. I don’t need to ask a million times now; I get please and thank you without prompting and no arguments about bed time.
This morning I got up to him fully dressed and vacuuming the floor!!! The change in my son is so noticeable that when my hubby came home from site, he asked what was wrong with Alfie!! I am so grateful to WAIMA for making this change in my son. I no longer feel like a failure and am watching the confidence build and a beautiful young man blossom.
“Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person“.
Ayden had his orange belt graduation today and is so proud. He is sitting here at the moment writing a letter to Will to ask to join the black belt club! Bless martial arts is totally changing him. Before Terrance chatted to him him was on negative 6 at school and now he is on a positive 20! For Ayden to write a letter is even more amazing. Thanks for Martial arts you guys are changing one boy’s life for sure.
I am writing this as I sit and watch my grand-daughter Kat do her training at WAIMA in Dojo 2. Just a few minutes ago my other grand-daughter Isabel finished her training session over in Dojo 1. It never ceases to amaze me how much fun all the children have whilst learning valuable life lessons. I have watched the girls gain confidence and grow over the past few weeks.
Kat who is 13 and tall for her age, used to stoop because of her height. She was self conscious about it. From the day she put on her Ghi (uniform) her whole posture changed. Through the encouragement of her Instructors and Mentors, she is now proud of herself and carries herself with poise and pride. A big thanks to Instructors Terrence, Norman, Briana, Jess, Rebecca, Andrew and Nicholas who have guided her so far. Also a big thanks to the leadership volunteers, especially Caitlin and Mikey who have encouraged her. Because of you all she now very proudly wears her Yellow Belt. You saw something very special in her in the early days and have brought that out in her. Thank You.
Isabel has also progressed very well having gained her first black tip on her white belt this month. She started a little later than Kat. Initially she was very uncoordinated, but thanks to exceptional skills of Briana and her team dealing with youngsters like Isabel, who is 7, she now pays attention and informs me that he is trying very hard to gain her next tip and her Focus badge.(Focus being Isabel’s main challenge in life. Ha-ha).
Being a retired teacher, I have sat on many occasions and watched how the Instructors teach the skills to the students. They not only teach Martial Art skills, they are also very competent at teaching life skills such as bullying, and how to deal with it. They teach that Martial Arts are not just in the Dojo. They encourage good behavior in their students at home and school also. In fact if the Instructors know about it, there are special badges that are awarded for home and school behavior.
The Instructor to student ratio is amazing. There are consistently 5 or 6 instructors in every class and as such there are always a pair of eyes on the children to help them out. It is a great credit to Graham and Phil that everyone is made to feel part of the WAIMA ‘family’ at Greenwood. Not only the students, but the parents as well are made to feel welcome as well. A big thank you also goes to Julia for your help and assistance organizing everything for us.
The girls and I look forward to a long association with you all at WAIMA and thank you for your care, inspiration and skills that you convey to us all.
With many thanks.
Ever since the day we walked into the Dojo, George has been enthusiastic about attending his Ninja Ru class each week. Not only has he made new friends but he has improved in so many areas of his development. His motor skills have become more defined, his balance, his co-ordination are even better but most of all he has developed a crucial discipline and a genuine respect for others.
He brings home all of his new moves which we love watching him demonstrate but he now always wants to help because it’s good to ‘work together’ and do ‘team work’.
George’s instructor Rebecca is one of a kind, full of respect for the children, she explains things to them in a way that they will understand and she gets good feedback from them all, one day, no doubt, she’ll be a fantastic mum running a very tight ship! All of the instructors do a great job and are very patient, because no two children are the same and they deal with them as individuals.
The monthly ‘star grading’ is a very important date in George’s mind, he tries hard at everything he is asked to do and is always encouraged by his peers.
I can’t recommend WAIMA Currambine enough, it’s good fun and fitness for children, great discipline and it is always teaching them very important skills that will stay with them for life and George loves it, he is very proud of his very first Martial Arts uniform.
Keep up the great work…
I am just writing to express how happy I am I chose WAIMA to start my son’s martial arts experience.
I decided to take my son to karate after he came home crying one day after being bullied at school, in Pre-Primary (five years old).
My son is a peaceful, gentle child who would never hurt anyone. I was devastated and thought I have to do something about it. Hence joining WAIMA.
My son has now been training at WAIMA for over 6 months and not only really enjoys it, it has been great for his confidence and fitness.
Two weeks ago, my son came home and told me he had been bullied at school. An older child had approached him at recess and was pushing him around.
He told me with confidence and pride that he told him to ‘Back Off, he did not want to fight!’ and the bully walked away.
I was so proud of him, not only for telling me, but for putting his training into action. He too was so proud and it reinforced that he could stand up for himself.
Thanks again for teaching him the skills to stop him from being bullied.
P.S. I too am learning along the way from watching him, how to stop others bullying me. Thanks again.
Firstly we would like to let you know that James has been exceptionally considerate towards both family and school friends. He has been helping mum out around the house, helps Michael draw (especially angrybirds) and we have also been given feedback from his teacher that he has been volunteering to help during classes.
The growth in James has been great to witness and we can credit part of this to what he is taught and Waima. So thank you from us.
Shane & Effie Logan
Off to our second week of training at the WA Institute of Martial Arts…
These guys really know there stuff, are great fun and really welcoming!!
I look forward to the coming months of pain and fun whilst they whip me into shape! (a shape other than round!)
I would recommend them to anyone of any fitness level.
A.j. Ravix Davies
I highly recommend Briana my son’s Ninja Ru Instructor her skills dealing with my son and all the under six year olds in her class is outstanding.
Edan and myself have been through a very tough time and this class has been a great help for his confidence and Brianna has been more than supportive and excelled as a role model to my son.
I just wanted to let you know how appreciative I am of her skills with dealing with this and her very caring manner.
Thank you for your time and I think WAIMA is a very good confidence boost for any child no matter the circumstances.
I am reminded of an old Maori proverb, which when paraphrased goes something like this:
As I stand here before you, you see just one person, but know that there are many who stand with me, making it possible for me to achieve the things that I do.
I would really like to take this opportunity to thank the leadership (Renshi Graham and Renshi Phil) and the rest of the WAIMA team who have stood by me in both the good and not-so-good times.
I think it would be safe to say that the WAIMA folk reckon: “if we’re not proud of it, we don’t serve it!”, and I must say that I never left the dojo feeling like I had been given a “half-baked” serving, in fact I was always felt that I got more than my fair share!
Being part of WAIMA has helped me be “the best I can be” as I have not only learnt how to defend myself but have been encouraged by the everlasting virtues of honour, respect and endurance under difficult circumstances, a fundamental teaching style of the Institute.
At 61, and a teacher at that, I can honestly say that one is never too old to learn new things, and WAIMA is a very good place to learn new worthwhile things.
WAIMA has been a source of great inspiration and discovery for me over the years and my sincere thanks to all concerned. In conclusion, I would like to say that the guys at WAIMA have helped me understand that:
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
WAIMA is a friendly and family orientated Dojo, where everyone feels like they belong, not just the students but the parents as well.
Since my two children aged 11 and 13 years have started at WAIMA 18 months ago, I and their school teachers have noticed a great improvement in concentration, commitment and perseverance in everything they do.
My main reason for having my kids start Martial Arts was for fitness, confidence and self worth, ALL of these factors have been and continue to be met. I have even learnt some skills just from watching and playing with my kids!
The classes are fun, (ALWAYS shown by the smiles on their faces), informative and very well structured. The Instructors have a fabulous rapport with the students, the respect that is shown to the instructors from the students is matched by the respect shown by the instructors to the students themselves.
I am also very impressed with the staff, instructors, and office staff they are all very positive, friendly and helpful at all times.
My children take part in Zen Do Kai, Black Belt Club, and Teens Thai classes, training three to four times per week, they also enjoy the wonderful friendships they have made since starting as have I.
The BEST investment myself and my husband have made for our children was to enrol them at WAIMA.
Brooke had her 9th Birthday Party at WAIMA Sat 23 July 2011. Brooke and her 18 friends had a fantastic time. The Instructors taking Brooke’s party provided plenty of fun, exciting, challenging games, activities and moves.
The Instructors did an amazing job and we were surprised at how much the children enjoyed themselves and actively participated. We didn’t know what to expect from a ‘karate party’ but it was by far the best party we have held for Brooke. Brooke was made to feel special and it was a joy to watch Brooke and all her friends have such a good time. Many thanks.
Phil and Lynne Bradshaw
It means more than I can describe/express on paper. Being part of the Black Belt Club will help me to stay positive and mentally grow stronger while I keep moving on forward through my life challenges. It will also help me to stay physically and psychologically strong. Being a member of WAIMA now for 20 months and I can’t thank WAIMA enough for how much they have taught me about myself.
At times I have felt like giving up on myself but the positive self image, pride, and courage I have learnt from WAIMA up to this point has shown me more to life. I can’t imagine what I can learn about myself and other by being part of the black belt club but I know it will be special.
Thanks for all your efforts this year, Alex has really enjoyed it. He has come a long way in terms of concentration, controlling his feelings, interaction with his peers and physical capabilities. I hope he continues with his training as I believe the leadership group at WAIMA provides an excellent example of positive role modelling.
I really have to say thank you.
My son has come a long way since starting karate. He was so shy and hardly listened. Since starting karate his confidence has tripled… it shocks me when he confidently speaks to strangers (good strangers) and he sounds so grown up.
He is proud of his achievements and progress and is developing strength, commitment, and resilience where before he would easily give up, karate has helped him with this you are all wonderful teacher.
I always recommend you and will continue to at every opportunity.
Our son started with WAIMA six months ago, in that time we have seen a huge change in his confidence, his resiliency, and his inner strength. These changes have been noted not only by us but his school teachers, friends, and sporting coaches.
The instructors at WAIMA are outstanding, they are so intuitive and know just when to give that extra bit of encouragement or instruction. The instructors are inspirational and full of enthusiasm and energy. Our son looks forward to going to WAIMA each and every week and we feel privileged to be part of WAIMA.
Thank you for everything you have done for our son.
Dean & Trudy Jones
Martial Arts by definition is the use of physical skills as a means of self-defense or combat. However, I believe a greater meaning exits. My understanding of martial arts involves three broad areas; the physical, the mental, and the social. These areas evoke self-improvement that is practiced beyond the dojo.
When I first started Zen Do Kai nine years ago, I set off thinking it would be a great way to get fit. I never thought it would have such an impact on my way of life.
Over the years, the WA Institute of Martial Arts has taught me many skills, and theses aren’t necessarily how to punch or kick. I have learnt many social and behavioural skills useful for a working environment. Honesty, courage, benevolence, respect, truth and honour are just some of the qualities WAIMA teach their students. All of these characteristics are embedded within the Dojo walls, serving as a constant reminder of what the club stands for.
Each and every one of the instructors carries the ethos of the club and are committed in passing on their knowledge to their students.
I never thought I would be in a situation where I had to utilize the skills I have learnt outside the dojo. Unfortunately for me, I have had such an incident. After walking from the bus port to the Perth underground train station, my boyfriend and I were attacked by six individuals for no apparent reason.
My boyfriend suffered a fracture in the right distal phalanx; lacerations across his forearm, hands and elbows and biceps; abrasions and bruising to his right and left hips as well as ribs; soft tissue damage to the left flank of his lower back; abrasions on his shoulder and a large laceration running through the centre; soft tissue damage to the inside and outer edge of his jaw; abrasions and lacerations behind his ear as well as cartilage damage; three hematomas on his head; soft tissue to his temple and finally, abrasions and a decent contusion on the left side of his forehead.
As for me? Well, I walked away with only a few small scratches on my knee. This is largely due to what WAIMA have taught me. If it weren’t for the time spent in the dojo and the instructors’ devotion in helping me learn, then the outcome would have been very different.
Being a martial artist is being an ordinary person that tries harder despite personal fears and doubts, and not just existing but participating in something that is bigger than the individual. It is how you conduct and improve yourself through personal difficulties and challenges that determine your character, and how you choose to conduct yourself is hugely dependant on your instructors.
Your instructors are much like your parents; there to help and influence you on life choices. At WAIMA they never cut anyone short. It will always be “Excellence in Everything We Do”.
“Disclaimer: Results may vary from person to person“.