Timaru Seido Karate Club's annual mid-winter beach training will be the first in the gathering's more than 40 year history without sei shihan Michael Higgs, 68, who died on June 10.
There was "great energy" among South Canterbury's karate disciples as they dedicated an annual Caroline Bay celebration to Timaru sei shihan Michael Higgs.
About 68 karate disciples hit the sand and surf on Sunday for the Timaru Seido Karate Club's 45th annual mid-winter beach training, its first without Higgs who died, aged 68, on June 10.
There may have been half the usual number of participants due to Covid-19 but positive temperatures boosted a positive mood at the annual mid-winter karate training in Caroline Bay.
“We usually get 70 odd people from all over the country but because of Covid this year, everything is different,” shihan Dave Moore, of Seido Karate Timaru, told Stuff on Sunday morning.
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Dedication earns karate promotion for Higgs
Timaru Seido karate exponent Michael Higgs' dedication cannot be disputed after notching up more than 37 years as instructor and running the dojo.
As well as helping others, Higgs has also advanced up the ranks and was promoted to sei-shihan (master) after completing the second part of his sixth dan grading last weekend.
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John Davidson and Gary Dick have notched up nine black-belt degrees in Seido Karate between them.
The pair seem to be addicted to the blood, sweat and tears it takes to achieve a black belt with Davidson recently gaining his fifth degree and Dick his fourth-degree black belt.
Forty-eight hours of continuous grading has seen two Timaru Seido karate black belt exponents progress to a higher echelon of their sport.
Dave Moore has become a fifth dan, earning the title Kyoshi, while Dave Martin has earned his fourth dan black belt after the weekend camp at Woodend near Christchurch.
Both men had to impress eighth dan Hanshi Renzie Hanham they had what it took to progress.
Seido Expert Wiggins Joins Elite Group
Sandra Wiggins' successful sixth dan black belt grading in Seido karate puts her in an exclusive club.
The Timaru woman joins only a handful of female exponents in New Zealand to be awarded that accolade.
The extraordinary feat brought her the title of Jun Shihan, or new master.
Wiggins has been involved in the sport for 30 years.
Timaru's Eileen Morris is certainly dedicated to Seido karate.
Morris was graded for her first black belt 19 years ago and has just completed her fourth dan.
In between she has married, had three children and also works.
Morris was only 14 when she first achieved a black belt after starting karate as an eight-year-old.
Timaru Seido Karate's Chris Kelley Shooting up the Ranks
Timaru Seido Karate Club's Chris Kelley has moved another step up the sport's ranks.
He attended a national camp in Kaiapoi at weekend that featured Seido members from across the country, where they undertook a series a challenges.
Following those different activities, Kelley was made a sensei, the fourth ranking of nine dans.
Kelley was stoked to have been giving his new title.
"Yeah, it's awesome. I can't believe it."
Karate Kid Kicks High
Mountainview High School student Cheyanne Martin attained her black belt in Seido Karate recently.
She is pictured in her gi and black belt that is embroidered with her name in Japanese.
Karate Grading Shows Concentration
Sixth Dan Seishihan Michael Higgs said no one is selected to move up a grade unless they are considered to be ready.
The gradings held at the Timaru club's High St dojo lasted two hours and were all kyu (below black belts).
Two Timaru Seido karate black belt exponents are exhilarated after a month training with grand master Tadashi Nakamura in the United States.
David Martin and Chris Kelley trained under Naka-mura, a ninth degree black belt, who is the founder and chairman of the World Seido Karate Organisation, at its headquarters based in New York.
Kelley, a second dan, said it was a marvellous experience with several highlights.
Geraldine Black Belts Fundraise For Karate Anniversary in New York
Two black belt holders will represent the Geraldine Seido Karate Club in New York later this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the martial art.
And one of the ways they plan to fundraise is by teaching other women self defence moves.
Timaru's Leanne Boyle has made local history becoming the first person to achieve black belts in two martial art disciplines - in the space of two months.
Boyle, who is now 52, began her martial arts career when she went to a taekwondo class on the cusp of turning 40.
"After the first night I couldn't breath, couldn't walk. Three months later? I'd bought my first outfit."
Temuka Seido Karate Exponents Travel to New York to Meet the Seido Founder
Three years of fundraising helped get three Temuka black belts to New York to meet the founder of seido karate.
Members of Temuka Seido Karate and nidan black belts Paula Thompson, Cherie Pierce and Aaron Greave travelled to New York last month to visit the Honbu Dojo. They met and trained with the founder of seido karate, Kaicho Tadashi Nakamura
"It was just an absolute honour," Thompson said. "It was not like being on this earth, being in New York and meeting the founder, I've got to pinch myself."
If you want to mess with Arowhenua Whanau Services you might want to think twice.
As part of their annual Sea2Sea Challenge, the Temuka team of registered nurses chopped their way through a course of karate as self defence at the Temuka Domain on Monday.
Oldest Karate Club Marks Half Century
Christchurch Seido Shibu has marked its 50th anniversary - making it one of New Zealand's oldest karate dojos.
Christchurch Shibu – one of two New Zealand head branches of the World Seido Karate Organization – was founded in 1965 by Doug Holloway, a pioneer of Kyokushinkai in New Zealand.
Following sensei Holloway's departure in 1969 to further his studies, the dojo was headed by Hanshi Renzie Hanham.
The 14-year-old had been in training six nights a week for more than a year in preparation for the grading, which lasted several hours.
Karate Grading a Test of Will
Timaru Seido Karate Club member Aaron Greaves was one of four taking part in a black belt grading at the club's High St dojo yesterday.
Greaves and fellow club members Cheyanne Martin, of Timaru, Paula Thompson, of Temuka and Lorna Brosnahan, of Dunedin, were supported by friends and family as they went through physically and mentally trenuous activities, including katas, unarmed and armed self-defence techniques, and preset sparring techniques.
Twenty years of hard work and sacrifice, not to mention three children, has paid off for one South Canterbury woman.
Eileen Morris has achieved her third dan, or third-degree black belt in seido karate.
The individual grading took place at a secret location, and was "very individualised and intense over a number of hours", according to Morris.
The 28-year-old Timaru woman has been doing karate since she was eight and was delighted to achieve the standard.
A Pleasant Point family of four have notched up a world first by successfully grading for their Seido karate shodan black belts on the same day.
Husband and wife Ross and Chiu-I Cressy, along with daughters Aria and Anna-Kay, undertook the three-and-a-half hour grading in Timaru on Saturday.
Inspired By Her Ancestors
Tina Marshall's ancestors were looking over her as she fought her way to a black belt at Arowhenua Marae on Saturday.
Marshall is the first Moriori descendent to achieve a black belt in seido karate and it was the first time a black belt grading had been held on a marae.
Achieving the black belt at her marae was special for Marshall as well as for Temuka seido instructor Lance Puhirere whose idea it was.
Fifty seido karate students hit Timaru's Caroline Bay to signal start of training
Those drawn to Caroline Bay by the hot weather over the weekend may have been struck by the sight of 50 seido karate students practising their moves.
Timaru Dojo jun shihan Sandra Wiggins, a six dan black belt, said she had no idea how long students from Timaru, Temuka, and Geraldine have been hitting the beach to signal the start of their training for another year - but it had been going on long before she took up the martial art 30 years ago.
"We're starting with what we call a kagami biraki [opening the mirror], which means confirmation of . . . our commitment to karate for the rest of the year," Wiggins said.