Bruised bodies a small price to pay

Fighting fit . . . Karate participants (from left) Maximilian Hunt (16) and Bob Drummond (65) passed their black belt gradings over the weekend.

After many years of hard work, two Timaru locals have achieved the grade of black belt at Timaru Kyokushin Karate, completing their grading last weekend.

Bob Drummond achieved his nidan second dan black belt while Maximilian Hunt achieved his shodan first dan black belt.

Despite being covered in bruises, they both said it was a fun and good day.

For their grading, they had to do 25 fights, with Mr Drummond competing in an extra five fights as he was going for his second dan.

Mr Drummond was 56 when he started karate as his son wanted to do it and he joined in.

‘‘My son left when he was a green belt, but I stayed in as I was enjoying it and didn’t want to give up.’’

Maximilian said he started when he was 7 as his parents always wanted him to do a martial art.

‘‘It took quite a while until I had my own drive and want to do it. I found my own drive and enjoyment for it.’’

They agreed there was no age limit on wanting to sign up and do karate. They said it helped keep you flexible and fit.

‘‘It helps develop the determination, want and perseverance to keep going. It ends up pushing other exercise overall, at home I do more general exercise, which I don’t think I would be doing without karate,’’ Maximilian said.

Mr Drummond said going for the grading of black belt was as much a mental game as as a physical one.

‘‘Most people see black belt as the end point, but it is just the beginning, as it is possible to achieve a 10th dan in black belt, although it is difficult.’’

Maximilian said even when you had gained your black belt it was possible to continue honing your skills.

‘‘You can learn more advance moves and there is always something you can improve on.’’

They said all the people training at the dojo had become close, like a big family, and as well as getting physically fit, they picked up other skills such as understanding basic Japanese.

‘‘It helps with general confidence and learning that you don’t have to use your skills unless the situation requires it,’’ Maximilian said.

Mr Drummond said there was a great feeling to getting this far and he was better off having done karate.

‘‘Weight training and karate have helped my body and karate tends to spill over into other areas of life.’’

Maximilian said most of his family also did karate, so they sometimes trained together and it was something he could talk about at home.

‘‘I don’t know where I would be without karate. It influences other things in my life.’’