Gradings are always a nervous time. What if I forget something? What if I get it wrong? I can’t do it? Doubt can creep in. The thing to remember is that you are grading because you can do it! You do know it! Your instructors believe in you!

Practice and Practice and Practice, the three P’s. It shows.  On the big day, do your best and give it all, as this is what we look for. Getting to class and then to grading is half the battle. Finishing it is the rest. Be proud of what you have achieved when you are done. It is not easy and gradings are built to challenge you mentally as well as physically.

Today, we see some more great efforts from our students.

For the kids Amelia graded to her Orange tip, while Taine, Zakk, Jack and Angus all achieved their Yellow Belts. Obviously you have all been practicing hard.

For the adults a great display of effort and heart. A well deserved Yellow Belt for Angela, nailing those backwards rolls :) and for Orange Tips, Krista, Shane and Troy smashed it out.


Well done to everyone. Onwards to your next rank. Next grading is December. Train hard and you may be ready to do it all again.


Sensei Chris

A great article regarding Karate, Kata and Self Defence from our friends over at Martial musings. Enjoy…


Excerpt: “There are a lot of opinions of whether Kata (or forms) and traditional martial arts are worth practicing…  particularly these days with the MMA, Muay Thai, BJJ and other combat sports taking the limelight.

Many are in the camp of thinking that traditional martial arts training, and particularly Kata training (Kata = forms or patterns used in traditional martial arts) is a complete waste of time and training should be spent on more functional drills and sparring; while others feel Kata training is the “soul” of their art and perform their kata because it’s part of their heritage without a clear understanding of the meaning of the movements….

Well well what do you know, we made the NZ Herald and the Pegasus post. Our FREE community kids self defence classes have proved very popular with over 60 kids coming through our first three sessions. Parents and kids had a great time and were very satisfied with what they learnt and saw. We achieved an average rating of 9.9 our of 10.

And we even made the papers featuring in:

NZ Herald:

Pegasus post: Page 3,

For the local community we feel it is crucial to be able to give kids a chance to defend themselves.

“It’s a no-brainer to at least give them some broad-based tips; it can make them more confident and give them a chance if they get into a difficult situation.” says Head Instructor Chris Cameron

We think it should be treated like swimming and become a core requirement at all schools. We will continue to look at offering the free sessions “as long as there is a need,” and was also planning to introduce longer, four-week self-defence courses for kids and adults.

To find out more and book your child in our next course follow our Facebook page or contact Chris on 021 823 857

First up, Self-defence is all about using your smarts — not your fists.

The attacker, who is probably already on edge and hyped up on adrenaline — and usually something else — may become even more angry and violent if you try to defend yourself. Sometimes the best way to deal with any attack or threat of attack is to try to get away. This way, you’re least likely to be injured.

One of the best ways to avoid an attack is to trust your instincts. Your body is full of special abilities for sensing your environment. Your intuition as some call it combined with a splash of common sense can help you get out of trouble. It can tell you it is a good idea to move on rather than hang around.


Sometimes attackers are people you know. It is sad but true. This is where what self defence experts call de-escalation techniques come into play to defuse a situation. Like giving the mugger the money rather than trying to fight. Or perhaps if someone harasses you when there’s no one else around, you can de-escalate things by agreeing with him or her. You don’t have to actually believe the taunts, of course, you’re just using words to get you out of a tight spot. Then you can redirect the bully’s focus (“Oh, I just heard the bell for class”), and calmly walk away from the situation.

Not losing your temper is also a great de-escaltion technique. learn how to manage your anger so you can talk and walk away without using your fists.

De-escalation doesn’t always work, it can only help if you remain calm and don’t add fuel to the fire.

Reduce risks

Do things that help keep you safe. It is that simple.

  • Understand your surroundings. Walk or hang out in areas that are open, well lit, and well traveled. Become familiar with the buildings, parking lots, parks, and other places you walk. Pay particular attention to places where someone could hide — such as stairways and bushes.
  • Avoid shortcuts that take you through isolated areas.
  • If you’re going out at night, travel in a group.
  • Make sure your friends and parents know your daily schedule (classes, sports practice, club meetings, etc.).
  • If you go on a date or with friends for an snack, let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to return.
  • Check out hangouts. Do they look safe? Are you comfortable being there? Ask yourself if the people around you seem to share your views on fun activities — if you think they’re being reckless, move on.
  • Be sure your body language shows a sense of confidence. Look like you know where you’re going and act alert.
  • When riding on public transportation, sit near the driver and stay awake. Attackers are looking for vulnerable targets.
  • Carry a cell phone if possible. Make sure it’s programmed with your parents’ or close friends phone number(s).
  • Be willing to report crimes in your neighborhood and school to the police.

One of the best – Voice power

If you ever need help use your voice shouting words like “let go” “go away” “leave me alone” anything that can grab the attention of those around you. Besides, loud shouting in someones ear also works as a great deterrent. It hurts your ears!!!

Self Defence classes

I am biased I know, but the only way to prepare yourself to fight off an attacker is to take a self defence class. It would be awesome to be able to read an article like this one and be fully prepared. Unfortunately somethings you can only learn from trying.

A good self defence class will teach you more than just techniques. They will teach you how to size up the situation and environment you are in so you can decide what to do. They will also teach you how to use your flinch reflex effectively as well as other techniques for breaking an attackers grasp etc.

One of the best things you should take away from any self defence class is self confidence. Hesitation can get you in big trouble. The last thing you want to be thinking is “Can I really pull this self defence thing off?” Dry runs in any class gives you the confidence and understanding to know you can pull that off if need be.

Find a local self defence class and get some practice in for you and your family. You never know what is around the corner and it is better to be able to give you and your loved ones a chance rather than none to get out of trouble.

Find out more about our Self Defence classes.

In today’s world violence seems to be glorified in everything from music to video games. While if hollywood is to be believed Martial Arts brims with violence you would be surprised to find out that the opposite was true and martial arts training is very beneficial for kids. Below are ten reasons why you should be considering Karate for your children.

  1. Fostering Self-Discipline – One of the core beliefs of the Karate is an absolute focus on self-discipline. Today’s kids are so accustomed to receiving instant gratification that lessons in self-restraint and discipline aren’t always easy to come by. Kids with a Karate background, however, are continually reminded of how essential self-discipline is.
  2. Boosting Socialization Skills – Kids who don’t always thrive in highly social environments may find it easier to get to know people and make new friends when they’re in a room filled with peers who share a common interest. Devotees to the martial arts are able to get to know one another through shared pursuits.
  3. Encouraging Physical Activity – Limiting screen time is a great idea when it comes to getting kids off the couch and encouraging them to be more active, but it only goes so far. Enrolling an inactive child in such a physically demanding pastime not only discourages the sedentary lifestyle she’s used to, but also gives her an enjoyable activity that inspires her to keep moving.
  4. Learning to Set and Achieve Goals – Most forms of Karate are based around an accomplishment system of colored belts that signify the wearer’s degree of skill. When your child strives toward each new belt, he’s learning valuable lessons about setting and reaching his goals and how instant gratification is not how the world works. The understanding of working hard to achieve your goals is a key facet in all Karate training.
  5. Increased Self-Esteem – Give your child’s self-esteem level will get a boost with every new move he masters and every belt he earns. Confidence comes with achievement, kids who struggle with a low sense of self-worth usually become more confident as time progresses while they’re enrolled in a Karate class.
  6. Instilling a Sense of Respect – Learning any martial arts style will require your child to show her instructor unflinching respect. Today’s kid culture doesn’t always include respect for authority, adults or those in advanced positions. Class teaches them to focus and pay respect to their instructor and other students as well as the environment (dojo) they are training in.
  7. Encouraging Non-Violent Conflict Resolution – Thinking that Karate instruction promotes violent behavior is justified if your only experience with the activity comes from television or movies. In fact, many defensive styles teach kids peaceful, non-violent conflict resolution skills and emphasize the importance of avoiding a physical altercation.
  8. Improving Listening Skills – In order to master the skills she’s being taught and advance through the belt ranks, your child will have to exercise superior listening skills. Kids who aren’t always adept when it comes to paying attention to what they’re told can benefit from the verbal instruction in the dojo.
  9. Developing Teamwork Skills – Whether he’s breaking boards to get a new belt or sparring in a practice setting to master a new maneuver, there are few things that your child does in his Karate classes that will be done on his own. Working together to learn new things and accomplish goals is an important life lesson for kids to learn, and instruction in Karate can help your child learn that lesson.
  10. Improvement in Other Areas of Life – The benefits of martial arts training don’t end in the dojo. The boost in confidence, increased fitness level and new cooperation skills will also help your child navigate the academic and social aspects of school, affect their behavior at home and have an all-around good influence on them as they develop into an adult.

You may even find that training is the perfect activity for your entire family to do together. Along with Swimming we think karate is one of the essential things that provide your children with a solid foundation for their future. Come along and check out our classes and see karate 4 kids benefits your child.

Come down and check out our Kids karate, Youth Karate and Life Skills driven Martial Arts classes in our Parklands, Christchurch club.

…so what have you decided to do this year. What goals have you laid out before you? The infamous New Years resolution tradition of setting unattainable goals is upon us. So many of us simply set ourselves up to fail right from the beginning. Much like the karate curriculum, goals should be broken down into smaller chunks which can be achieved and measured progress seen. Thus contributing to the motivation to complete the overarching goal you may have.

So for everyone I recommend reviewing those resolutions you have set. How realistic are they? If you broke them down into smaller goals how realistic are each of those goals? Take a good look and approach your 2017 year from a different viewpoint and look back at the end at everything you achieved.

Here’s a simple example: Lets say you want to do 50,000+ kicks this year. That’s a 1000 kicks each week. Whoa there! You say what. you are cra cra, as my kids say, a 1000 kicks no way!

But lets look again, 1000 kicks / 7 days is only 140ish kicks per day. 140 kicks / 2 legs is only 70 kicks per leg. Take your basic kick type of front kick, roundhouse, side kick, reverse side kick, outside crescent, inside crescent, hook kick and you have 7 kicks. So 10 kicks of each type on each leg every day makes 140 kicks a day. Say 2 secs per kick and some rounding gives us 5 mins total time each day to compete your daily goal. Boom you are doing 1000 a week without even breaking a sweat.

So then you can macro scale it up. 140 kicks a day takes 5 mins. Just 35 mins a week would see you do 50,000+ kicks this year. 50,000!!

Ask yourself, How good would your kicks be if you did a 1000 a week?

Take your goal and reverse engineer it, you will surprised with the results and what you could actually achieve. Making your New Years resolution an actual reality and not consigned to the goal setting rust heap like so many others.

A quick reminder. Classes start back Monday 9th of January at usual times. Beginner Kids 4.30pm, Yellow belt+ Kids 5.30pm, Adults 6.30pm

Wednesday classes have the same times but are now in the same location as Monday classes; Parklands community lounge. Kids 4.30pm, Families 5.30pm, Adults 6.30pm.

We are super excited to also start a Wednesday Adults class at 6.30pm. So if you or anyone you know wants to get fit and have some fun or you want some extra training this class is now available for you.

See you all in class next week, osu



Wow the end of the year is here. We just want to say a big thank you to everyone of you. We have really enjoyed bringing Martial Arts to the community and being able to pass our knowledge on to you. It has been an amazing year for us, opening a new club, grading new students and seeing them conquer their fears and nerves. Seeing our young kids develop throughout the year has been a real privilege.

We are looking forward to 2017. There are many things underway to make your training even better and to grow the club. New classes, changes to our website, visits from masters overseas, tournaments, more gradings, family fun days etc it is going to be an exciting year.

Classes resume as normal from the 09th January 2017 from 4.30pm, Parklands Community Lounge.

Unfortunately we do have one sad bit of news. Queenspark School has increased their hire fees for the hall. This has made it to expensive to keep using that facility. So from the new year all Wednesday classes will be at the Parklands Community Lounge where we have our Monday classes. Same times as before just a different location. However this is also a bit exciting as it gives the club a solid home for the next year for all classes.

You have all done so well this year and we hope you have enjoyed the classes. Have a great Christmas break and Happy New Year. Be Safe and have fun.

Most of all Keep Practising!


Sensei Chris & Sensei Mike


Hi everyone,

Well it has been a busy few months. Lots of you have graded or are getting close to grading. Well done to everyone who has achieved the first step on their martial arts journey. Remember to keep practicing and use the website where you will find videos and a list of what you need for your next grading. If you have forgotten your password you can reset it on the website. If you have not got a login then please contact Sensei Chris and he will sort this out for you.

You may have seen some of the students wearing some stylish Shizoku hoodies lately. We only have a few left so if you would like one for you or your family members please let Sensei Chris or Paula know your sizes and we can see if we can get some more.

Wednesday nights growing fast

The club continues to expand with Wednesday night classes growing in size quickly. Don’t forget you can switch between Monday and Wednesday if you are unable to attend either class.

Tell us about your experience so far.

We want to know what you think of things so far. Help us to give you what you want by answering our short survey for us.

Click on this link and tell us what you think:

Staying in touch

Currently we are posting information about classes etc on our Facebook page. As we grow we will bring on other channels of communication. Like our Facebook page to stay in touch: . You never know you might find a picture or video of you training. :)

Some questions you have asked.

When is the first grading? Everyone always wants to know when they will get their next belt. As you progress through the ranks this can become longer and longer as their is more to learn. However you can expect to grade for your Yellow belt within about 3-4 months of beginning your training if you are attending regular classes. From there it is up to you.

It is important to remember that everyone learns at different rates and depending on how hard you practice your grading may take longer or less time than others. This is your journey and yours alone and it will happen at a pace which you set.

Don’t forget that practice make perfect.

Coming up…

As spring approaches we can start to think about outdoor training and some extra seminars on techniques or weapons. Stay tuned for updates on things coming up.


Sensei Chris
“Always use common sense before self defense – Osu”

Millions of people across the world take self-defense classes every week. But are they just wasting their time and money? Wouldn’t you rather spend this with your friends, family or go out on a date instead? And after all this sacrifice – does it even work?

No-one can deny that there are a lot of charlatans involved in Martial Arts. Instructors with fancy names who ensnare students with belts, grades, titles and certificates. Maybe self-defense classes aren’t necessary at all. Maybe you can greatly increase your odds of survival without bowing down to an instructor with a funny name in an even funnier uniform.

All in all here at Shizoku Martial Arts we feel that you should give yourself the best chance you can in today’s world to survive. It is amazing how one little thing can be the difference between life and death or serious injury. In saying that there are some great ways to add to your training and increase your odds out there in the real world.

1. Get Fit!

Being physically fit has so many advantages and is vital to your survival. The best form of “Self-defense” is literally not being there.

“Running” is a great solution, and is always put forward by the more sensible instructors.

Being physically fit will help you live longer. It reduces stress – another “Master Killer“. It also increases your mental acuity. And let’s face it. A lot of self-defense situations are caused by stupid people making stupid decisions.

Finally, another benefit of getting fit is you look and feel fit. This is very important when thinking about why people are targeted for violence. They are not picked out at random. Usually, predators are looking for those who won’t fight back. Looking fit and strong can make them think twice.

2. How do you strut!

Research shows that walking shows how vulnerable we are to an attack. By changing our walking style we can significantly increase our personal safety. Amazing huh.


Walkers rated “Easy to Attack:

  • Had Short Stride Length relative to height
  • Had a “Gestural Walking Style”, a low-energy style with limited
    arm swing and lifting of the feet.
  • Weigh relatively little
  • Wear restrictive clothing like high heels and skirts

Walkers rated “Difficult to Attack”

  • Had a “Postural Walking Style”
  • Has Long Stride Length with Swinging Arms
  • A Swinging Foot Position
  • Energetic, Fast Walk
  • Weighed More

What the would-be muggers were looking for were snapshots of powerlessness. A victim. Somebody who offers sufficient reward for relatively little effort.

Self defense classes are great at giving you the self belief and confidence in your self to stand tall and walk proudly.

3. Learn How to Back-Down and Say “I’m Sorry!”

There is a theory on how violence happens and it has been outlined in “The Monkey Dance” theory, which has the following order:

  1. An aggressive, hard stare
  2. A verbal challenge, e.g “You got a problem with me?!”
  3. Closing to within arms-reach with increased signs of adrenaline (arms gesturing, chest puffed out, face turning pale)
  4. Escalating Violent Threats which are usually monosyllabic.
  5. Eventually, one of the participants will make contact with their index finger on the other’s chest. This can rapidly escalate into pushing and shoving
  6. Finally, one of the participants touches the other’s face, usually the nose with an index finger. This leads to a large, looping overhand punch being thrown, and the fight begins.

Sound familiar? If you’ve not been in one, you’ve probably seen plenty in the school-yard, outside bars and clubs or most places where alcohol’s consumed. And sadly, most men (and due to the differences in how adrenaline affects the sexes it’s almost always men) haven’t progressed emotionally beyond the school gates.

It’s not all our fault thought. The “Monkey Dance” is hard-wired into us. We also find it difficult to say “You’re right. My bad. I was being an ****hole.” It’s really hard when we ARE actually being an ****hole. Close to impossible when you’re “In the right”. Being “right” offers scant consolation if you’re beaten right into the local intensive unit…

Never underestimate the power of good people skills. By keeping a cool head when confronted by intense situations you stand a better chance of simply apologising and walking away intact.

Good empty-hand skills can allow you to create space to either get to a weapon or get the hell out of there. It also easier to prove “reasonable force” in a court of law. If you shoot or stab somebody (even in “Self-Defense) there’s a good chance that’s where you could end up. Again, this is something that is rarely considered in self-defense classes…

The Bottom Line

Remember, the best defense isn’t a good offense. The best defense is using your common sense not being there. Period… but why not give yourself a chance in case the worst happens.

1 in 9 children (aged 2–14 years) are considered clinically obese in New Zealand. Learning healthy eating habits and engaging in enjoyable physical activities can counteract hereditary and metabolic tendencies.

What causes childhood obesity?

Learning healthy eating habits is the first key to a lifetime of physical wellbeing. The average teenager eats fat-and-calorie-laden fast food at least twice a week, while only three of ten high school students report eating green vegetables nearly every day or more often.

The second key to a healthy life is frequent aerobic exercise. By converting at least half of a child’s sedentary time (watching TV, playing video games, working on a PC) into daily, fun physical activities, the obesity epidemic can be greatly reduced.

How martial arts can help

One of the strategies experts recommend for reducing childhood obesity (in addition to serving sensible, healthy meals) is to increase daily physical activity. Taking martial arts classes is a great way to do this because with martial arts, the activities don’t feel like chores or laborious exercises. They’re all fun!

As children learn new martial arts skills – how to focus, how to think and act responsibly, how to think like, and evolve into, a life-long champion – they develop an awareness of themselves and others that fosters respect and a sense of independent accomplishment that is hard to match in any other way. With the martial arts belt system students remain motivated, encouraged, and positive because they’re always moving forward in measurable and emotionally satisfying ways.

For parents there is very little more satisfying than watching their beaming martial arts student achieve physical dexterity and a passion for daily activity that’s certain to promote a future bright with promise.

Why is fighting childhood obesity so important?

Increasing numbers of youngsters are developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, trouble with bones and joints, sleep disorders, and other weight-related issues that were formerly seen only in adults. Should this trend continue, our own children may become the first generation of Kiwis to have shorter life spans than their parents!

Obesity is also detrimental to the human spirit. Overweight and obese children often suffer from bullying and teasing by similar-age classmates, causing many to develop low self-esteem and depression.

At Okinawa te Karate, children learn skills and lessons that benefit them for the rest of their lives. By encouraging discipline of mind and body, martial arts go a long way toward providing children with esteem for their own bodies, respect for others, and a passion for achieving excellence in all they choose to pursue.

*excerpts from