Mildura Weekly : Friday July 11 Vol 8 No 36
www.milduraweekly.com.au 22 Mildura Weekly – 11/07/14 SAY the word “karate” and most people think of fighting. But that couldn’t be further from the truth when Chidokan Karate is explained in full. Renmark’s Chris Pearce, who was graded a seventh Dan black belt in the home of karate – Japan, is the chief instructor of the Renmark dojo and says if people wanted to learn martial arts in order to fight or compete, he would recommend another style of karate...or different sport. For him, the greatest triumph of his chosen karate is seeing his students, children in particular, turn their lives around through the les- sons and disciplines that Chidokan Karate instills. “This is really good for kids,” Pearce said. “At the end of each les- son we stand up and state these five things: I will be the best person I can be. I will not tell lies. I will always do my best. I will practice good manners. Iwillnotbeabullyorashow- off. “That is what we teach. Unfortu- nately, a lot of people think karate is all about fighting. “This is not sport karate – it is traditional karate-do.” Given the benefits of Chidokan Karate – producing children with good values – it is not surprising that Chris’ own son, Thom, learned the discipline, and trained through to fourth Dan black belt. Now, in turn, Thom’s son Kale, is training and, at the age of seven, has obtained his purple belt level. Chris said it was important that students earned their belts, and it would take about five years of hard training in order to gain a Chidokan black belt. “Some schools give away belts in less than a couple of years,” he said. “Chidokan is old school tradi- tional – you earn your belt, and you can wear it proudly anywhere in the world.” Chris, now 60, made his first foray into martial arts with judo at the age of six years old in Renmark. “I started Tae Kwon Do when I was 17,” he said. “Then I went over to full-contact karate when I was about 19, and went to Japan to train.” He gained a Shodan black belt and, on returning to Australia, set up several dojos in the Riverland – for full contact style Kyokushinkai Karate. Within a few years, however, he had switched to the light-contact Chidokan Karate, which is in the Shotokan-style karate school. Chris spent six months live-in training in New Zealand with the Asian Pacific head of Chidokan, ninth Dan Jack Sims, in 1978. On his return to Australia he be- came Kancho, or the head, of Chi- dokan Karate in Australia, and he continues to travel to Japan to train every couple of years. It was there that he obtained his black belt gradings. He is now a Chidokan seventh Dan black belt, awarded for technical ability, as well as gaining the Kyoshi seventh Dan from the Japan Renmei Council – a teaching title. Chris said Chidokan translated as ‘the way of inner strength.’ “People think karate is learning to fight – karate is learning not to fight – it is developing character,” he said. At his dojo karate is non-contact for beginners and only light-contact in the higher grades. “In 40 years of teaching no-one has ever been badly injured,” he said. “We don’t have accidents – it is very controlled.” Chris hosts Chidokan train- ing in Renmark and Loxton, with his second-in-command Mandy Pelly – being the Dai Sensei for an- other dojo at Alberton, in Adelaide. That dojo boasts a large number of former Renmark karate devotees among its students. “All our black belts down there are ex-Renmark,” Chris said proud- ly. Pelly is one of Pearce’s success stories, having started Chidokan as a young child, with a challenging background. “I see that the kids that stick around for a while change,” Chris said. “One of my best stories is Aman- da. She is a fifth Dan now and she has been doing karate with me since shewassix–sheisnow28. “She left school when she was 15 – she is now a qualified counsel- lor, has a paramedic degree and she teaches at our club in Adelaide. “There are so many kids that have come into the dojo 10 years lat- er and say ‘This has changed my life’. “I tell them: ‘It has also changed my life.’” Chris said Chidokan wasn’t for everyone, and he offers two free classes so that people can make an informed decision on whether the training meets their needs. For those who want to learn kick boxing or full contact karate, Chris puts them in touch with Shi- han Jon Sauer, who teaches freestyle karate, while for those who want to do sport karate he suggests Sensei Robert Matthews, whose students also train in the Shotokan style “if people want to do competition.” “But there are a lot of people who don’t want to do contact, and they don’t want to do competition,” he said. • Continued next page IN THE RIVERLAND THIS WEEK Chris Pearce has been involved with martial arts since the age of six, but for him the sport isn’t about fighting – rather it’s about developing character, self-esteem, health and fitness. He spoke this week to Mildura Weekly journalist BEV STORY about Chidokan – a traditional old school style of karate. He is the Renmark dojo’s chief instructor, as well as being the national head of the art... Chris chose karate as a lifestyle “At the end of each lesson we stand up and state these five things: I will be the best person I can be. I will not tell lies. I will always do my best. I will practice good manners. I will not be a bully or a show-off.” MILDURA 126 Lime Avenue T (03) 5021 1968 | BERRI 20 Kay Avenue T (08) 8582 2211 | www.chan-naylor.com.au PROTECTING YOUR ASSETS Protecting your assets against frivolous creditors is increasingly becoming a common concern. Traditionally people have used trusts to protect their assets. A trust is useful in this regard as the individual does not own the asset; it is owned by the trust. At Chan & Naylor we've developed a range of unique trusts and structures that can assist clients and investors who want improved asset protection and estate planning ranging from simple solutions for assets which are low in number or value to more complex solutions for larger asset bases. Contact us today for more information on asset structures.
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