Usually at our End of Year Awards Days at Kansai Karate Gold Coast I like to say it has been another great year. I could not quite say that at the end of 2020. It was a different year, full of challenges and adapting to a new set of circumstances. And on a large scale, not just a few small changes. However, there was plenty of good things that did happen in 2020, and it is important to acknowledge and more importantly highlight them.

First and foremost, the students and their families at our Upper Coomera Dojo have been a huge support and have been a great inspiration in adapting to change and making the most of a rough year. It was great to have so many students continue their karate during our 2-month Lockdown when students could not attend classes in person at the dojo. We all learnt how to do Facebook Live and Zoom training and was great to see everyone take part and stay involved. It was also great to have our instructors and helpers at the dojo to assist, demonstrate and inspire our students at home. It was different and new, but we go together and made the most of it. Learning in new ways, trying new things, and sharing our common love of karate that kept us focused on our goals.

  

2020 also saw a great number of our students advancing their karate into our Advanced students ranks. Our end of year gradings saw many of our Gold Coast students taking part in the Kansai Karate combined Advanced Student (purple, brown and black belt) gradings at our Sumner Park Dojo. This was great to see our students achieving their new goals and continuing with their karate. But also, this shows the dedication of our students that have been doing continual training for 4 or more years! This is a huge effort in any form of education and such a great level of dedication. These students all set such a great example for our newer students coming along and something to look up to and strive to achieve themselves.

Speaking of our newer students, we saw such great numbers of students starting karate post lockdown. It has been great to see the excitement and enthusiasm of these new faces and watching them learn and develop their confidence, coordination, and passion for karate. It has been wonderful to see so many older children finding karate as well, partly due to the emergence of Cobra Kai on Netflix, and even the bigger kids finding karate after reliving the karate kid experience on the streaming platform.

In looking back on 2020 there have been a lot of good things, thank you to all our students, parents, and carers for being a part of it. Thank you to the helpers, assistant instructors, and our great instructing team at our Upper Coomera Dojo for making Kansai Karate Gold Coast such a great place to be.

2021 will be a different sort of year again no doubt, but I look forward to all the good opportunities we will have as well.

Sensei Michael.