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Matthew Shaw & his sister Samantha who have gained their black belts in Karate
Photo by John Bisset / Stuff

Matthew Shaw ~ Black Belt (Karate)

Matthew Shaw —

“The journey of 1000 miles starts at the first step”

This quote is shown in everything that we do and my 1000 mile journey was to pass my black belt grading in Seido Karate. The journey started for me when I was six years old, I started going once a week on a Thursday evening and the man who took it was an old English man with a bung leg and didn't look like he could do much more than walk properly but he turned out to be a very ---- man with a dry sense of humor but still very old fashioned. A great man who I learned a lot from and the man who started the teachings of my 1000 mile journey passed in January 2018.

A few more miles had passed and I earned a blue belt (8th Kyu) and was able to attend a Wednesday class and this would double the amount of classes I could go to, to grade to the next belt faster. The man who instructed this class was Sei Shihan Michael Higgs, the Senior Instructor of Timaru Seido Karate, who passed June 2019.

I kept going up the ranks and got to Yellow Belt Black tip (5th Kyu) and was grading for Green Belt (4th Kyu), which is very important grading for Timaru Seido Karate because when Sei Shihan Michael took over the club he was Green Belt (4th Kyu). My Green Belt grading went for three and a half hours and I passed that grading. I kept going up the ranks and earned my Brown Belt Black Tip (1st Kyu) on the 8th September 2019 and continued normal training until March 2020 we started running 1km a day around the block and as the time went on we began taking 4 sometimes 5 classes a week and running 4.5km everyday around the block because we were supposed to be grading to Black Belt (1st Dan) in November 2020 but Covid-19 shut that down and I had to pretty much start again and on 1st January 2021 we kept running everyday and practicing syllabus, on Saturdays I was running 6 to 7 km every Saturday.

27th March came a lot quicker than expected and it was the grading day, I made it pretty much I just had 3 to 4 more hours and I could have Black Belt (1st Dan) and we started I was really nervous when I saw 30-40 black belts ranging from 1st dan to 8th dan, but once we started and did a bit of exercise all of the nerve just runs away and I'm in the zone of I'm going to get this done and it's going to look good and 3 hours later, I was finished, I did it, I completed the 1000 mile journey I started 7 and a half years ago, so i am now one of six black belts in the family. I'm ready to start the next 1000 mile journey which will be the Army Cadets and once I finish school I'm going to go into the army and Police force, dog handling after that.