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Meet RKC Dojo Member, Terri-Lea


Terri-Lea doing Iaido at the RKC Dojo Rivonia

Meet Terri-Lea du-Pont—she wears many hats, and each one comes with its own dash of magic. By day, she's a film producer at Visual Magic SA, making waves in the industry. As a PR consultant, she's the secret sauce behind brands making their mark across Africa.
But Terri-Lea's not your typical business maven. When she's not navigating the world of film and PR, she's all about the good stuff: music that moves the soul, exploring new places, and baking up a storm with her daughter.
Passionate about sharing authentic African stories, Terri-Lea's on a mission to bring quality content to the global stage. For her, it's not just about work; it's about breaking boundaries and having a blast along the way.
She believes life’s too short not to sprinkle a bit of magic everywhere she goes.

1. How did you become interested in practicing martial arts in a dojo?


I have always loved action packed films but coming from a small country with few options and even fewer professional options I never pursued the dream at a younger age. Having matured, relocated and settled more in life I decided to pick up on those dreams.



2. Which specific martial art(s) do you practice, and what attracted you to that style?


I practice iaido - the art of drawing, cutting and sheathing the sword. I came across the RKC dojo when I googled martial arts around me, and Warren sensei was kind enough to offer that I try out all the arts offered at the dojo. I immediately took a liking to iaido as I was looking for the perfect mind, body and soul practice. It fit right in. Less cardio intensive (which is what I was looking for to add onto my gym workouts) however I literally fell in love with the discipline, form and challenge it gives the mind. I like to think of iaido as yoga meets sword martial arts. The workout is a hidden one but boy oh boy you feel it the next day.



3. How long have you been training in the dojo, and what progress have you noticed in yourself since starting?


I have been with the dojo for 6 months now and managed to pass a grading - 6th Kyū, something I’m super proud of. I also find myself a lot calmer and able to focus more in all areas of my life.



4. What aspects of training in a dojo do you find most challenging or rewarding?


Most challenging - time management as I am a mom and we all know how that can go when your child also has plenty extra curricular activities.


Most rewarding - connecting with diverse individuals who all have something you can learn from them whether young or old. Majority are pretty dedicated individuals, I would like to think a majority of them gained that dedication from their various art forms at the dojo.



5. Can you describe the typical structure of a training session at your dojo?


I love the RKC Dojo for this - structure and discipline. We arrive at the dojo and it’s on us to promptly change into our hakamas and do-gi (the traditional uniform to train the Japanese martial arts), resume with self practice/ warm ups, then our sensei takes us into exercises as a team to get our bodies thoroughly warmed up, thereafter kata practice and lastly we get to practice with a tekki (opponent). Although you do not physically strike the tekki, it’s great to envision why and how each kata is important for attack & defence.



6. How important is the sensei (instructor) in your martial arts journey, and what qualities do you admire in your sensei?


Having a sensei is extremely important, who else would better guide us lol. I love that Warren sensei is determined to remain a student as well as a leader, he is constantly evolving, looking to grade and impart more knowledge & skill. I also love having structure. I had tried out other martial arts centres before making a final decision and the RKC Dojo is worth it in every sense. You get what you pay for, time is valued, knowledge is constantly imparted therefore we remain in a state of growth and lastly we still have fun, it’s not all constant seriousness!



7. Have you encountered any obstacles or difficulties in your training, and how have you overcome them?


Now and again life draws you a nasty card in the form of ill-health however sometimes practice at home helps with recovery especially if it is a slight cold, breathing and the relaxed exercises help open up your lungs. Of course a more serious injury or illness would be an absolute obstruction but the beauty of iaido is there is not particular pace, you can go slow and work on your form if need be.



8. What principles or philosophies from your martial arts training do you apply to your daily life?


Working on my foundation is key, and I apply that in everything I do now. Another thing is we sometimes have session where we do our kata and only give positive feedback as fellow iai as opposed to the faults. I have found this so helpful in my own life. Giving myself my flowers on my everyday tasks helps me appreciate my efforts, work on them and strive to better other aspects of my daily tasks.



9. In what ways has practicing martial arts in a dojo impacted your physical and mental well-being?


Physically I have an added form of toning and conditioning to my daily workout regime however mentally…oh my gosh!…I officially have my own personal therapist in the form of iaido and cannot wait to attend my sessions as they give me a sense of release from the chaos of this world.



10. Do you participate in any competitions or demonstrations as part of your martial arts training? If so, how do these experiences contribute to your overall growth?


Yes, I have and love them. They help me focus on prepping for my grading, bettering my kata and form as well as constantly striving to be a tiny bit better each time I pick up my sword to practice. The pressure of gradings and demonstrations are “good pressure” :-)





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The Ryū Ken Chi (RKC) Dojo train the traditional Japanese martial arts of Kendo and Iaido (sword-based martial arts), as well as Jodo (the art of the short staff), that encourages the cultivation of the human character.

Kendo Kid is also available for children aged 6-12 years old. 4

RKC DOJO has 2 training venues within Johannesburg - RIVONIA and OBSERVATORY.

Please follow us on our various social media platforms:

Website: www.rkcdojo.com

Instagram: @rkc_dojo

TikTok: rkcdojo



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