I am experienced IT leader who specializes in digital transformation, artificial intelligence and software engineering. In my spare time I am an aspiring (musician, digital artist, chef, batista, kendoka). I love French, Italian and Indian cuisine. My motto is taken where I first read it, from Raiden in Mortal Kombat: "There is no knowledge, that is not power!"
1. How did you become interested in practicing martial arts in a dojo?
I'm an 80s kid. I come from the world of karate kid, enter the dragon and drunken master. I've always attempted to dabble in martial arts from a young age. I just never followed through before. This time I spoke to Sensei Warren, explained that I lacked discipline and wanted to improve on that.
2. Which specific martial art(s) do you practice, and what attracted you to that style?
Currently Kendo. At first I wanted to practice Wing Chun, but after consulting Warren sensei, he explained that Kendo will help a lot more with my discipline issue. I am also a massive anime and samurai fan so this just fit!
3. How long have you been training in the dojo, and what progress have you noticed in yourself since starting?
It's been just under a year! Although I only truly started pushing myself in around May. I started knowing full well I don't do well at any sport related activities. I did manage to get a medal in the spring championship! Apart from the physical growth, I have substantially improved mentally.
4. What aspects of training in a dojo do you find most challenging or rewarding?
Kendo is the way of the sword. So it's not just about swinging your sword, or just winning. It takes a lot to fight your natural instinct. What I find is that every time I correct something that I'm not doing right, I start to make small changes for the better in my general life as well.
5. Can you describe the typical structure of a training session at your dojo?
The format is 30 - 40 mins of kata. 30 - 40 mins of Waza training. 30 - 40 in grade sparring.
6. How important is the sensei (instructor) in your martial arts journey, and what qualities do you admire in your sensei?
Warren sensei has been instrumental in keeping my passion for martial arts ignited and for my improvement in different martial arts.
I have known Warren for a long time, back in the corporate world when he made the decision to leave and pursue his love for martial arts full time. It takes a different level of courage to leave, and it resonates in his teaching style and general spirit.
7. Have you encountered any obstacles or difficulties in your training, and how have you overcome them?
A Sempai once told me that the best time to start Kendo was ten years ago, and the second-best time is right now.
I do feel that way in that from an age perspective there's a lot of unlearning I needed to do, in order to learn the techniques correctly.
Overcoming is a journey, and just practicing helps.
8. What principles or philosophies from your martial arts training do you apply to your daily life?
If anything, this has been the most important aspect of taking up kendo for me. I am planning a series of articles on LinkedIn that draws the parallels in my kendo journey and my work life.
9. In what ways has practicing martial arts in a dojo impacted your physical and mental well-being?
While Kendo is not the most physically intense martial art, it puts you through your paces, before this a simple 500m walk would have me huffing. I am definitely more fit than a year ago.
I started the year not being able to sleep, sometimes for days. The dojo starts and ends with meditation, after a few months I found that last breath out after you pushed yourself in the session helped settle my mind. This has significantly helped me mentally, as well finding a stronger mental constitution every time!
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?
I only participated in the 2023 RKC Spring Championship. I've actually never won anything sport related in my life before this event. It's definitely encouraging. Most importantly, seeing really skilled people compete and aspiring to reach their level contributes more to growth.
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.
RKC DOJO has 2 training venues within Johannesburg - RIVONIA and OBSERVATORY.
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