Head instructors of Grey-Bruce Ryusei Karate, Peter Zehr and Matt Mannerow would like to congratulate Shane Countryman on achieving Shodan (1st degree black belt).
Shane started his training at the Walkerton Dojo in January 2014, it was very clear from the beginning that Shane was going to be a very dedicated student. Shane’s dedication and his ability to understand street oriented combat is very clear and he continues to work hard on his Kihon, Kata and Bunkai. Shane is looking forward to the next stages of his Karate training. Shane is also one of the assistant instructors at the Walkerton Dojo along with Zach Marsdin.
Below is Shane’s essay he wrote for his Shodan test.
What Karate Means to me
By: Shane Countryman
In Karate, you must possess discipline, respect and commitment. I’m in my fourth year of training at the Walkerton dojo under Mannerow-Sensei and during those four years I have felt myself grow, becoming more confident and I have developed skills I never thought I would acquire. Not only have I developed a deep respect for the art of karate and those who practice the art but I have learned commitment and discipline that karate encourages you to possess. Karate requires individuals to have honor and self awareness in order to be successful.
For me, karate has become an outlet. A place where I can go to leave the outside world behind. When I first started karate it was something I had always been interested in but had never been able to join. I made the decision to commit myself in something I had always wanted and I never looked back. I originally looked at karate as a way to improve my self-defense skills. I felt it was important to be able to protect myself and my family if needed. As I continued my journey I found that karate not only has taught me how protect myself but has connected my mind body and soul as one. Channeling my internal energy to create a solid unit. Karate has also helped me follow through on my goals and prove my commitment even when I have felt weak.
I have enjoyed being able to meet new friends who also possess the same passion and goals as me. The students I train with are highly skilled and push me to go further. I have been able to travel to other Dojo to train with different groups of students. This has given me great feedback that I could apply to my training. I have also had the honor to train with Sensei such as Zehr and Giffen (head instructor for the Canadian Ryusei organization) and as well as Sakamoto-Sensei (the head instructor for Ryusei Karate-do, based in Kumamoto Japan). All these critiques and feedback allowed me to take that knowledge and apply it back at the Walkerton Dojo. It also helped me to help other improve as well. Karate to me means community, we all are passionate and respectful of each other. That is something that I take with me in my daily life.
I am glad I joined all those years ago, I look forward to being able to continue to grow, learn and further my knowledge. I understand that you are never done learning and that is the beauty of this art. Karate is never dull it is always exciting. It is a serious art form that pushes me each and every class.