One of the most popular cultural elements from the Far East is martial arts. China’s Kung Fu, Japan’s Judo, Karate, Kenpo and Aikido as well as Korea’s Tae Kwon Do (which is usually confused to be Japanese) are some of the most popular forms of martial arts in the world. Several are practised in Kenya and they are fairly popular as a sport so we caught up with one of my dear friends, Amanda, to tell us a little bit about Karate and her Karate journey. Enjoy 🙂
The Wondercores: Who is Amanda?
Amanda: Amanda likes climbing stuff 😀 This is a difficult one to start with, let’s see…
I’m an engineer to the core but in another life, I would have been a farmer. I like being around new people, but ironically rarely speak to them unless they speak to me first. I am quite passionate about war history. More specifically, the wars of the last 3 centuries and I am DEFINITELY much tougher than I look. 😀 My two biggest pet peeves are when people chew with their mouth open and when people stand too close to me in a queue.
The Wondercores: A simpler one this time, would you tell us about your karate journey?
Amanda: I joined the University of Nairobi Shotokan Karate team in 2011 when I was a freshman but I’m not active at the moment. How I got into Karate is a very funny story, you see, I was trying to join the golf club and went to inquire about it at the school’s sports department which gave me the wrong phone number, the Karate team’s chair’s phone number instead of golf’s. I tried Karate anyway and found it very interesting. What attracted me to the sport was the level of discipline. Well, that and the fact that we got to speak a little Japanese in the dojo. So, I started from the bottom (white belt) to where I am today, a proud green belt (6th kyu). 🙂 The learning process was great. We have dedicated coaches and a strong team spirit.
The Wondercores: Now that you’ve mentioned the belts, would you tell us a little more about them?
Amanda: The belt order is White – Yellow – Orange – Green – Blue – Purple – Red – Brown – Black. As I said before, I am a green belt, 6th Kyu (sixth from the black belt) and I feel that the Internet would be of use here so, here’s a good link for the various belts.
The Wondercores: Is there any other aspect of Japanese culture that you’re interested in?
Amanda: I’m not overly keen on Japanese culture, but I do enjoy sushi. I liked speaking Japanese in the dojo because it was an equaliser.
The Wondercores: What does the future look like for you and karate?
Amanda: Although karate has been good to me, I don’t see myself carrying forward beyond campus. Dojos are few and far between. I believe I’ll pick up the nearest available martial art, which might not necessarily be karate.
I may not be running to sign up for Karate but I did find this interview pretty interesting. What do you guys think? Let me know 🙂 All that’s left to say now is…
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In a perfect world, Gillian would be travelling round the world in her red vintage VW T1 van (Hippie Van) gathering stories of the people she meets and retelling them to those ready to listen. She is in the process of building this world which is now going to have all of you in it.