Geordie Lavers-McBain started training in martial arts when he was only eight years old.
He began coaching in Beaudesert in 1993.
Thirty years later Black Dragon Kai is the town’s premier martial arts training facility, with many long-term students and five world champions, including Geordie’s wife, Jessica.
Geordie, who holds 27 Black Belts in different styles of martial arts and is 8th Dan in Modern Martial Arts, says his greatest satisfaction comes from seeing people he trained as children growing up.
“Running into them, whether they continued training or not, that community bond, is the most important thing I’ve felt,” he said.
One of these students, Daniel White, began learning martial arts with Geordie at age six, and is now a Senior Instructor at Black Dragon Kai Beaudesert.
Geordie, Daniel and the team of instructors teach a variety of disciplines to all ages, with the oldest student aged 78.
“We start teaching from kids who go to kindy through to teenagers and adults,” said Geordie.
Geordie has been to 22 countries around the world with students to compete in international events.
“We’ve been able to have some pretty good achievements for the people who have been dedicated enough – it is a lot of sacrifice and a lot of hard work.”
While many students take up a particular discipline, self-defence classes are the most popular.
Practical self-defence is the focus of these classes, with students taught techniques to deal with a variety of situations, including weapon attacks.
“Some people train to look good; we train to make sure we can defend ourselves,” says Geordie.
The self-defence classes take the best parts of martial arts and are taught as a single cohesive system.
Once a few techniques have been mastered, Geordie often notices a big difference in a student’s level of overall confidence.
“Once you’ve given someone a little bit of empowerment over situations, they’ve felt powerless in, you notice changes occurring and that grows and grows.”
To celebrate the 30-year anniversary of Black Dragon Kai martial arts in Beaudesert, a dinner will be held in September for all previous students at Happy Valley Chinese Restaurant.
Black Dragon Kai is holding an open day on Saturday 28 January from 10am to 12 noon at 49 Hart Street, Beaudesert.