Discipline, defence and getting active are key reasons Beaudesert’s youth are showing a strong interest in martial arts.
There were plenty of fresh faces and a strong family atmosphere when Black Dragon Kai held its open day on 28 January.
See more photos at end of story, below.
The Beaudesert Bulletin caught up with newcomers Daniel Birt, 13, and Jacob Gunn, 14, as they learned skills from founder Geordie Lavers-McBain.
“I want to try it out because I watch UFC and I saw a Black Dragon Kai poster and it looked fun. I’ve learned how to kick properly and defend myself,” said Daniel.
“I wanted to come here because I’ve been wanting to fight since I was young. Today I’ve learned how to defend myself and fight back,” said Jacob.
Jacob’s mum Brooke Setright and partner Hone brought the whole family along.
“I’ve brought them along mostly to learn about self-discipline and just getting themselves active, because they are at home a lot on their devices, and they get bored and being here is allowing them to be social,” said Brooke.
“It’s getting me out of the house to bring them along, too. The staff are so lovely with the kids, and I feel like they’ve got time for me. They’re very family oriented.”
As a steady stream of parents signed their kids up at the front desk, newcomers stepped into the matted training rooms of Black Dragon Kai’s world class headquarters.
Learning from experienced coaches, they were surrounded by flags of the 22 countries where Black Dragon Kai has represented Australia overseas. There were also countless medals, trophies and belts from Black Dragon Kai’s 500 champions – five of them world champions.
Geordie, who founded Black Dragon Kai in Beaudesert 30 years ago, now has 14 centres across Queensland and New South Wales and loves seeing his students thrive.
“Just because you’re in a small town doesn’t mean you can’t become world-class,” he said.
“It’s a small town but it’s a great town and we can have greatness come out of it.”
He said Black Dragon Kai, which offers classes for adults and kids throughout the week and even has a swimming pool out the back, had something for everyone.
“It’s great for focus, coordination, discipline and self-defence, of course. We teach lots of different strategies, not just how to physically defend yourself but also non-physical defence against bullies, and we cover things like cyber bullying,” he said.