Belt Night at House of Shotokan Karate Academy Print E-mail
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Written by By Shane D. Williams   
Thursday, 24 January 2013 00:00

The House of Shotokan Karate Academy is home to the only eight degree black belt karate master in Belize, Shihan Ray Kelly. Kelly is one of the most decorated karate experts in the world and has won multiple world championships in the discipline. He convinced his world champion and third degree black belt wife, Tanya, to open a dojo in Belize and on January 3rd, 2010 the House of Shotokan opened its doors with a few students registering. Today, the dojo continues to grow in numbers as people of all ages take lessons in karate, kick boxing and other form of martial arts. The participants are mostly young students to whom the instructors stress the importance of the four D’s: Dedication, Determination, Discipline and Desire. The lessons at the House of Shotokan have resulted in improvements in the academic performances of students. It is for that reason that Sol Yam, Vice Principal of St. John’s College, not only fully endorsed the program but she joined as well.

Yam was one of the students that got her first belt on Friday. She said that she joined the dojo to show her students support because it was obviously building character and encouraging them to contribute positively to society. Apart from the physical training, the House of Shotokan challenges students to participate in community service such as feeding the needy, toy drives for underprivileged children and distribution of school supplies as part of a back to school program. Yam said, “Karate challenges individuals to be inwardly humble and outwardly gentle.

His Excellency David C. K. Wu, Ambassador of China (Taiwan), presented the belts to the students at the ceremony. He said the most admirable qualities that one learns from karate are “respect, self discipline and humility”. Wu received karate training during his service in the Taiwanese military. He said that he was thought to protect the weak and promote justice. From 2009 to 2011, the Government of Taiwan sent two karate experts to train soldiers of the Belize Defense Force in combat techniques. It is a program that Ambassador Wu said he is likely to reintroduce.

After receiving their belts some of the students demonstrated the art of breaking wood with their bear fists. Yam encourages all those planning to lose weight or get fit in the new year to visit the House of Shotokan Karate Academy located on Princess Margaret Drive, opposite the Kings Park Nazarene Church. She said the instructors are extremely patient and there is a program that will appeal to everyone.  

Last Updated on Thursday, 24 January 2013 13:18