22 January, 2023

Young martial artists hit their straps

LAUREN and Leon have been doing Anderson Bushi Kai (ABK) Freestyle Martial Arts in Woodford for only a matter of weeks, but already they are reaping the benefits.

Leon in action at a martial arts session in Woodford.
Leon in action at a martial arts session in Woodford.

Both of them possess a white belt and have their sights on gaining a blue belt, which could lead to higher levels of achievement including a black belt.

The duo is among a contingent of martial artists who meet at the Woodford  Memorial Hall for lessons twice each week.

Lauren, who moved from Kilcoy to reside in Woodford last year, is about to start year 12 at Kilcoy State High School. She said she took up martial arts after a chance encounter with karate teacher Rick.

“I was walking back from the swimming pool when I met Rick,” she said.

“He introduced himself and said he was starting up (ABK Freestyle Martial Arts) in Woodford, and he said I should swing by the hall and see the flyer.

“I thought it looked interesting.”

Having seen a nine-year-old with a blue belt, Lauren said she thought that surely she could achieve this as well.

Lauren said it was “a mixed martial arts style” which turned out to be fun and not as difficult as she may have thought.

“It’s a great outlet,” she said.

“I live a non-aggressive life.

“I come here (to lessons) and I can experience things, and not hurt anyone.”

Lauren said martial arts could be mentally challenging as she didn’t always feel like participating, but that “I have to, if I want to get better”.

Leon, who is about to start year 3 at Woodford P-10 State School, took up Taekwondo in Aspley a few years ago before moving to Woodford with his family about 18 months ago and recently changing his martial arts style.

Leon said he took up martial arts because he liked self-defence, and that he hoped to gain a black belt some day.

Kicking, punching, back kicking, fitness and discipline were the aspects that Leon said he enjoyed about martial arts.

ABK Freestyle Martial Arts, fitness and self defence classes are held at the Woodford Memorial Hall from 6pm to 7.30pm on Mondays and Thursdays. All welcome, and no experience necessary.


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