5 August, 2022
Top placing for martial artist
KANA Shimada-Ravey won first prize while fellow Somerset martial artist Jane Fisher also relished taking part in the recent Australian Martial Arts Championships (AMAC) on the Gold Coast.
The Mt Kilcoy-based Kana and the Sandy Creek-based Jane were among 12 competitors in the Veterans all grade Kata division, which comprised martial artists aged 35 and over.
Kana said it was a great learning curve, and that she was “so happy” that her everyday training for this tournament paid off with her top placing in her first appearance at a martial arts competition.
Originally from the Japanese city of Nagasaki, Kana taught English in her home country before moving to Australia in 2005 after accepting an offer to teach Japanese in Morayfield, Woodford and Kilcoy.
While in Kilcoy, she met martial arts instructor Graham Ravey who later became her husband and led her to become involved in Traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-Do, also known as TOGKA.
Kana had a background in volleyball but after meeting Graham, she decided to give martial arts a go.
“I feel that everyone, especially females, should be able to defend themselves,” Kana said.
“Life is not always so safe and we never know what’s around the corner.
“Basic martial arts skills, for example kicking and punching, can be learnt in around six months but also martial arts can be a way of life, and you keep learning as you go along.
“I feel that martial arts is deeper than volleyball in many aspects like breathing, spirituality and so on.”
Having received her black belt in 2013, Kana said she still felt there was a lot to learn.
While winning first prize at the AMAC was a career highlight, Kana said she also learnt a lot about the mental side of things, particularly controlling her nerves.
Looking ahead, Kana said her next goal is her 2nd Dan grading before focusing on the next championship.
“I have waited nine years for my next grading,” she said.
“Some people chase the blackbelt gradings and get them very quickly but this is not the way of TOGKA.
“The traditional way is waiting longer which produces a stronger and worthy martial artist.
“The true study of martial arts gives us confidence to defend ourselves but with this newfound ability we must not bully others.
“My philosophy is I train martial arts not to knock people down but not to be knocked down.”
Jane, who hails from Suffolk in England, won a couple of Kumite competitions in her home country about 20 years ago before moving to south-east Queensland in 2004.
Jane had a long break from martial arts until a few years ago when she saw an advertisement for a kick-punch class with Sensei Graham Ravey.
“I fancied giving that a go,” she said.
“It’s quite disciplined.
“The more you put in, the more you get out.”
As for what led her to trying martial arts in the first place, Jane said with a laugh that it was her nature.
“I was a bit feisty back in my younger days, and very sports orientated,” she said.
Jane said Goju-ryu was different from her previous style of karate.
Under the teachings of Graham, Jane said Goju-ryu improves her confidence, strength of character and focus.
“I can apply it to other aspects of my life,” she said.
“It teaches me to be peaceful, which might sound a bit strange, considering we are learning karate.”
Jane, who has a green belt, said her time at the AMAC was different from what she had previously experienced.
“I didn’t think I was nervous, until I got on the mat,” she said.
“I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest.”
Jane said she made one wrong move but recovered, although she didn’t earn a placing.
“It was really enjoyable and a good experience. I learned to not be so hard on myself,” she said.
“The attitude should be to do your best and enjoy it.”
Jane said she intended to take part at the AMAC again next year.