Keep-fit Karate Phyllis

You’re never too old to find a new hobby, as Board Member Phyllis Rowley proved when she took up karate at the grand age of 72. Now 73, Phyllis encourages others to give the sport a go.Phyllis 1

Q:  How long have you been doing karate? 
A:  For about 13 months.

Q:  Is it enjoyable? 
A:  Yes, very enjoyable.

Phyllis 3Q:  Why did you take up karate?
A:  Someone came and knocked on my front door and asked me if I wanted to do some self defence, and I thought why not. I’m often out and about and think self defence is an important skill for people of all ages and strengths.

Q:  Where do you do the karate class?
A:  Several different venues such as churches and school halls.

Q: What’s your latest achievement?
A:  I recently got my green belt.Phyllis 2

Q: What is your next goal? 
A:  The next belt will be the blue belt.

Q:  Why do you think others should get involved?
A:  Because it’s good for exercise and is relatively easy, there’s no climbing walls or anything like that, all the movements we do are normal natural movements, so are no problem at all. There is lots and lots of discipline and control involved, it is strictly non contact, Karate classes are purely for self defence.

Phyllis 5Q:  Do you think the younger people in the same class look up to you? 
A:  Probably, the age range starts from about 6 to my age and even older, the sky’s the limit. We all do the same thing, everyone does the same exercises and the same punches. There is one class for all, which covers everybody.

Q: When do you think you will get your blue belt?
  Hopefully December/January time. You have to do so many lessons, and then your teacher will assess you and tell you when he thinks you are ready. You are then given a grading slip with a date on which you take to another venue where a room full of Sensei’s (karate teachers) watch everybody and observe how they get on with the belt that they want. All grades are done at the same time.

Q:  How many times do you go?   Phyllis 4
A:  I go three times a week, if I can. The classes last about an hour and a half, and the first thing I thought was that I was going to suffer from this because of the movements that you do with kicking and punching, but I woke up the next morning and I was as bright as a button, no aches no pains no stiffness. The best part about it for me is that right from the very first day I went, I haven’t had any problems. I have even lost a stone in weight over the 13th months.

Q:  Have the classes made your confidence grow?
A:  Yes enormously, absolutely, I feel like I can go anywhere now.