Shotokan based Karate in Canterbury, Melbourne
Sensei Andrew Lock
However, my Karate Master said NO! So after asking for several weeks and failing to impress him with my enthusiasm, I decided it was time to show that I was serious about this. I looked up his home address and knocked on his door that weekend and asked him again.
Being young I thought my determination must have impressed him. Years later I found out he said yes that day to get rid of me, and he thought I would never do it anyway! So at age 16 I was running a Dojo.
The following year Mark Donald took over as the Chief Instructor and right in the middle of my year 12 exams I was graded to Provisional Black Belt. The following year I was graded to 1st Dan.
In 1994 I almost gave Karate away. As I trained in class a minor heart condition saw me constantly short of breath, enduring massive chest pains and burning leg muscles. I had to adapt and do Karate to the best of my ability and accept my new short comings. Once again Karate became a struggle for me. I had to change my personal approach to a martial art that had become intuitive to me over the previous seven years. It was like starting again.
I achieved 2nd Dan in September 1996.
I continued teaching for ‘Heiwa No Te’ until December 1997.
In February of 1998 I opened ‘Tiger Spirit Karate Academy’.
December 1997. After my final class as the "Dai Sempai" (senior instructor) of the "Heiwa No Te Karate Association" Hawthorn branch.
Mark Donald remained my mentor and I continued to train with ‘Heiwa No Te’. Mark gave my club strong support and ran classes when I couldn’t attend. Below is a photo of Mark attending a Black Belt presentation at our club. It was an equally proud moment for him as he had also put lots of effort into the teaching of these students.
In October 2004 I passed my 3rd Dan Grading. I had my presentation the following week on the 4th of November. I had no idea that this achievement meant so much to me at the time. It wasn’t until years later I realised that the day of my presentation was also my 30th Birthday, such a minor and insignificant detail in comparison that it went unnoticed.
Mark Donald stepped away from 'Heiwa No Te' in early 2010. Mark encouraged in me the freedom to pursue Karate my own way, and to find and forge my own path, my own modifications, ideas and movement methods that have made ‘Tiger Spirit’ its own version of Shotokan Karate.
I have been blessed over the years to have students who have become my peers and friends. They have enabled me to learn more than I could imagine about Karate through their own unique experience.
I suppose that if my story has a message it would be to have faith in yourself and
“Just keep at it!”
Sensei Andrew Lock
Tiger Spirit Karate Academy
I still train at 'Heiwa No Te' with Sensei Peter and Sensei Tim in Thornbury. If anyone is interested in coming along let me know!
In 1988, at age 13 I had no interest in Karate, a friend of mine was keen to give it a go, but he didn’t want to attend the class by himself. I remember asking my dad if I could go, and hoping he would say no so that I had an excuse for my friend. So along I went!
Looking back now I can’t imagine my life without Karate, and I wonder how different I would have been without it. Back then I had no idea that I was starting something that would define my character, give me the strength to be humble, and the confidence to achieve in my own business
The Karate school was ‘Heiwa No Te’. My instructor was a 2nd Dan Black Belt Nathan Chater, and later Peter Hales, also a 2nd Dan.
I was less than brilliant at karate, and found it to be a struggle, but unlike school, it was a struggle I enjoyed. I wondered if I was ever going to co-ordinate my feet, and I remember looking at the higher ranks in front of me and wondering if I would ever be as good as them one day. I remember the disappointment of practicing for hours at home every week and still not getting things right, especially Kata!
The mentoring of my instructors gave me confidence, earning belts lifted my spirit, and I felt a sense of deep belonging in the club.
Two years later the Dojo I was attending in Hawthorn closed. I was determined to continue my training with the club, so I practiced at home and once a week I took public transport from my home in Armadale to the next closest class in Thornbury.
In 1991 I was in year 11, and some of my friends were having problems with bullying at school. Out of concern for their safety they were asking if I could teach them Karate. So I decided it was time to re-open the Hawthorn branch and teach karate to my friends.
Contact Sensei Andrew on 0412 248 157 or Info@tigerspirit.com.au