“Why Karate?” I was asked when I first decided to put Lachie at the age of six into the Shindo dojo in Altona Meadows. My reason was simple, I thought it would give him the confidence he so needed at that age being a quite reserved kind of child as well as being one of the smallest child in his grade, I believed martial arts would be a good
fit for him.

Lachie took to karate with enthusiasm and a unique ability from day one, thanks to the help, support and encouragement that Sensei Vince has always given him.

I can’t tell you how proud I was watching him go through his gradings and have people comment “Who’s that little pocket rocket, he’s pretty good”.

Dropping him off at his first black belt grading at the tender age of 11 was one of the hardest things I have done as a mother. Not knowing what was installed for him and watching Lachie’s terrified nervous little face was hard to bear, but I was very humbled that some of the adults (thank you Norm, Brad and Mario to name a few) took him under their wing and looked after him. I’ll never forget being told that most of the adults had been given 20 extra pushups for not being ready on the mats because they were consoling a terrified Lachie. I believe that to be the great Shindo spirit that everyone looks out for their own. Was also proud to hear from these same people that Lachies transformation and confidence was a complete turnaround from that shy little boy to a confident young man , who was quite comfortable to approach an adult to shake a hand , or have a joke with.

Lachie continued to show interest in karate even after his first black belt and started looking and working hard towards his 1st dan, which he achieved at the age of 12. He has then gone on to complete his 2nd dan this year at 14!

He has continued to work hard even while juggling High School with good grades and has made some lifelong friends, which he considers to be part of his family. Watching the kids and also the adults have that amazing team spirit is gorgeous to watch. I can’t thank the Shindo family enough for having so much faith in my boy and making him the confident and respected teenager he has become and that’s why I’m glad I went with my gut feeling.

His sister Jaime who is also six will continue in her brother’s footsteps and become part of the Shindo clan and start her own karate journey in 2013.