Karate Instructor Interview
Name: Patrick Galea.
At what age did you start training karate?
I started at the age of thirteen.
Who encouraged you to start this sport?
My four year elder brother was interested in martial arts and found that karate was the best training in the country at that time. This fact inspired me to start to train with him.
Was it difficult at the beginning?
Yes, because when you start karate training, you start from the basic exercises that are very hard at the beginning.
Did you practice other sports before karate?
Yes, I played different types of sports such as table tennis and football, but I have never been in a club as I just played for fun.
What makes karate so special and different from any other sports, that you like it so much?
In the beginning, karate helped me in the other sport activities I took part in. Years passed and I found out that it was helping me in everyday life. I like it more than any other sport because it has more discipline. In fact it helped me more to be self disciplined, respectful to myself and to others. Karate makes you stronger in character and it keeps you away from bad habits.
What belt are you?
Black belt – third Dan.
Which move do you like best? Why?
I think shutu uke (knife hand block) because I feel very natural doing this.
At what age did you start teaching?
I started teaching at the age of 21.
Is it a difficult sport to teach and to learn?
Yes it is difficult to learn as there is great importance in constant training which is not so simple. As a teacher one has to be as a role model for the students, thus one must never let their own standards drop.
What ages do you teach?
What age do you prefer to teach? Why?
I prefer to teach teenagers. Teenage period is a very crucial time for the individual for the development of a strong character. It is a satisfaction to see that karate students grow into responsible citizens keeping away from social vices such as drugs, alcohol etc.
How do you get on with your students?
I feel comfortable teaching them as there has always been reciprocal respect between us.
During which days do you have your lessons?
I teach 3 times a week, every Monday and Thursday for mass sessions and every Saturday for senior grades.
When do you train yourself?
I try everyday.
What is the name of your club?
It’s the Malta Bukonkai Karate Association.
Did you ever go abroad for any competition? If yes how was your experience?
Yes, I had several experiences outside Malta:-
In 1990 Nationals in England – Won 1st in team kata.
Italy in 1994 – 1st in individual kumite.
Italy in 1994 – 1st in individual kata.
Italy in 1994 (another competition) – 3rd in individual kata.
England in 2005 – 1st in individual kata.
England in 2005 – 3rd in kumite.
England in 2005 – 1st team kata.
England in 2005 – 1st team kumite.
I was satisfied with the great results my team & I had achieved,What I enjoyed most, were the training sessions every night with people from different clubs of that particular country.
Do you follow any particular diet?
I try to eat a small portion of food every 3 hours.
What is your favorite food?
Why should people do at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily?
Because it helps you physically. mentally and even socially some times. It helps in the circulation of blood, helps to reduce stress from every day routine and prevent diseases.
What are your hobbies?
Aside from Karate I like fishing and snorkeling.
What is your occupation besides that of a karate teacher?
I’m a supervisor.
Do you suffer from any medical condition? If yes how does it affect you when doing karate?
Although I suffer from asthma, it doesn’t affect me during my karate sessions.
Does karate interfere with your personal and social life?
Not at all. Karate has become part of my life style.
Do you recommend karate to everyone?
I suggest that everyone should try it because it can help everybody.
What are your greatest ambitions in life?
My greatest ambition is to keep on training throughout my life and to keep on enjoying it.
Do you have any role models?
Yes, the late sensei Colin Williams who was black belt (7thdan). He was my chief instructor for 16 years. Now I am lucky enough to have his son as my new chief instructor.
Do you see yourself as a role model for other students?
Yes I hope so.
Which were the most difficult moments in this sport in your life?
When I was down graded from black belt to brown belt because my attitude wasn’t the proper one to hold that belt.
What were your greatest achievements in karate?
Although I have many, nowadays I feel that the best achievement is that I have been the senior instructor of my club for 6 years and have kept a good level throughout.
What is your motto in life?