In November 1998 Wally Szlagowski visited Blacktown Dragons Karate Club to tell the students what it was like to start karate in Australia. Wally explained how hard it was to get students when he opened the first Karate Club & the third Judo Club in Australia.

"In the beginning it was hard, conditions are a lot different today, back then there were only two Judo clubs & we were the third in the whole country. We could only dream of proper judo mats, we used old mattresses and while Judo caught on karate didn't, it was too strenuous & the general public wasn't interested. In those days it was hard enough to find any one to train with (karate) let alone spar with. They wouldn't come back."

He said "to-days karate students have a greater variety to chose from. All clubs whatever styles they represent, serve a purpose & students should think for themselves, Instructors can only show you what can be done, don't be a carbon copy of your instructor, we are all different."

Nothing takes the place of sparing, No amount of training or kata will substitute, it will come close but it's not the same thing.

Wally said the best advice he could offer in conflict is, to stay calm, forget the fancy stuff, a twirling back kick can get you into trouble, stay with the basics.

(Extracts from the Blacktown City Guardian News Paper.)


Introducing Wally to the Blacktown Dragons Karate Club Wally presenting the grading awards Shanti Freeman
Some of Wally's former students, Ian Sainsbury, Bruce Freeman & Steve Sainsbury with Andrew Craig & Janine Hush.  


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