On the 21st of January, the Liberte Karate Leadership Group, accompanied by Sensei James, travelled to Sydney to participate in a two-day training camp with former world champion Matsuhisa Sensei aka 'Monster'. The camp was hosted by Liberte Karate's good friends Sensei Ray and Sensei Tsuneari, and was attended by people all over the country, regardless of age or karate style, including the current world kumite champion and the New Zealand kumite champion. This opportunity consisted of two days of training, including two two-hour sessions where we worked on multiple drills and techniques to better our karate, and a two hour lunch break to eat and mingle with all the different people who attended.

Right from the start we were all feeling the heat with warm up exercises that tested both our physical and mental capabilities. However, as tough as these drills were, we were continually encouraged by Matsuhisa Sensei who used these challenges to teach us the value of achieving goals and not giving up when the finish line is in sight. Getting further into the camp, we put aside the apprehension and caution we carried in with us at training with such talented and accomplished individuals, and quickly learnt how insightful and helpful it can be both competing with, and watching others perform. The techniques we were taught throughout the camp were techniques that Matsuhisa Sensei would implement in his own training and competitions. We were also taught the importance of being a 'smart' fighter, rather than purely relying on speed or power, with Matsuhisa Sensei repeatedly highlighting the necessity to think through your techniques and out-think your opponent.

Watching the way Matsuhisa Sensei performs was both inspiring and overwhelming. The corrections and tips that he was able to provide, along with those of Sensei Tsuneari and Sensei Ray help us grow and develop as aspiring karate students. We each learnt an incredible amount through this amazing opportunity and we can't wait to share what we have learnt with our amazing students at Liberte!