Karate devotee awarded the Dragon
DURING the fifty-four years of Ballarat Karate Club’s existence its highest accolade, the Dragon, has only been presented to forty members.
Paul Schaper is the latest recipient of the award which is based on fighting ability, heart, courage and exceptional dedication to personal karate development.
Mr Schaper, 47, said he was very surprised when he was presented with the award.
“To people outside the club it means nothing, but to be judged by my peers as being worthy of the award makes me feel very proud,” he said.
Mr Schaper was awarded the Dragon in a surprise presentation led by Hanshi, Dr Barry Packham 9th Dan, and Kyoshi, Wayne Reddrop 7th Dan.
Mr Reddop said the club’s Japanese motto for the Dragon means, “Seven times down, eight times up.”
“We felt that Paul deserved the Dragon because of his obvious extraordinary ability to carry on against all odds,” he said. “He has great patience and perseverance.”
A club member for nine years, Mr Schaper has progressed to a champion of the Okinawan karate style, Shorin Ryu.
He holds a first degree black belt and is currently completing his training to achieve a second degree black belt.
When he is not training or practising Mr Schaper teaches the junior members.
“It can be a bit challenging at times, but they are a good bunch most times,” he said. “I enjoy being able to pass on my knowledge.
“Karate is a great way to keep fit and all the club members are good people.”