Jock Findlay | Commercial Photographer

How it began

Back in 1972 as a teenager in Joburg, my friends and I discovered the local dojo. I took to martial arts immediately, but our family moved around a lot and so for many years karate became an on-again, off-again affair. I never forgot it. Then in 2015 my wife suggested I look for a dojo nearby, and I discovered KSI. Besides a few time-outs for injuries, I’ve been training ever since.

Personal philosophy

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff
  2. Never neglect what’s important
  3. ALWAYS be on time

Favourite moment in the dojo

Without question, the time Sensei Bruce announced I was ready to grade Shodan (1st Dan).

Least favourite moment

Training on the mountain one morning, I was knocked off my feet and struggled to get up quickly enough. I felt I lacked aggression in that moment. I use that memory – not to whip myself – but to spur myself on to be more aggressive and quicker on (or off!) my feet.

How karate helps me in my work

KSI Karate has taught me many things (and will continue to do so for as long as I pocket my ego). But two things stick out that help me when I’m shooting – to engage my limbs with my core, and to control my breathing. Both these skills help me to maintain stability and to be still. I prefer not to shoot with flash – and using available light means I often have to shoot with slower shutter speeds. Steady hands and controlled breathing are absolutely essential to avoid camera shake and out of focus images.

Advice for those starting out

Try not to chase belt colour, just pitch up for class and your progress will take care of itself. And when you *really* don’t feel like training, you’ll find those classes will be the ones you enjoy the most.

Ambitions for the future

I’ll turn 65 later this year and so in many ways I’m past my prime. But it’s my mission to keep contributing to the world – no matter how small – and to be productive in my work. KSI Karate forces me to stay focussed and to concentrate. Along with that, the physical aspects of keeping fit contribute to my longevity and my selfish goal of seeing both my children mature into responsible, diligent and caring adults. The dojo has become a special place for me and I will continue training and striving to improve as a human being, for as long as I can stand. And pull on my gi.


JOCK FINDLAY | 1st Dan Black Belt

* ed’s note: Jock is responsible for the fabulous images on our website. Thanks Jockie!