A “Bullet” is a derogatory term for an old person. It’s also something that flies through the air with little or no warning, save for a single explosive exclamation. It travels at such speed and force that it’s imperceptible until it strikes its target.

One of the many programs offered at Samurai Claremont is the Bullets class, which takes place in the mornings on Tuesday and Thursday to accommodate the busy work schedules that many of us grapple with. The Bullets class is open to all adults, of all grades, and it aimed at karateka over 40 years young. Younger members are also welcome if their schedules prevent them from training in the traditional evening time slots. These younger members are known as “Pellets”.

I joined the Bullets in 2005 at the tender age of 35, little knowing that fifteen years later I would still be here. The group is remarkable in that it consists of people who no longer worry too much about the speed and physicality so evident in their younger karate friends, but see the practice of Kimura Shukokai as a long and winding road, with ups and downs, and many blind rises, but a path to be walked with sweat equity and with humility. And trust me, these are serious karateka! The remarkable thing about my own journey has been the friendships I’ve made with this amazing group of people. We’ve shared great moments of laughter and hard hours of grueling training, but these memories will all always be with us, binding us together as members of the same karate family. Even when you take an elbow strike.

The Bullets are lucky enough to be trained by Sensei Bruce Van Rensburg (6th Dan) and Sensei Bradley Park (6th Dan), two of the finest karateka in the KSI organisation worldwide.

They are both Bullets too. So that helps.

ROB ACTON | 4th Dan Black Belt