HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 650: 23 January 2013

A Martial Arts Odyssey and Tribute

The weekly grind of martial arts training for nine years, long enough to get a Black belt, for most people, is tough – so what does it take to commit to the “way of the Budo”. John Lowry, 18 years old and a member of the Ngatangiia Mormon Church, is to travel overseas to do mission work in the New Year. Inspired by his friends and two of the Lowry household on mission in NZ and Australia, it has been a lifelong preparation for the young man.
Completing his 7th Form last year, part time work at Foodland, bible studies, youth church activities and fitting his passion for martial arts has been challenging for John. Last week, the Cook Islands Martial Arts Academy (CIMAA) celebrated their 2012 Annual Awards with John, the proud recipient of the Black Belt Award.
His interest began in 2002 enrolling into CIMAA with siblings Thomas, Tiare and Naomi. They were members of the Academy Team in the International Martial Arts Tournament in Paradise 2004 held in Rarotonga.
John said, “It’s been an up-hill battle for me, but I believe in hard work and never giving up on your goals, life is about facing and overcoming challenges.”
The Academy Black Belt syllabus required him to: interview two recognized Black Belt instructors (Eugene Tatuava Snr – Goju Ryu; Ben Maaka – Tae Kwon Do), hold a current First Aid Certificate, no criminal record, community service and excel in the CIMAA Grading/Assessment annual workshop.
“My instructor Shihan Dan Turua pushed me hard to my very limit and beyond, exhausted but jubilant, knowing I gave it my all, this is a memorable occasion for my family and I,” adds the emotional student.
John extends his gratitude to his parents, teachers, Mormon Church Elders, CIMAA, friends and family for the support.
When pressed to comment on the secret to his longevity as a martial arts instructor, Turua has this to say: “An instructor is a leader and a huge part of real relationship is to inspire others to ‘rise above’ and achieve great things. If he can’t rise above in all aspects of his life, then he, without doubt, falls short in his leadership of others.”
“Martial Arts is my passion, sharing this knowledge and watching the growth and development of my students in their everyday lives is so rewarding. Of course, after 40 years of training, mother – time naturally creeps in and grudgingly I adapted and modified my workouts, although at my age, I’m still a student with a burning desire to improve my skills and hopefully, continue to teach at Shogun Dojo,” he added.
The Shihan also paid homage to his close friend, Black belt instructor Albert Peto Nicholas, who passed away this year.
Peto, Turua, along with a couple of close friends took up Karate in the 1970’s and foundered the Avatiu Joshi Mon Martial Arts Club.
“Peto aka Buff (Buffalo) was exactly that, a powerful, aggressive and physical character with devastating striking skills, a formidable foe in the martial arts arena and a reliable comrade in a back alley scrap,” Turua added with a grin.
In Suva, Fiji 1976, Peto, Matamaru Tongia and Frank Teinaki represented the Cook Islands at the Henry Gibson Open Full Contract Martial Arts Tournament with Peto winning the runner up Champion Sash.
In fact, a controversial call by the ref deprived him of the Ultimate Champion Trophy. When Turua interviewed Peto in 2005, he praised his Rotuman opponent and said: “I would not have missed this opportunity to display my fighting spirit and skills against worthy individuals for anything in the world. We all taste defeat one way or the other, but it is how we channel this to our advantage whether it be in martial arts, education, sports, politics or family environment. My wife Urau must also be acknowledged for her support in my quest for the ultimate challenge in martial arts.”
ACADEMY OPENS: February 2013
PROGRAMME INCLUDES: Shotokan Karate, Judo, Brazillian Jiu Jitsu
VENUE: Shogun Dojo, Upper Tupapa
DAYS: Monday & Thursday
TIME: 4 – 6pm
INSTRUCTOR: Shihan Dan Turua
Yellow Belt: Estelle Short, Zsaleya Sword Tua, Asia Areora, Riley Firmstone
Green Belt: Siana Short, Enua Heather, Maka Ponia, Memory Mana, Luke Areai, Arikitoa Allsworth, Mana Wakelin, Robati Ruaporo
Purple Belt: Tearorangi Lowry
Yellow Belt: Tereapii Rongo
Blue Belt: Dane Newnham, Khan Metuarau
Brown Belt: Adoni Rairoa (3rd Kyu), Epi Mana
Blue Belt: Maea Richmond, Tetuai Nubono
Brown Belt: Kristian Young, Naomi Mana, Justin Vano (3rd Kyu), Leimona Mana (2nd Kyu)
Black Belt: John Lowry
Little Dragons: Zsaleya Sword Tua
Juniors: Arikitoa Allsworth
Intermediates: Khan Metuarau
Seniors: Kristian Young
Little Dragons: Estelle Short
Juniors: Luke Areai
Intermediates: Adoni Rairoa
Seniors: Justin Vano
Little Dragons: Asia Areora
Juniors: Siana Short
Intermediates: Adoni Rairoa
Seniors: John Lowry
Little Dragons: Zsaleya Sword Tua
Juniors: Luke Areai
Intermediates: Adoni Rairoa
Seniors: John Lowry
President Okirua Apera, Vice President John Whitta, Secretary Mrs. Maru Apera, Parents, Students and Shihan Dan Turua extends a metaki korereka & glad tidings for the festive season to the Sponsors, Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2013.

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

Copyright 2006 Cook Islands Herald online . All rights reserved.