Justine Henriques - Shodan-ho 2019
I was born in Regina, Saskatchewan in the year 2003 and moved to Nanaimo when I was 4 years old. Before joining karate, I dabbled in a few other sports, such as dance, swimming and tae Kwan doe. None of those of those stuck with me nearly as long as karate has. When I first started I was fortunate enough to join with my friend and my younger brother by my side.
School wise, I attended a French elementary school for 8 years. I then transition to the high school that I now am currently studying at, NDSS, where I am a member of their Francophone program. Some of my interests include reading, calligraphy, sports, maths and languages. On top of the standard French and English language courses, I have also been taking a Spanish course for the past 2 years, which I wish to continue until my 12th grade.
Although I have not participated in many karate tournaments, my most memorable one must be the 2015 provincials tournament, where I was able to achieve a gold medal in kata. Outside of tournaments, I have made sure to help the Shima community as much as I could, for example, I assisted in 2 classes a week for over one year and a half. I truly enjoyed the moments in teaching when I could pass down my knowledge to others and see them progress because of it. Teaching has improved my karate so much. Noticing mistakes in others that I also saw in myself was one of the most useful aspects of perfecting my own techniques.
It is unbelievable how much this martial art has shaped me throughout the years. Karate was able to bring to me lessons that I will keep true to heart for the rest of my life. Since the beginning, I would always look up to the black belts in awe of their achievement. To be able to say that I am now one, is almost unreal. This journey will forever be a part of me and for that I am extremely grateful.