Karate: Jane's black belt first

Busselton Dunsborough Times

Busselton's Jane Snee has been donned the title of being the first in the shire to get a dan black belt in Go- Kan-Ryu Karate.

Mrs Snee said martial arts had never held much appeal but the chance arose during her recovery from leukaemia, diagnosed when she was 22.

“Starting karate got me out of feeling delicate,” she said. “I also had a bleeding disorder because of the treatment and it was a huge psychological hurdle to get over the bruising at first.”

Now 37, Mrs Snee trained for six years before she got her provisional black belt and now instructs a class of eight students every Tuesday at the Busselton Senior Citizens Centre.

She said teaching gave her strength for the physically gruelling dan grading, which she undertook while she had a virus.

“There was one point I was thinking I couldn’t do it,” she said.

“When you get tired it’s so hard to keep things sharp, but picturing the students and being in front of the class really got me through it.”

With her husband and son also taking part in the sport, Mrs Snee said she planned to progress to third dan and thrived on the training.

“I’ve never felt I needed a lot of discipline because I just love to do it,” she said.

“I hope I’m still going at 75.”

The karate form originated in Australia 25 years ago.

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