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Caroline Hazelden runs Bays Martial Art Academy based in Anzac Road, Browns Bay. A growing business that really adds a great deal to the local community. Aidan Bennett put these questions to her in early February about her passion for Martial Arts and for her local community.
AIDAN BENNETT: How long have you been doing Martial Arts?
CAROLINE HAZELDEN: I started my Martial Art journey as an Adult with Shotokan Karate in 2000. My regret is that I did not discover the benefits of Martial Arts until my 30’s. From Shotokan Karate I was introduced to Choi Kwang Do Martial Arts.
AB: How did you first get into it?
CH: Beachside Gym in Browns Bay were running a Self Defence course many years ago. From that I found out one of their personal trainers was a martial arts instructor and I basically went from there.
AB: Why is it such a good thing for people to get in to?
CH: For me it was a great way to work out, switch off the noise of other things going on and to learn something that was both physically and mentally rewarding. The majority of our members are joining for a combination of fitness, fun, focus and in many cases confidence building.
AB: At what age should people take it up?
CH: We offer around 40 age specific classes a week from three and a half years old right up to teens/adults, including our new Fitness Kickboxing programme.
AB: What is special about Bays Martial Art Academy?
CH: For us we are really focussed on family and fun. With age specific outcomes, a weekly mat chat and curriculum geared around learning in a safe and fun environment we are certainly very different from what people would expect when it comes to Martial Arts.
AB: How did you come to be based in Browns Bay?
CH: We began in Murrays Bay Primary Hall and outgrew that much quicker than expected. We started looking for our own premises so we could operate full time. After much searching we were at the local Browns Bay Market and came across a great building on Anzac Road. Since then we moved across the fence to 2/44 Anzac Road. With this down the same driveway as Rangitoto Swim School pretty much everyone knew exactly where we were.
AB: What do you love about Browns Bay?
CH: We fell in love with Browns Bay in the summer of 1998. It’s a great beach community, safe for the kids to explore and not far away from everything else you could possibly need.
AB: Do you live in Browns Bay or the Bays?
CH: Yes, we are Browns Bay residents since 1998, after moving up from Cambridge to start my apprenticeship.
AB: What is your favourite local spot in Browns Bay or the Bays?
CH: Browns Bay beach with the tide out early in the morning with everyone else walking their dogs.
AB: What is your goal for 2016?
CH: I have just returned from Korea where I sat my 4th Degree Black Belt in Choi Kwang Do. So this year is about sharing my knowledge and growing the school so we can reach out to 400 members in the community. I want as many people as possible to know the benefits of Martial Arts. This year also includes travel to International Martial Arts events in Australia and the USA.
AB: What would you be doing if you weren’t in the martial arts business?
CH: My trade is Signwriting and I love all things arty. I suspect I would be teaching young people involving Arts or Crafts.
Channel Magazine: Issuu 62 February 2016