Master on a mission

Milestone: Wakeley's Alexander de Araya-Soshi has been involved in martial arts for 50 years. Picture: Chris Lane

Milestone: Wakeley's Alexander de Araya-Soshi has been involved in martial arts for 50 years. Picture: Chris Lane

WAKELEY'S Alexander de Araya-Soshi is a martial arts guru.

The 65-year-old has been involved in the discipline for 50 years, with 40 of those years spent teaching it in the Fairfield area.

But his career started back in 1964, when he attended some martial arts classes in Chile.

"I did these classes with nine other guys and today, there's only two of us still kicking and punching," he said.

"Martial arts is a way of life.

"It was a novelty to us and everything we saw was an eye-opener."

The chief instructor at the Kenyukan Goju Ryu Karate-Kobudo Academy in Wakeley said the sport encompassed more than just kicking and punching or self-defence.

"It involves the mental capacity to chase goals and you also increase your academic knowledge with martial arts," Mr de Araya-Soshi said.

"I found that while I am an instructor, I have also become a teacher and psychologist.

"In the last 10 years, there's been a lot of bullying so I have to teach these kids, who have been bullied, to be reliant and confident without resorting to violence."

Mr de Araya-Soshi, a black belt in martial arts, began teaching the sport in 1970.

"I travelled to the US and spent two years training with a high-grade martial arts trainer before coming to Australia in 1973," he said.

"In 1974, I opened my first martial arts school in Darlinghurst but then I moved to Fairfield at the end on 1975 and that's when I opened my first school in the area."

While Mr de Araya-Soshi has his own martial arts school, he also runs self-defence/karate classes at Greenfield Park Neighbouring Centre and Wakeley's Mary MacKillop College and King Park Public School.

"I have a passion for teaching people and bringing them up when they feel down," he said. "It's rewarding to see people achieve their goals."

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