For Zimbabwe 2016 we will have three new members joining Emma and Ginie to train girls in Marondera for three weeks and set up a new dojo. Read about their background and why they decided to join FairFight.
Floris eland - Rotterdam, The netherlands
My name is Floris Eland (on the left in the picture). I am 18 years old and currently live in The Netherlands. Being a 1st dan black belt in Aikido and doing boxing on the side, the work established by Stichting FairFight immediately caught my interest when I was first told about it. I therefore applied to be part of the trip to Zimbabwe next January and am extremely grateful that the board decided to trust me with such a task and is giving me the opportunity to use my hobby for a good cause.
I have joined Stichting FairFight because I want for children living in third-world countries to have a fighting chance in a successful and happy life. I strongly believe that Martial Arts has the power to achieve such a goal as it helped me build and empower myself throughout the years. For instance Aikido, which I have been practicing since the age of 8, with its strict discipline and physical training taught me etiquette and respect, in my daily life and on the tatami (mat), as well as developed me physically and mentally. On the other hand, boxing, which I started when I was 14, is a great way to strengthen my body and satisfy my competitive side. Besides that it's a great way to test my skills in a safe environment.
Pearla Papiernik - Milan, italy
Hi! I’m Pearla (in the middle in the picture), I’m half French and half English and am currently studying Economics at Bocconi University in Italy, Milan. I started Karate 15 years ago, at the age of 5, I have also done two years of Ju Jitsu, and am now eagerly searching for the next martial art I want to try!
I am extremely excited to join the FairFight project this year; it is an amazing project that tackles the very important issue of women’s empowerment with a solution many people do not even consider, but when thought of, is incredibly logic and efficient. What I find so powerful about Martial Arts is that it does not only give you physical confidence and a sense of safety and protection, but it also gives you a general psychological strength, that in the end helps you fight for yourself, your voice and your rights.
I know that Karate has shaped my life in a way nothing else has. It helped me find confidence at every difficult stage of growing up as a woman, and will with no doubt continue helping me forever. Arming women with this reminder that they can do anything is a fight I can’t wait to be a part of, and I will be putting all my energy and passion into working to give this powerful tool to as many young girls as possible.
Mark Caddy - Canterbury, England
Hi, I’m Mark Caddy and have Yondans in Shorin Ryu & Shotokan Karate as well as belts in other arts including Kobudo, Iaijutsu and Goshin. I’ve been fortunate to be lead instructor at the University of Kent Karate club for the past 20 years, helping them achieve many individual and club medals at national student championships. It was partly down to those successes I was awarded my Shihan Menkyo status.
My training in Karate started in 1987 under David Kershaw one of the leading Shotokan practitioners in the country. Quickly becoming addicted to training it wasn’t uncommon for me to train up to 20 hours a week resulting in quickly being awarded my 1st black belt in under 3 years. Over the years I’ve taught countless students from beginner to black-belt and regularly teach at seminars attended by a hundred or more.
Having had links with the founders of FairFight and martial artists in Zimbabwe for many years and supported from the wings where able, I was delighted to take the opportunity to join them in the 2016 trip and play a far more active part working with martial artists from many different countries.