South Canterbury family in Seido karate world first
A Pleasant Point family of four have notched up a world first by successfully grading for their Seido karate shodan black belts on the same day.
Husband and wife Ross and Chiu-I Cressy, along with daughters Aria and Anna-Kay, undertook the three-and-a-half hour grading in Timaru on Saturday.
Ross was exhausted but ecstatic afterwards.
"It was harder than I ever imagined and I'm really proud we all made it," he said.
The family started karate six years ago after Anna-Kay brought home a pamphlet from Geraldine High School.
Ross said Anna-Kay was so excited by the thought of martial arts that they all headed off to the Temuka dojo together.
"We decided to do it as a family but to be honest, I never thought it would last.
"I guess we didn't really know what we were getting ourselves into. We probably get our strength from each other."
Ross said the main reason they didn't give up along the way was the supportive people around them.
"Also we were in it together, so no-one could really quit. We motivated each other, which probably got us through."
Anna-Kay, 18, said she was super proud of her family.
"It is fantastic to do it with mum and dad and Aria.
"I'm tired but very, very happy."
Aria, 16, said her mind kept her going, although her body was really suffering.
Exhausted at the end of the grading, Aria admitted she just wanted to go home
"We started together so we wanted to finish it together. Mum did a great job."
Chiu-I said her daughters were strong girls.
"I can't believe it, we have come a long way. It is quite amazing.
"I am very proud of them."
Ross said the continous single combat bouts at the end of the grading were very tough for each of them.
"They said 'you just have to keep your hands up and coming forward'.
"After a while you don't want to go forward, but you just have to go forward."
Battered and very bruised on Sunday, Ross said the family were immensely proud of their achievement.
"We didn't really know what was at the end, as when we started it seemed miles away.
"To be honest, when we started I didn't know whether we would make the first grading."
Temuka sixth dan instructor Lance Puhirere said it was nerve-racking watching the family.
"It's quite something, really. They have worked so hard, I am rapt for them.
"It is a world first for a family of four."
Temuka man Daniel Roberts was also successful in his black belt grading.