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"As a woman in Kyokushin I can say that it's not for everyone"

Emilia Cahill
Despite the high employment, Emilia gave us a little time for an interview. Beautiful karateka, mother of three children. She inspires and motivates thousands of people with her lifestyle. Emilia Cahill told AppKanku about her big family, daily trainings and plans for the future.
Tell about karate in Ireland. How is this martial art developed and how popular is it?
— The IKK was founded in 1978. The first dojo was opened by Gerry O'Sullivan back in 1978. After a few years Gerry's situation changed and he was no longer able to devote his time to travelling from County Cork where he lived to Dublin once a week to teach (this is a ten hour round trip). The decision was made for Kevin Callan to take over as a Brown belt as he had been with the IKK from the start. It is difficult enough to assist at teaching in an established dojo but to take over an entire organization at brown belt would be a daunting task. Undeterred Kevin persevered in the role of chief instructor and three decades later he is now shihan Kevin with a successful organization behind him.
Back in the early 1980s several dan grades from the BKK came to Ireland for a tournament. Amongst these was (then) sensei Liam Keaveney who is originally from Ireland. He began to make regular trips over taking gradings and courses. At this stage there were no dan grades training in Ireland so to have a Sandan coming over was a big deal for us. Over time sensei Liam became shihan Liam and he took on the role of Life President of the IKK. It is not very popular in Ireland.
How many dojos are there in Ireland? Where do you train?
— IFK Ireland has 9 dojos and Maciej Solarski KWF Ireland has 3 dojos. I train in Galway dojo and in Cahir dojo.
Tell more about your training. Judging by the Instagram – you do not leave the gym!
— I train 5 times in the week at the gym and 4 times in the week in the dojos. training in the gym is all i can do by myself so in the dojo i can focus on correcting my technique, kata, kihon and kumite. I recorded my training as it helps me to improve myself and by my own coach. Instagram page is to motivated others, share my ideas and show that to accomplish anything you need to work hard.
Who is your coach now? Who did you start training with and who do you train now?
— I started training Kyokushin karate in Galway dojo in 2011 after I had my 3rd child. My coach from very beginning was senpai David King with whom I still train but from about a year My partner senpai Maciej Solarski start helping me and being my coach too.
Senpai David King
Ireland is a very picturesque. What places in your country do you particularly like?
— I like Galway, its very friendly and beautiful place, you do have to love the rain living here. It's home to me and my sons.
What did you find as a woman in such a masculine sport as Kyokushin?
— As a woman in Kyokushin I can say that it's not for everyone, i would recommend to woman to do it as they can learn that they are stronger than they think, it teaches self belief, self defence.
You train with your man. How did you get to know Maciej Solarski?
— Senpai Maciej Solarski runs Irish Kyokushin Organization that is a part of KWF. He's last trainer was shihan Andrzej Drewniak and because senpai Maciej lives in Ireland he trains himself and I'm there for support.
Me and senpai Maciej met on the first ever knockdown session done by IFK inviting KWF to train together. We met through the spring together. We kept in touch after the training.
kyokushin family
Tell a little more about your personal life, about your family.
— I'm a mother to 3 beautiful boys, on the week basics I'm a full time mother and on Sundays I work in the pharmacy. During the week I also help senpai David to teach kids on Tuesday kids class 5y-10y is from 5:30 pm-6:30 pm then is teenagers class 11y-16y from 6:30 pm-8 pm and after that i join the adults class as a student from 8pm-9:30 pm. Wednesday helping with kids class and teenagers. Friday in the dojo as a student 6 pm-8 pm. Saturday every second weekend I'm training in senpai Maciej dojo. My youngest son has been basically raised in Galway dojo as I have been taking him with me for training since he was 1 years old and till this day he travels with my for knockdown sessions or seminars that are held in Ireland.
Do your sons do Kyokushin too?
— My Kyokushin journey started with my middle son who was 5y wanted to do karate, so I have asked in Galway where there is a good place to train karate for kids. I found Kyokushin karate run by senpai David King. I enroll my 5y old son, after month my oldest son ask can he try he was then 11 years old and after 2 months I show that there are adults too so I decided to try my youngest son was then 1 years old. at this moment the oldest said he needs a break and stopped on 3rd kyu he is now 18y. My middle one who is 13 is 2nd kyu and loves going to karate camps, is very interested in doing knockdown. the youngest is now 8 years old and he love training karate he is 7 kyu. My partner Maciej kids also training karate son who is 11y old he is 4 kyu and daughter who is 10 years old, she is 8th kyu. when we all together we train kata, kumite or make sport challenges (with the oldest son). Boys keeping me determent. I always say to them that just because i have family my dreams don't stop and with the support we can achieve anything we want. together me and Maciej we have 4 boy and 1 girl.
What are the goals and challenges facing you in the near future?
— My goals are simple keep fighting, going for my nidan, travel with my family to karate camps, teaching kids the Kyokushin way of life.
What motivates you in sports? Awards, popularity, development of the spirit?
— Through Kyokushin I found and keep discovering myself, each time I step on tatami it's not about the winning but did I got better, did I improved myself, stepping off the tatami I see new things I can improve that gives me motivation to training.
Are there any stereotypes about Irishmen or karatekas, which you yourself with pleasure will confirm?
— There is no stereotypes in Ireland, they all are very open and supporting to all that want to trin.
What would you wish for those who have just started their Kyokushin classes?
To all that started they Kyokushin way of life is you don't have to prove anything to anyone but yourself so do your best, though Kyokushin you will find out your strength and weaknesses. Kyokushin karate will help you with discovering yourself. It's not only physical but mental journey.
Kyokushin seiza
Short questions:
What is the point of defeat?
There is no point of defeat, you always learn and grow from it.
Kyokushin taught me ...
Kyokushin taught me to trust myself, be confident of who I am, to be patient, caring and humble, to wake away from silly arguments.
The best place on Earth?
Best place for me is home with my family and friends.
It seems to me that Kyokushin in 10 years ...
In 10 years I'll be teaching the Kyokushin way of life, keeping the tradition and sosai Oyama legacy alive.
We thank Emilia for her time. Kyokushin is really her life and we will always welcome her success and the success of her children. OSU!
Photo: Courtesy of Emilia Cahill