SENSEI TOM MCMAHON
VICTORIAN CHIEF INSTRUCTOR
I commenced training when I was 14 years old with Kyokushin kai. Whilst most kids were kicking a footy or playing cricket, I was down at the local karate school (dojo) being mesmerised by these people in white karate uniforms doing amazing things with their feet and hands and moving around so quickly and smoothly!! And at the very front of the class was a man who stood no higher than 5’3” with long black hair and a handle bar shaped moustache and eyes that could stop you dead in your tracks. The aura he possessed was spine tingling and the confidence he displayed was like nothing I had seen before. I wanted to be just like him!!! This was the first time I had met Shihan Eddie Emin.
After pleading with my dad and promising to do house chores for the rest of my life, he gave me my wish and signed me up the following week.
My first 2 years of training was in an old run down hall in East St. Kilda which we would sweep and mop before every grueling 1 – 2 hour class! I remember how cold it was in winter and how HOT it got in summer. I sat 3 of my gradings at that hall and remember each one vividly. Shihan would walk between the students with a Shinai (Bamboo sword) and hit those who were under performing. The noise was worse than its bark, but you cleaned up your technique in a hurry when you heard him coming.
Shihan built an all purpose Dojo in Elwood, called the Elwood Squash Courts and Martial Arts Complex. This new place was my second home and I could always be found there when not in school or at home, asleep in my bed. I trained with an array of instructors that gave me a wealth of information and support and I believe I excelled in my Martial Arts journey because of those people. I quickly gained the confidence in Shihan who allowed me to instruct classes on Friday nights and Saturday mornings. The training was hard and very disciplined but the atmosphere and the sense of belonging to an extended family was great. I continued training for another 4 years during which time I had won various regional and state titles, but more importantly, gaining the rank of 1st kyu, before moving from the area. This was a sad day but I never lost touch with those I trained with, including Shihan Eddie. It wasn’t until a few years later that I continued my training with Kyokushin in Warragul and Lung Fu Pai in Berwick. Unfortunately both dojos closed their doors after 2 years. It was during this time I had heard the Elwood Dojo had closed down and that Shihan had moved to Moorabbin.
I had a few years off from training as I had a new family that took priority but once settled, I began training in a style called GKR with my 5 year old son, who wanted to be a Karate Kid like his dad. I trained with my son in this style for 4 years before finding Seishin Karate through a good friend. I gained the rank of 2nd Dan Black Belt with Seishin under Sensei Matthew Charles which now brings me to over 17 years experience in Martial Arts.
I will always strive for personal growth and enhance my knowledge in the Martial Arts so I can in turn pass this onto my students. Martial Arts has been an important part of my life and still is. It has provided self discipline, confidence, respect and loyalty and I have met lifelong friends that continue to inspire and educate me and I hope that my students experience the same.
NB: Sensei Tom has his Bronze NCAS Certificate, Certificate 3 & 4 in Fitness, Level 2 First Aid and his Working With Children Check