Often growing up, people are faced with challenges that are unbeatable, bullies who are unfightable or obstacles that are impassable. Failure is unavoidable and from an early age, children can feel a wave of their confidence slipping. “Somebody’s always told you growing up that you’re stupid, lazy, ugly, and if you hear it enough, you’ll start to believe that crap,” Rick McGibbon said. Rick is a man who has gained confidence through his time in the karate training halls, which are also known as dojos. He has trained as a teacher of martial arts, properly known as a sensei, for much of his life. It was through this training that Rick learned to instill confidence.
The name of the organization Rick continues to train at is Shotokan Karate International Federation (SKIF) of Maine. “When I first started training, it was Taekwondo, a type of Karate originating from Korea, and my main style, which is Shotokan,” Rick said. His stance changed in his seat, his shoulders held high.
Shotokan is a Hard-Style, originating from Japan. “Hard-Style means movements, strikes, blocks, kicks. It’s pretty linear and straight rather than Kungfu, which is circular,” Rick said. “Our organization has dojos in 108 countries around the world, including one in Antarctica,” Rick said. “I would say there are roughly around a million and a half students as of today.” He has been at it for 41 years, training in these types of martial arts defense forms. He has gained much from it.