SUPERFIT karate instructor Andrew Bennett has discipline down pat – especially when it comes to his grandchildren.
The tough sensei will lead the charge when a group of WA karate students head to Canada to compete in the karate global championships – including his own grandchildren, Anastacia, Lilliana, 13, Sarenna, 11, and Anthony, 10.
The Booragoon instructor says martial arts is a combination of discipline, respect, bonding and fun for his family.
“They are not allowed to call me granddad. Here, I am Andrew sensei,” Mr Bennett says.
Eldest grandchild Anastacia is proud that her granddad is her own “Mr Miyagi’’, the character who takes the young Daniel under his wing in the movie Karate Kid.
“I do not think about the fact that he is my granddad when we are training, because we have been taught to treat him with respect. But as soon as we get off the floor he is my granddad,” says Anastacia.
Anastacia’s mum, Joanna, 39, says that although granddad has a firm grip of the bunch in practice, the children are in charge when they get home.
“If he tells them to do something at karate practice, they will do it straight away, but if he asks them to go and get something at the family barbecue, they tell him: “No way, you are not our sensei here,” Joanna says.
“I love to see them out there on the floor with my dad. That is my favourite bit. My kids know how proud he is of them,” Joanna says.
Even though Mr Bennett is a tough sensei, there is a soft heart somewhere under the white uniform.
“I get a huge amount of enjoyment watching them out on the floor. I get to have a huge influence on their lives this way,” finishes Mr Bennett.
The global championships in karate takes place in Vancouver, Canada from September 28 to October 1.