Justina Awe, 5th Kyu, started training September 2016 at the age of 24 under the instruction of Sensei Norm Robitza and Sensei Jolene Robitza.
Her first test was in December 2016 with Master Frank Woon-A-Tai and Shihan Maureen Woon-A-Tai. Since then, Justina has tested at every grading. In March 2017, she received her 7th Kyu Rank from Shihan W. Dexter Shim and Shihan Frieda Shim. In June 2017, she received her 6th Kyu from Shihan David Pyke. In December 2017, Justina received her 5th Kyu Rank from Master Frank Woon-A-Tai and Sensei Ken Woon-A-Tai. She plans on testing for 4th Kyu Rank this month (March 2018) with Shihan Keith DaCosta.
For the most part, she trained under the instruction of Sensei Norm Robitza and Sensei Jolene Robitza at the Mount Allison Shotokan Karate (IKD). However, during the Spring and Summer of 2017, she trained at the Amherst Shotokan Karate Academy under the instruction of Shihan Dave Pyke and Shihan Janice Pyke.
Justina hasn’t competed in any tournaments but she watches videos from old IKD tournaments and looks forward to improving her techniques at the Dojo to make it to least one tournament a year.
“My inspiration comes from multiple sources. I spent most of my childhood in Lagos, Nigeria where Dambe and other traditional martial arts was practiced and wished I could do such cool stuff. I was also inspired through the media from watching movies and listening to Nigerian artist sing about Bruce Lee, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jet Li and Jackie Chan. I remember my very first training with Sensei Norm talking about the Late Bruce Lee and I said to myself, I’m in the right place!”
“I started training before IKD was formed at the Mount Allison Shotokan Karate under the instruction of Sensei Norm Robitza and Sensei Jolene Robitza. I joined because it was convenient for me as a student of Mount Allison. I attended two classes as a 10th Kyu and never returned till September 2016. In the Summer of 2016, my brothers told me to watch the movie series Hidden Colours by Tariq Nasheed and was inspired by the Late Dr. Frances Cress Welsing to join any form of martial arts.”
She attended the Mount Allison University Club Fair at the beginning of the fall semester and she signed up for classes.
“Its has been an amazing journey. It was my last year at Mount Allison but I said no matter the little time I have, I will join.”
Justina is a recent graduate from Mount Allison University and I obtained a Bachelor of Commerce with a Double Major in Commerce (Concentrate in Accounting and Finance) and Economics. She also has a Cook Diploma from the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) Moncton.
Justina enjoys home economics and everything that has to do with making a home. She also enjoys researching about Pan African History before Slavery.
“Initially, I thought the Dojo would be as strict and authoritative as it’s portrayed in the media. But training in the Dojo, the Shihans and Senseis expect us to laugh and participate. Also, I came with the notion that I will be disciplined while training but I learned that discipline is from within and If I wasn’t disciplined before Karate, I wasn’t going to be disciplined by Karate. Although I must mentioned that Karate enhances more of the internal discipline.”