Martial arts and Tree Photography

Updated: Apr 28, 2019


When I moved to Australia in 2003, I was working at an IT company in the city. One of my colleagues was doing a martial art and he said if I am interested in learning he can introduce me to the teacher who he knows very well.


I agreed to meet the teacher and learn more about the method . Immediately I felt a strong connection between the philosophy of the teachings such as a deep respect for others and train with purpose subsequently I fell in love with the method.


This martial arts is called "Ji Do Kwan" - which it is a mixed style of Japanese Karate and Korean Tae Kwon Do. I was so dedicated to training and I achieved my black belt. Two years later our teacher left the school and that's when I was offered the role to run the school including all responsibilities for finance and student learning and of safety.


I left IT company and I took over the school which had became my main job.  I ran the school for 4 years, teaching kids and adults.







After a long period of teaching martial arts and grading many student I decided to focus on my photography full time and relinquished my role at the school.

Running a martial arts school taught me so many skills which became the foundational skills for my photography, as well as my life. Respect for others, discipline, focus, mind and physical control are some of the many skills I gained.


When I photograph I use breathing techniques. I hold and press the shutter.  I observe, I move cautiously, observe and care about what's around the tree, how close to the trees I can tread without disturbing the sensitive surroundings.


I deeply respect the tree's space and silently seek their permission before I enter their space.

I guess for some this seems like an unusual request but it important to me.  I feel it establishes a bond between myself and the tree which often shows in the photography.

Again respect is one of the key pillars of any martial arts.


Learning martial art is a very spiritual journey and even though I have stopped training, these essential skills help. They guide me and provide a solid foundation to grow and develop my photography skills. They allow me to explore new techniques and push my skills further and further.


Achieving perfection is a journey only , a destination that you know you will never arrive. However with respect, effort, humility and discipline it is a most wonderful journey.


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© 2020 by Mayumi Kataoka - Organic Photography.  All rights reserved

Sydney | NSW | Australia | mayu@organicphotography.com.au.

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