Brigidine College, Indooroopilly

It was a pleasure to engage with Bernie of AGKK Brisbane, as part of our Year 10 Power to the People unit of work at Brigidine College, Indooroopilly.

Bernie demonstrated an unwavering commitment to not only sharing the disciplines of self-defence and the life skills of karate but also to empowering young people to embed habits and practises that will set them up for success in life.

Bernie’s positivity and affirming language fostered self-belief in the students and challenged them to reflect on their sense of self within the broader context of the class, cohort, school and wider community.

The Skills for Life program is wonderfully relevant and well-suited to young people. We are very fortunate to have Bernie lead these sessions this year and to witness his passion for and expertise in the field.

Kate Nankivell Curriculum Middle Leader Health & Physical Education, Brigidine College, Indooroopilly

Marist College Ashgrove

As a high school teacher I have observed Bernie Sensei with his excellent delivery for building good character, resilience, concentration, and perseverance in students. I can see students studying these Life Skills Karate based sessions puts many on a positive life path, as it is something that encourages and motivates personal growth through overcoming challenges. Students cultivate more self- esteem. I see students who attend these traditional Life Skills karate sessions and strategic principles of the art helps keep them more focused and organised with their school work and develops calmer behaviours. The training definitely has an impact on reducing stress and building emotional resilience in students. Many students have embraced the life skills of karate for both the physical and cognitive elements of the classes. I have watched students grow and develop in a relatively short time to become much more confident, respectful and resilient students. He teaches students essential skills like goal setting and reflective practice. Overall, practicing Skills for Life sessions for students in schools is the perfect answer to today's overstimulated lifestyle, as it calms the mind and strengthens the body and spirit. I cannot recommend Bernie Sensei highly enough in his very professional, educational, stimulating and positive approach.

Shaun Wiggins Teacher Marist College Ashgrove

Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology Toowong Queensland

At a recent pastoral care assembly for Years 5 to 10, Bernie Haughey delivered a structured session that focused on enhancing the students' confidence, discipline, calmness and interpersonal relationships.

This, coupled with the differentiated presentation of a school-focused context, allowed for an environment that was fostering positive actions and underlining the core values and expectations of our College.

He provided students with strategies to enrich positive attitudes and constructive self-disciplined behaviours with teachers, peers and achieving their goals.

The purpose of the session was clear and the execution was engaging, enjoyable and meaningful.

Mr Haughey's delivery reinforced dignity in all actions and the importance of students learning from their mistakes.
He made good emphasis on the importance of being courteous, respect for each other, their elders and self- control at school and home. All teachers and students appreciated the thoughtful manner in which Bernie delivered his message.

Ben Niland-Rowe Teacher Queensland Academy for Science Mathematics and Technology Toowong Queensland

Narangba Valley State High School

I have seen Bernie Haughey Sensei teach the culturally rich traditional Japanese karate and life skill sessions successfully to school students. The sessions have been eagerly joined by the students' right across the different age levels. The delivery is excellent, the manner and the relationship with the students is extremely positive and proactive.

Bernie Haughey Sensei's approach to teaching traditional Japanese karate and life skill sessions are centred in his 40 plus years' experience and his strong cultural links to the Japanese masters. He has an innate capacity to gauge the needs of students from diverse back grounds (primary and secondary) their abilities and levels of achievement, demonstrating his facility to differentiate and cater to individual student requirements in large or small groups.

It is clear to see the important elements of Bernie Sensei's classes are discipline, respect and commitment creating a group of like-minded students who respect each other and work together positively. He creates a safe, inclusive and supportive learning environment that facilitates active participation and engagement from his students reinforced by his deep knowledge of the curriculum. Through a conscious curriculum students realise the importance of learning from their mistakes making improvements through critical thinking, self-evaluation and repetition; important life skills for students of all ages. Bernie Sensei teaches more than just self-defence. In today's climate, when technology seems to be broaching a division between health and well-being, Shihan Bernie's no-nonsense approach and passion for traditional Japanese karate is what students desperately need to connect mind and body in everything that they do. Bernie Haughey Sensei is a strong leader in mindfulness education and student wellbeing he provides high-quality learning that respects traditional and contemporary methods.

Paul Berardi Teacher Narangba Valley State High School


I have known Bernie Haughey for over 20 years and can attest to the quality of his teaching methods in both the school classroom and during karate classes. I started karate when I was 15 years old and under Bernie's leadership I learned discipline, respect, persistence, responsibility, teamwork and time management, which were all skills and values that helped me navigate my teenage years and prepared me for my graduate and post graduate studies. I am now a father of four young children and have enrolled my 7 year old boy and 9 year old girl in karate. Bernie has developed age appropriate methods to ensure that younger children progress in their physical and mental wellness, whilst also providing a structured fun environment for the children to thrive.

As an exercise physiologist and national authority in paediatric movement analysis I believe that karate training provides a comprehensive workout for physical wellness across the life span and is an excellent mode of physical training for children of all abilities, including those with neurmusculoskeletal impairment (e.g. children with cerebral palsy). Karate training incorporates fine motor control, proprioceptive awareness, upper and lower body strength and flexibility, core stability, power, timing, coordination, awareness and enhanced reaction time. I would certainly recommend that karate training would be a wonderful addition to a school curriculum.

Chris Carty, B App Sci (HMS), PhD Senior Research Fellow, Menzies Health Institute Queensland School of Allied Health Sciences, Griffith University Clinical Motion Analysis Consultant, Children's Health Queensland Senior Research Fellow (Hon), School of Medicine, The University of Queensland

Mt Maria College Petrie

For three years, I have observed Bernie Haughey teaching Japanese based Life Skills Karate to school students of all ages. Bernie's positive practical approach to Karate commands respect for teachers, parents, and guardians while instilling in students the life skills of confidence and resilience. Great enthusiasm, prompted self-discipline, good manners and respect the students responded well. Students were motivated to do well and the sessions are positive and fun modeled on respect, discipline, and good energy. Great link to core values and growth mindset. He is able to connect with students at a very appropriate level that they understand, well-paced, clear replication and demonstration of skills. Encouraging to staff and students and inspiring to children to be fit for life in mind and body. I have seen students, both male and female, develop helpful life skills and grow in self-discipline especially at school. I would recommend Bernie Haughey to any primary or secondary school looking to help inspire its students.

Sean O'Kane M.A., M.Ed. Teacher Religious Education | Mt Maria College Petrie