Instructor Profile - Odile Verhagen
I started my academic life at the Lycee Pasteur Francais in Brazil and finished high school in The Netherlands. I carried on in Europe where I obtained a Bachelor in Business Administration. After working in the Printing industry I left Europe to go back to South America (Brazil) where I ended up in the Banking world. Due to personal commitments I returned to the Netherlands 3 years later where I studied for a Masters in Business Administration and one in Communications. I then went on working in the corporate world. Due to my upbringing I learned to speak various languages (French, Portuguese, English, Dutch, German and Spanish).
When I had my first child I decided not to work anymore but to dedicate my life to the children. I started FUNAKOSHI SHOTOKAN KARATE with Sensei Debi Steven in my (very) late 30’s. My oldest daughter started doing PEE WEE Karate at the age of 3 and is now part of the Funakoshi Karate Association, taught by Sensei Debi, where she is a purple belt (5th Kyu) and my youngest daughter, who is 4 years old, also does PEE WEE Karate. I recently travelled to the Funakoshi Shotokan HQ in the U.S.A. where I proudly obtained my black belt.
Beside being a physical exercise and working on stamina karate very much teaches you about the vitality of mental strength and the philosophy of life.
It is important for children, in this day and age, that they too learn about these core strengths (albeit measured according to their needs and ability) in order to develop into an integer and confident person later in life.
I teach Pee-Wee Karate, Funakoshi Shotokan Karate and have set up a mums class in Kew Gardens on a Thursday morning, which is proving extremely popular.
Sensei Odile Verhagen