Still Fighting Fit

He’s a very familiar face on the Gold Coast waterfront with his healthy crop of curly white/greyish hair and engaging smile and his story is inspiring, rich in history and achievements.

Les Anyos, who moved to the Gold Coast from Victoria in 1993, can be seen most days training Karate on the Broadwater Parklands on Marine Parade, helping inspire his pupils to achieve not only physical fitness goals, but just as importantly improving their mental health and self confidence.

At an age where most would be content to sit back, reflect on their lives and live a leisurely existence, 74 year-old Les continues to do what he’s done most if his adult life and what he loves doing, training people in the fighting arts, instilling self confidence and encouraging people to achieve their goals, helping so many to turn their lives around for the better.

While also having boxed in his early days, Les’s specialty fighting discipline is Karate. He’s a 10th Dan Sosai, basically the highest qualification you can achieve and he’s trained people, male and female, young and old, all around the world including the USA, Great Britain, Japan and Europe.

For several years he was the National secretary for the Karate Instructors Association of Australasia and he reckons that anyone of any substance in the sport, he knows them.

His 10th Dan was awarded by the American Navy with whom he spent several years training their personel in Hawaii and San Diego.

"I teach people fighting so they don’t have to fight. Learning Karate gives them confidence to stand up for themselves."

All Smiles

He also trained karate for the Australian Air Force based at Sale Air Force base in Victoria. He’s always had a strong work ethic instilled in him by his parents and for a while worked on oil rigs in Bass Strait where he also trained karate classes on the helipad.

Les lived and worked in security at the Grand Hotel across the road from where he trains people now but training people is his sole working focus now.

Training karate, while a fighting sport, that’s not what Les sets out to achieve with his students nor does he encourage people to get into scraps as he explained.

“I teach people fighting so they don’t have to fight. Learning Karate gives them confidence to stand up for themselves. As a last resort they will fight to defend themselves. Karate instills confidence, discipline and has physical and mental benefits. It’s not a testosterone test it’s a way of life.”

A pioneer of Australian Karate, only those committed to the art and taking it up for the right reasons come under Les’s tutorship and he prefers they personally come to him rather than be referred by someone else.

“I check out people before I train them to make sure they are genuine. I don’t want to waste their time or mine. Karate sets people up with basic life skills.

“A lot of people I’ve trained have come to me on the verge of committing suicide, kids from broken families, I’ve trained a lot of women from women’s refuge situations. Through Karate I’ve helped a lot of people get their lives back together.”

Interest in the Martial Arts has boomed on the Gold Coast in recent years, Les said. “On the Gold Coast back in the 1980s-90s there were three martial arts clubs here. Now there are around two and a half thousand.”

Les certainly leads by example with his work ethic. He trains every day both at his son’s gymnasium in Oxenford and beside the Broadwater.

His life is rich with experiences and he certainly didn’t have it easy as a youngster. Born in Austria with a Hungarian dad and an Austrian mum, Les migrated from Hungary with his parents as a 10 year-old.

Hard Work

“I check out people before I train them to make sure they are genuine. I don’t want to waste their time or mine. Karate sets people up with basic life skills. “A lot of people I’ve trained have come to me on the verge of committing suicide, kids from broken families, I’ve trained a lot of women from women’s refuge situations. Through Karate I’ve helped a lot of people get their lives back together.”

Being an immigrant meant he was the subject of curiosity from other kids and subject to intimidation. A neighbour took him down to the Police Club gymnasium where the fighting arts were taught and that lit the spark for his lifetime of involvement in fighting sports which included around 10 years boxing in Geelong, Victoria until Karate became his biggest sporting passion.

Not only has he inspired so many people to turn their lives around for the better, his family has a rich and famous involvement in the fighting arts highlighted by his history-making daughter Sharon (The Wild Thing) Anyos who became the first Australian woman to win a World Boxing title in 2001.

She took out five World titles in the featherweight division including the WBC World title and was due to be inducted into the American Boxing Hall of Fame. However due to the Covid pandemic she was unable to attend the presentation. Sharon has four children and now trains other women boxers on the Gold Coast.

Les’s wife Beryl was Australasian Sportsman’s Association Sportsperson of the Year in 1977 for her achievements in Karate, the first martial arts competitor to win it and at the time she was the mother of four young children.

As well as Sharon’s outstanding boxing achievements, Les’s sons are also heavily involved in sport. Brian has a gymnasium at Oxenford teaching the fighting arts, Richard is a Karate teacher and works as a disability carer, while Daniel is head trainer for the Upper Coomera AFL footie club.

This amazing man who has inspired so many people, still has the same passion for Karate as he’s always had and you only have to watch close up one of his classes like I have and you can see how much it means to him and how dedicated his students are.

Les reckons if everyone in the world did Karate, there wouldn’t be any wars.

Anyone wanting to take up karate can always contact Les most days by the Broadwater at his training venues, or you can email him on:

sbki@hotmail.com although he prefers the face to face approach. He’s not hard to find.

Discipline

Interview & story by John Alexander | Images taken by Tony Stretch.

Images:

Main Image: At 74 Years Young, Les Anyos puts a student through their paces.

All Smiles: You can catch Les down on the Broadwater Marine Parade at 6am each morning, with a welcoming smile and friendly nature.

Hard Work: A student shows how hard Les trains his students with sweat rolling form his brow as Les effortlessly defends off his attack.

Discipline: Les includes drills on the Broadwater with students to improve focus and discipline.

Share:

Comments are closed.

Search

Social Media

THE LATEST

DAN STAINS – PART OF QUEENSLAND’S MOST FAMOUS ORIGIN TEAMS

John Alexander catches up with a former Queensland rugby league state of origin star Dan Stains and gets a very interesting insight into how rugby league was at the top in the 1980s-90s in an era where no-one took a back step if the biff broke out and many players worked other jobs.

Frank Endacott’s contribution to New Zealand rugby league is probably not fully appreciated by those who aren’t close to him. Affectionately called “Happy Frank” because of his beaming cheerful smile, his enthusiasm and positive nature, he played rugby league in the days when in his words, “It was brutal.

HAPPY FRANK – A NEW ZEALAND RUGBY LEAGUE CHAMPION

Frank Endacott’s contribution to New Zealand rugby league is probably not fully appreciated by those who aren’t close to him.
Affectionately called “Happy Frank” because of his beaming cheerful smile, his enthusiasm and positive nature, he played rugby league in the days when in his words, “It was brutal.

Categories

Related Posts

MEMORIES COME FLOODING BACK

The recent deaths of two outstanding sportsman took me back in time to when I was lucky enough to see both of them in action and admire their outstanding skills.
These are my memories of those fine sportsman and the matches I watched, New Zealand test cricket opening batsman Bruce Murray and British and Irish Lions rugby winger David Duckham.

Shopping Basket