As a child, Sebastian Lim could frequently be found perfecting his punching and kicking techniques. The 64-year-old, who has always had an interest in martial arts, got his first taste of the sport when he was 12. He says: “I first experienced martial arts when I was in Primary 6, when my brother sent me for Judo classes at Singapore Judo Club – I had a yellow belt! In secondary school, I took up Chinese martial arts – Jing Wu – and practised for two to three times a week.”
However, after graduating from the National University of Singapore with a degree in Accountancy, Sebastian’s passion took a tumble when his accounting job consumed most of his time. The long hours at work meant that he couldn’t engage in the sport as frequently as he would have liked to.
In 2013, at the age of 60, Sebastian was determined to get on the mat once again. He signed up for Aikido lessons at Siglap South Community Centre where he trains with both the young and old. In 2014, he discovered he had high cholesterol and that kicked off his desire to exercise more. Adamant on improving his health, the senior, who has a blue belt in Aikido, joined a weekly Wing Chun and Ke Jia Quan (Hakka martial arts) class. And all that training has paid off. “I no longer have high cholesterol after exercising regularly!” Sebastian says with a beam.
The physical benefits of martial arts may be apparent but for Sebastian, the sport offers so much more. “There is a lot of philosophy and history behind it. That’s what I love about martial arts.”
Besides martial arts, Sebastian also has a voracious appetite for learning. Last year, he took up a specialist diploma in business analytics from Republic Polytechnic… and he has his sights set on learning more. Smiling, he says: “I would love to expand my knowledge on the social sciences, like Sociology and Economics. I like to learn and explore new things to keep my mind active.”