Aussie karate instructor dies in Thailand

Get Moving fitness page - Malcolm Ayles, karate instructor
Malcolm Ayles, 58, has died while on holiday in Thailand. Picture: Get Moving fitness page

A popular Victorian karate instructor has died while holidaying in Thailand.

Malcolm Ayles, 58, had been fighting for his life in a coma after nearly drowning in an incident on Monday.

He was the owner and head instructor of the much-loved dojo, Shiryodo Karate, in Mount Duneed.

The Grovedale man did not regain consciousness and later died.

Malcolm Ayles screenshots
The Pattaya News Thailand footage of Geelong man Malcolm Ayles being pulled unconscious from the water in Thailand.

At the time, he had been on holiday with his wife in Pattaya – about 140km south of Bangkok – when he lost his life.

According to local media, Mr Ayles had smoked cannabis (which is legal in Thailand) and run into the bay at Jomtien Beach.

In a stoned state, he got into trouble and nearly drowned.

NCA NewsWire understands Mr Ayles yelled for help while struggling in the water and a local man tried to rescue him, dragging him to shore unconscious.

CPR was performed on him and he was then rushed to hospital in a critical condition.

Friend and colleague of Mr Ayles, Sarah Schmid, said she was “devastated” and he had been “inspirational to so many people”.

Malcolm Ayles screenshots
A local man pulled Mr Ayles from the water.

“He was the most compassionate man,” she said to the Geelong Advertiser.

“He was always thinking how we could help people best and teach the syllabus more meaningfully.

“It was so important to him to understand that every student who walks in the door has their own journey and reason for training.

“It’s not just about being fit and tough, some people come here to become a black belt but others come because they need (to boost) their confidence.”

Get Moving fitness page - Malcolm Ayles, karate instructor
The karate dojo will be closed for a fortnight. Picture: Get Moving

The karate dojo was opened by Mr Ayles in 2001 and recently raised nearly $5000 for the Royal Children’s Hospital’s Good Friday Appeal by completing 100 rounds of sparring and executing 1000 karate techniques.

In accordance with the traditional Thai mourning period of two weeks, classes at Shiryodo Karate will be suspended for a fortnight.

Mr Ayles had been well-respected in the Australian martial arts community.