Shotokan karate is returning to the Comox Valley, with 15-year-old instructor Ben Roberts at the helm.
Having trained in Three Hills, Alta., Roberts has achieved a remarkable amount in his short life: a 1kyu (3rd degree brown belt), attended and won a number of events over the years and more recently at Alberta provincials took first in kata and third in kumite.
A family move to the Island left Ben scrambling to find a place to continue his training and since there was no local club offering this style of karate, the obvious solution was to start one.
Under the affiliation of ISFKBC and the mentoring of Sensei Joe Dixon (technical director of ISKFBC), the Comox Valley Shotokan Karate Club was born. Being part of a large organization means that there is a set standard, support and encouragement and ongoing training for Roberts, who already is scheduled to attend a three-day seminar in Vancouver with Sensei Yaguchi.
Roberts is well supported by his family who have been swept along in his passion for karate. His younger brother and his mom are both 5kyu and more recently his dad has joined the regular family training sessions.
ISFK (International Shotokan Karate Federation) is the largest karate organization in North and South America and the Caribbean. ISKF has only one other branch on Vancouver Island, in Port Hardy. Shotokan karate is divided into three training parts: Kumite is a practical application of karate against an opponent; Kata is series of movements put together to simulate a confrontation; Kihon is the basic techniques which are the base of kata and kumite. The defining characteristics of Shotokan is the lower stances with quick linear movements powered by the hips designed to end an attack quickly.
Roberts has long loved sports and was part of his school’s track and field events, achieving first place in discus, shotput, javelin and 4x100m sprint He went on to divisionals, winning first place in all those events again and broke the javelin record.
Following this he went on to win first in javelin for Alberta South Central Zones. Roberts is an honour roll student and still finds time to continue with his piano, having passed a grade 5 theory and practical with the Royal Conservatory with first class honours.
Comox Valley Shotokan Karate Club is off to a great start having such a focused, passionate and well-mannered young man as instructor. Training will take place at the aquatic centre on Lerwick Avenue on Monday 7-8 p.m., Tuesday 4:30-5:30 p.m. and Thursday 7-8 p.m. in the waveroom.
Anyone wanting further information can call Merril at 250-339-7726. Registration is Oct. 3 at the aquatic centre.