Karate classes appeal to all ages

If you're interested in taking up karate, now's your chance. The Castlegar Shotokan Karate Club is offering beginners' classes.

Instructors Maurice Doucet

Instructors Maurice Doucet

GREG NESTEROFF

Special to the Castlegar News

If you’re interested in taking up karate, now’s your chance. The Castlegar Shotokan Karate Club is offering beginners’ classes starting February 1.

Instructor Don McLachlan says the first week is free and offers a good introduction to their style of the martial art.”There are many benefits to karate,” he says. “Foremost, it’s good exercise and good self-discipline. It’s very good for self-confidence. That’s all coupled with self-defence, which is what martial arts is all about.”

McLachlan says traditional Japanese karate shouldn’t be confused with mixed martial arts or kickboxing, for their club allows little or no contact, “so people can train and get in good physical condition, but go back to work the next day. That’s the nature of the style.”Their style is known as seihokoru, which tends to attract a slightly older crowd. The average age among their members is about 35, and there are many in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, but McLachlan says it’s good for all ages.The beginners’ classes — offered each February and September — are one hour sessions, twice a week. They run from two weeks to a month, and afterward you’re invited to attend the regular seniors class, which meets Monday and Wednesday evenings for two hours per session at Kinnaird Elementary.

There’s also a weekly class at the Pass Creek hall and a junior class for kids under 14 that meets Monday evenings in Kinnaird.Head instructor Maurice Doucet is a fifth-degree blackbelt with 35 years experience, while McLachlan is a fourth-degree blackbelt who’s been training for 34 years.In 1983, McLachlan joined an American organization and brought it north. Seihokoru Shotokan Canada now has five clubs across BC and Alberta, including the Castlegar chapter formed in the early ’90s, and another in Rossland run by Bruce Robinson.To learn more, call McLachlan at 250-364-3849 or Doucet at 250-365-7399.The club also has a website at hai-karate.ca.