The Castlegar Karate Club hosted the annual Spring Seminar at Kinnaird Hall on Saturday, March 30 and Sunday March 31.
Karate enthusiasts, numbering around 30, came from nearby areas and from as far away as the communities of Airdrie and Calgary in Alberta.
Part of Karate BC, the recognized governing body for karate-do (karate) in British Columbia, the Castlegar Karate Club has been active in the community for decades and practices a style called Shotokan.
Instructor Maurice Doucet, a fifth degree black belt, said he has been involved in helping organize the Spring Seminar since the early 1980s.
There are eight levels of belts, denoting varying degrees of competence in karate skills and knowledge.
Doucet said a black belt indicates someone has a grasp of the basics. Someone with a second degree black belt has modified the style to fit their own physique and personality.
“Smaller people may be more technical, for example,” said Doucet. “Someone bigger may be more aggressive.”
Doucet said that after the third degree black belt level (where the wearer is teaching and learning additional skills with weapons and self-defence), higher degrees are typically based not on testing but more nuanced things, like community and association involvement.
Doucet said the club prides itself on giving back to the community.
“We take any left over money at the end of the year and create bursaries for Stanley Humphries Secondary School grads who are planning to attend Selkirk College,” said Doucet.
This year, the club is providing two bursaries valued at $450 each.
Doucet can be reached at 250-365-7399 for those interested in learning more.