3rd Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association
Grand River Karate Board of Directors
Assistant Bo Instructor
Kids Class instructor – Parents Group
1975 in Chito-Ryu laced with Shotokan which eventually took over.
Trained with Sensei Jake Klaus until 1986.
1st degree black belt in Shotokan 1984.
Kung Fu and Goju-Ryu 1986-1989.
Started Shidokan 2009 to present.
Mechanical Engineering Technologist, retired since January 2010.
Why I Started
I loved the David Carradine Kung Fu TV series running back in 72 to 75, and I was your typical 150 pound weakling…6’-3” tall, skinny as a rail with no self-confidence what-so-ever, and yes, I actually weighed 150 pounds. Kung Fu, Karate, didn’t matter to me…I just wanted to learn how to fight. My brother Mike and I looked around and ended up at the Hatashita karate dojo which was located at that time in the lower concourse of the downtown Waterloo mall, and the deciding factor being the huge hot tub and cold plunge pool in the change room. These were not particularly good reasons for doing something that would turn out to be such a profound, rewarding, and lasting experience. Guess I got lucky.
Why I like Shidokan
Shidokan is original Okinawan karate, utilizing basic technique, natural body movement and a philosophy that you can build your entire life around.
Friendship, cooperation and learning represented by the patch we all wear on our gi, the 5 precepts of Shidokan, the Karate Creed, these are not just words written in a manual, but practiced all or in part, every class I take and in every Shidokan dojo I’ve been fortunate to attend. The style is easy on the joints also, which at my age is a big plus, but at the same time it has challenged me to learn, to understand, and to perform to the best of my ability since I started. That is even more so now that I have reached the dan ranks. It wasn’t easy at first, worthwhile things seldom are. Sensei Fortunato and I were training together for a while under sensei Jake Klaus where we got to know a little of each other’s abilities and personalities. I had a healthy respect for our sensei even back then. Because of that, he was able to adopt a caring but strict attitude with me in order to help me with the transition into Shido-kan. Frankly, if he hadn’t done that, I don’t think I would be training anywhere today. My only regret in life is that I didn’t find Shido-an a lot sooner. Friendship, cooperation, and learning.
What I Enjoy About Teaching
Someone once said to me that one only realizes how well one knows a subject by one’s ability to communicate it successfully to others. In Shido-kan, that means three very important things to me personally. First, the student is your feedback on how well the information you are giving is grasped, be it mechanics or understanding. The delivery method in some cases can be far more crucial than the content. Several things come into play here such as how long the student has been training, coordination and ability, and the student’s age. For me, it is a challenge to be able to recognize this and adapt myself. This brings about one’s own self-improvement.
Second, there is no greater reward as an instructor, to see a student who has requested advice, has take action to improve and congratulated on a performance or grading. It is an honour to contribute to student’s who are eager to learn. Third, whatever your rank, there’s always someone around that can help you if you just ask.
Golf, movies, gaming.