1st Dan, Beikoku Shidokan Karatedo Association
Grand River Karate since 2009
1st Dan March, 2020
Accountant with CPA (CGA)
Owner of By the Brook Business Services - Accounting, leadership coaching and project management.
I started training with Grand River Karate in 2009 with my daughter, Megan, joining my son, Connor, who started training in 2007 and achieved his Shodan in 2016. It was a long journey to Shodan in March 2020 that I reached together with Megan as the world was locking down from COVID-19. It’s been quite an adventure along the way! I do not have an athletic background and never imagined this would be an achievable goal for me. I approached it one day at a time, one stripe, one belt with many trials and obstacles along the way. I continue to train virtually with Zoom classes since moving to Vancouver Island in the Fall of 2020 and now volunteer time to do a bit of bookkeeping for the club.
Why I Started
I learned of Grand River Karate through Leadership Waterloo and was attracted by the unique not-for-profit model of this martial arts association when looking for an individual sport for Connor. I joined Grand River Karate as part of the parents’ group after Megan and I watched from the benches for 2 years until she was old enough to join. Why watch when you can do? It was an amazing way to do something as a family that promotes physical and mental wellness, friendship and cooperation, with challenging and achievable goals that has become a life journey.
Why I like Shidokan
I love this style and association that promotes life learning, friendship and cooperation. Train to train another day, that honours each person’s sense of their individual limits each time they come out. Space for each person to strive to be their own best self within the practice. I love the family feeling of the club and the members are truly warm, kind and care about each other. I love the extension of that feeling of family beyond Grand River Karate dojo to the whole Shidokan association with many trips to Michigan and a trip to Okinawa in 2019 with members from across North America where we met others from associations worldwide. I love that one doesn’t need to be a Super Star Athlete to gain this kind of experience. Its open to anyone willing to learn and participate. Personally, it has taught me the impossible is possible.
What I Enjoy About Teaching
My best experience teaching was assisting with the kids’ white belt classes. The very first session of each year with the new kiddos starting up, I found so amazing to see the transformation over those first 6-8 weeks. It is incredible now to see some of those youth that have continued and grown up within the club. Some that had that “sparkle” in their eyes, so keen imagining themselves as a Sensei one day that is still in their eyes today.
Other InterestsCommunity volunteering, skiing, kayaking, hiking, and travel to name a few!