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Teachers open the door, but you must enter yourself.

- Unknown

Awards Night - Winners

December 7, 2013


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The problem with an Awards Night is with so many deserving students it is very difficult to pick one winner. Therefore, all nominees should be recognized and congratulated! Like a "People's Choice" award, students nominate their peers, the totals are tallied and during the evening the Yudansha present the awards. They explain the importance of each category and then highlight the top nominees. The 2013 winners: Showa Cup: Eric; Top Female Athlete: Daya; Top Male Athlete: S. Ruzbeh; Karate Achievement: Zachary; Personal Achievement: Veronika; Inspirational: Raineil; Citizenship: S. Kelly; Dedication: Delbert; Volunteer: Hany; Junior: Austin; Senpai: S. Conan; and Yuseikan Scholarship: Michael. Congratulations Everyone!!! Photos: Jeff, Kris

Awards Night Dinner

December 7, 2013


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What better way to end a successful year than dressing up and attending a delicious dinner with friends and family. We had record numbers this year; the restaurant even bought new tables to accommodate us. Special appreciation goes to Li and his staff at Osaka Island Restaurant. It was especially nice seeing so many "old" faces hopefully they can return to the dojo in the New Year. Thank you to Senpai Tracy for organizing the event (especially for printing the tickets, certificates, table cards, name tags, etc.); Delbert for putting together the photos of the nominees; S. Neil for the slideshow; our many photographers; and of course to all those that attended and voted. Photos: Jeff, Kris, Austin

Masters Class

November 28, 2013


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It's not just for kids! In January, we will be starting our new Masters Class. Parents often ask what we do in our karate program; now is the chance to learn first-hand. Not only will classes enlighten you but will also target the older person who hasn’t had the time or opportunity. Learn new skills in a safe, low impact, non-competitive environment. Participants will be able to progress through the belt system without fear of injuries, physical condition, or "being too old". The focus will be on Reigisaho (etiquette), Japanese culture and customs, technique, kata, and self defence. Pre-register now for a special introductory offer.

City Hall - Self Defence

November 18, 2013


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The staff at New Westminster City Hall has been very accommodating and supportive of our Self Defence classes. The group has been very open minded and high energy; it’s always impressive what they're willing to do. They are a close-knit group of co-workers coming from various departments of City Hall. Everyone is very friendly and supportive of each other. This class was the inspiration for having a "Seniors" group; starting in early 2014 we plan to have a class for parents and mature adults. This new class would be like the City Hall one where it would be low-impact, non-competitive with a focus on technique, theory and Budo karate. More information will be announced soon.

Chocolate Fundraiser

November 12, 2013


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For the next couple weeks, we will be selling Chocolate Covered Almonds. This popular fundraiser is sponsored by Nishi Kaigan Chito Ryu our Fundraising Society. Money raised is used by our dojo members for various activities including hosting guest instructors; special events; equipment purchase; etc. Individuals can apply directly to the Society for funding. Delbert is coordinating the chocolate sales, please contact him if you can help sell chocolates.

Diwali Festival

November 3, 2013


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The dojo is made up of a diverse group of people and cultures. A large segment is the South Asian community who are now celebrating Diwali. The Indian holiday celebrates the victory of light over dark, good over evil, and prosperity over poverty. The Lower Mainland now has a weeklong celebration marking this holiday with special events throughout the city. Rupinder had a full page spread in the Province newspaper; she was the featured designer at the IndiGlam Fashion Social. Happy Diwali!

"Trick or Treat"

October 31, 2013


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For many foreigners, the idea of haunted houses, elaborate costumes, scaring people, "begging" for candy and carving perfectly edible vegetables seems so strange. In Canada, Halloween has become one of the most popular and highest grossing annual events. Our dojo members are a creative bunch (some particularly scary) who eagerly participate in the evenings celebrations. Thanks for your photos.

Dinner and Social - Wings Tap and Grill

October 26, 2013


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We had another successful fundraiser at Wings. It was great seeing some of our "old" students again especially since they will be back training. We were also witness to the infamous Bobby Wings being conquered. The wings have been described as "nuclear hot, chemically altered, teargas infused"; when ordered they normally require a signed waiver and come with stern warnings. S. Gavin ignored the warnings and devoured a POUND of the Bobby's as if they were plain wings… truly amazing considering the outcome of others.

Japanese Cuisine

October 1-16, 2013


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The best part of Japan is the people especially our karate friends and family. Aside from the people the next best thing has to be the food. This trip we had everything from "Western" pizza and pasta to the Kumamoto delicacy basashi (raw horsemeat). Pictured above: Yakiniku – grilled meat/Korean-style barbecue; Shabu Shabu – savory hotpot (like Yakiniku prepared ourselves); Ramen – wheat noodle soup (regional flavours - Kyushu area uses a pork bone broth); Udon – thick wheat noodle; Sashimi – fresh, raw fish; Basashi – raw horsemeat; Matcha and custard dessert – matcha is a fine, high quality tea used in tea ceremonies; and Takoyaki – battered octopus ball (very popular in Osaka).


October 15-16, 2013


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The last days in Kumamoto are always sad and emotional. We had our last look at the Chitose home and dojo, then went to Soke Sensei's favorite onsen. On the way back we stopped at the Tabaruzaka Battlefield where 4,000 soldiers were killed in the last Japan civil war (1877)…even in the countryside, in the middle of nowhere there is still so much Japanese history. We had a Farewell Dinner with Tamaki Sensei and Nakamura Sensei. Plans were discussed for a 2014 Canada visit by all those at dinner. Afterwards, we had "coffee" at a Café that seemed more like a nightclub. Our third typhoon and Japan’s 26th hit the Tokyo area as we were leaving. It was one of the strongest storms in the past decade leaving close to 70 people missing or dead. Over 500 flights at Tokyo airports were cancelled... amazingly, we only had a few delays and made it home safe.

Kumamoto Chito Ryu Rensei Taikai

October 14, 2013


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To commemorate the National Sports Day holiday, 17 dojos from the Kumamoto area competed in this Kumite-only event. The tournament was held in Kikuchi city…Soke Sensei’s hometown and where O-Sensei had one of his first backyard dojos. Contestants scored with good techniques that had to touch, contact or hit the opponent (depending on age). It’s much different than our WKF point tournaments; more realistic where everyone can easily see and understand points. We were surprised to see S. Ichita’s father competing (came in second; only white belt against black belts in the Masters division). We also saw Naoyuki Shihan’s dojo compete including Soke Sensei’s grandchildren. Overall, it was a well-organized event with parent volunteers, skilled officials and all participants helping with set-up and clean-up.

Mizuaraki Festival

October 12-13, 2013


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Last week we made a few candles for the “Water-Light” Festival…insignificant to the thousands they had lighting the city. Candles were everywhere: in the streets, trees, river, walkways, etc. Streets were closed for venders, entertainments, and lots and lots of food. Hundreds of thousands came to this event for two days of Japanese culture: traditional music, dance and food. On the final night we ended up front center of a Taiko competition; during the finale we were encircled by hundreds of drums. It’s hard to explain the energy the drums generate…it’s like watching a massive team kata but you feel the energy as well as see it. No wonder the drums were used to motivate troops during battle.

Week in Kumamoto

October 7-11, 2013


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At the beginning of the week, Kumamoto had a Typhoon alert so schools and businesses were closed. Unfortunately, our classes were cancelled but on the positive, we had an unscheduled visit with Tanaka Sensei. The typhoon ended up missing the city aside from some wind, rain and unseasonal humidity. The next day with 32C weather, we went for a walk to Suizenji Park; the large, serene park is a sharp contrast to the bustling city surrounding it. That night we were honoured to train next to Naoyuki Shihan and the "grandchildren". Thursday was a bonding day with Tanaka Sensei and Nakamura Sensei. Friday we trained in what could be Soke Sensei's last class at the "old" dojo. Following class Soke Sensei took us to an onsen…the hotsprings are the best way to end a week.

Tanaka Sensei

October 6, 2013


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Tanaka Sensei works long hours, he had just finished a 36 hour shift so looked forward to our time together. He wanted to do something different for lunch so drove us to S. Gavin’s favorite place, the Soba Dojo. For a nominal fee, you are taught how to mix, roll and cut soba noodles. Of course, the best part is eating your own hand-made soba. Making the noodles requires similar skills as the martial arts…relaxed, flowing, graceful moves. Watching the Soba Sensei was like watching any good kata. On the way back into town we stopped to view a Kosomosu garden. The flowers are named "autumn cherry blossoms".

Nakamura Sensei

October 5, 2013


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Nakamura Sensei took us to see his friend, Nagamatsu-san, chairman of the Mizuakari festival (candlelight festival). His group of volunteers were making thousands of bamboo candles to light up the grounds/waters of Kumamoto Castle. He showed us how to make the bamboo boats with impressive assembly-line precision. After making a few boats, we then drove to Nakamura Sensei’s son’s high school. His son, Ryo, typically trains karate 2 hours a day; on Saturdays 6 hours. It was the first time Nakamura Sensei visited his son’s dojo so the team eagerly sought his advice. We then went back to Nakamura Sensei’s dojo to meet Motoshima Sensei. He has a very wide and varied martial arts background and is now promoting Systema, a Russian martial art taught to the elite Special Forces. The principles of Systema are similar to Chito Ryu so it was very interesting watching his video presentation. Finally, we picked up Tamaki Sensei for a dinner meeting.

Sohonbu Dojo

October 4, 2013


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The Sohonbu should be classified as a heritage building since so much history lies within its walls. Photos and wooden name plates show the Chito Ryu lineage; O-Sensei’s training principles are framed; weapons, training implements and bogu are stored within easy reach and the wooden floor is worn and grooved from hours of training. Sensei Todd, originally from BC is one of the few who still appreciates the value and history of the dojo. He’s also one of the best when it comes to tanden and speed training.

First Day - Kumamoto

October 3, 2013


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The last couple times our group visited Japan we stayed at the Green Hotel. It’s now the GR Hotel (Green Rich); less business hotel and more upscale, more families and foreigners; the linoleum has been replaced with carpet, the walls and doors painted and most important…now they have a large “Viking” breakfast buffet. The other big change is Nakamura Sensei closing his First Dragon Vodka Bar. For the past three years it’s been the meeting place for many Chito Ryu practitioners. On October 1st, Nakamura Sensei started his new business venture…the Heart Lab, a consulting firm that holds seminars for businesses. Chishiki Sensei conducted the first seminar. Following the session, a party was held to celebrate the new business venture, Nakamura Sensei’s birthday and to welcome us to Japan. Lots of interesting people at the party including a lady who removes “mental blocks”; she demonstrated by doing something most people assume they can’t…bending a spoon.

Bonsor's 25th Birthday

September 28, 2013


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Bonsor Recreation Complex was once Burnaby’s largest, most modern facility but now it is already 25 years old. To mark its special year, the Centre had free swimming/weight room, entertainment, displays and guest speakers. S. Kelly and Hany organized a display table including a slideshow put together by S. Neil. Happy Birthday Bonsor and thank you to our volunteers! Photos: Hany

Dinner and Social - Wings Tap and Grill

September 21, 2013


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Our ticket sales doubled overnight so it was another successful fundraiser. This was a special get-together because many students were celebrating their recent promotions. A new challenge for the new belts…eating the unnaturally hot Bobby Wings! Most sweated more eating the wings than they did at the grading? Raineil was also presented with his leather dojo jacket. Congratulations to everyone! Photos: Austin

Summer Photo Contest

September 15, 2013


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When people talk about "Those lazy days of summer" they're not talking about our group. For us, summer is extra busy with family, friends and travels. Some of those special moments were captured in our Photo Contest. From all the entries a random draw was done, and Raineil’s shot of his California vacation won!!! Raineil wins a leather/melton dojo jacket. Congratulations and thank you for all the entries!

New Poster

September 10, 2013


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Growing up in the dojo we forget many people have no clue what we’re doing. We’re often mistaken for Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu, Tai Chi and even Yoga??? Senpai Tracy put together a “We are Karate” poster, so hopefully the public will get the message. If you ever see “confused” people watching please welcome them into our “family”. We also have handouts available for distribution.

Tiny Tots

September 4, 2013


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Booking space at the new Edmonds Centre has been difficult. Many groups have gone elsewhere because of the small rooms and conflicting schedules. We managed to get Wednesday evenings in one of the better spaces so to take advantage we started a new Tiny Tots class for 4-5 year olds. Since it’s a small Wednesday class we’ve also included our younger beginners. If you know of anyone interested please let them know!

August Grading

August 27-29, 2013


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Having a grading at the end of August has its pro’s and con’s. For most, it makes a stressful summer but with many people on holidays it also means more time for training. Our gradings are based on a mentoring system where the Senpai hold special sessions to review and practice grading material. Everyone who took part in the extra classes benefited greatly; this was one of the best gradings we’ve had. It’s all about learning and improving so in the end all participants had a very productive summer. Thank you Senpai and congratulations to everyone!

Senpai Yan's Last Training

August 15, 2013


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Kind of like the Last Supper, this class was one where you found out who your friends were…turned out everyone in the dojo are more than friends. It was a challenging class but lots of lessons were learned and moments will be remembered for years. Senpai Yan is known for his spirit and ability to motivate others; his energy was felt throughout the class. Students put out 100%; nothing was left behind except a floor covered in sweat and even blood.

Dinner and Social - Wings Tap and Grill

August 14, 2013


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This was a dinner/fundraiser in honour of Senpai Yan’s visit. He just finished a practicum in Northern Ontario and was home for a few days before heading back to medical school. It was a great turnout considering the short notice. This time there were no brave souls to try the Bobby Wings though…even with an “almost” doctor in the crowd. Photos: Austin

Carwash Fundraiser

July 28, 2013


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Some fundraisers are more about teamwork, bonding and having fun…carwashes are a great example. For this event 30 volunteers washed almost 50 vehicles and made approximately $600; not bad for 4 hours work. Big Steve organized this event and even fed the crew. Thank you to all our volunteers especially to Steve. It’s great having the support of our parents and very impressive when one takes the initiative and organizes an event. Congratulations on another very successful fundraiser! Photos: S. Neil

Rupinder and Amrit's Wedding

July 18 and 19, 2013


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Weddings are one of those fun, happy occasions where friends and families gather with a common purpose of love and support. Rupinder’s wedding was no exception although it was probably larger than most and it was done in the traditional Indian style…very grand, colourful and lasting several days. Of course, an Indian wedding wouldn’t be complete without all the delicious food. To top it off, S. Gavin and Steve made the wedding cake. Congratulations to the beautiful couple!!!

Black Belts and Certificates

July 16, 2013


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For our recent yudansha grading, the results were announced a few days afterwards but results are never official until the certificates are presented. S. Ruzbeh and S. Ben are now officially Shodans and S. Kelly now Sandan. Last fall, when S. Tracy graded for Shidoin there was a mix-up with her certificate so she now has her official documents. Congratulations everyone!

Barbecue Fundraiser

July 6, 2013


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Kris and Steve hosted one of the best events this year…a backyard barbecue. For a nominal fee (money raised will go towards the new Sohonbu building fund), Kris and Steve supplied most of the food and entertainment. Steve had huge pans of Tandoori chicken, Memphis chicken, fresh Naan and S. Gavin had special seafood shish kebobs (lobster, fish, tofu etc.). Kris was Mr. Entertainment (he’s obviously hosted parties before), he rented a dunk tank and had little extras like ice-cream, freezies and even a piñata. Thanks Kris, Steve and everyone for their contributions! Photos: Jason L.

Pre-Opening Tour – Edmonds Community Centre

June 21, 2013


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The $30 million complex is almost finished! Grand Opening will be July 1st as part of the Canada Day Celebration. The building is beautiful but our rooms will be smaller than what we anticipated. Our main dojo will be in Multi-Purpose 1 on the main floor. Next to it is the Active Room which is what we were hoping for. We will also be booked upstairs in Multi-Purpose 2 which is a great compromise (more spacious, mirrors, sprung hardwood floor). Our first class at the new Centre will be on July 2nd.

Father’s Day Photo Contest

June 16, 2013


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Through unconditional love, unwavering support, as teachers and advisors, and through humour and tears, Fathers make us better people. We thank and honour them through our Photo Contest. Selecting the “best” photo was very difficult since they all captured many of those special moments we cherish. In the end, Austin and his Father, Jason won. They received gift certificates/tickets for IHOP Restaurant (Lougheed Mall), June 6th Barbecue and Osaka Island Japanese Restaurant. Other winners were: S. Tracy – IHOP Restaurant; S. Ruzbeh – June 6th Barbecue; and Veronika – Osaka Island Restaurant. Congratulations to the winners and thank you for all the excellent submissions. Please support our sponsors IHOP (Lougheed Mall) and Osaka Island restaurants.

Dinner and Social – Paddle Wheeler

June 8, 2013


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After weeks preparing for Soke Sensei, his visit and grading… a night out was well deserved. Despite a busy week it was a good turnout and probably one of the better socials especially for recapping the many events. It was good to see everyone enjoy themselves, many out of relief but also in support of those who advanced at the recent grading.

Soke Sensei and Chitose Shihan - Grading

June 2, 2013 – June 3, 2013


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There is always some nervous tension when Soke Sensei visits. He is the head of Chito Ryu and respected like royalty. Making it more stressful this year, we also had a “mandatory” grading for the black belts. Anyone complacent in their training had to put in extra effort to maintain or advance their rank. For this grading, we encouraged team-work, practicing and preparing together. As a result, the group did very well. Completing their grading and obtaining their next rank: S. Ruzbeh – Shodan; S. Ben Y. – Shodan; and S. Kelly – Sandan. Soke Sensei also gave signed manuals to S. Kelly and S. Tracy. Congratulations!

Soke Sensei and Chitose Shihan – Welcome Banquet

June 2, 2013


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One of the hardest parts of Soke Sensei's tours is adapting to the many local cuisines and delicacies. On the East coast every meal is accompanied by fresh lobster; in the States its pounds of large watermelons (melons are very expensive in Japan), and in Alberta it's usually thick juicy steaks. So when Soke Sensei ends his tour here, he looks forward to our Asian meals: Chinese cuisine, dim sum, sushi, ramen, and even Indian curry. The dinners are also the best time to relax, learn and visit with Soke Sensei. Photos: Austin L./Kris K.

Soke Sensei and Chitose Shihan – Photos: Families

June 2, 2013


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For many people the dojo is like an extended family. It is a place where students can get advice, support and where long term friendships develop. The dojo is very fortunate because we have many great role models within our membership. Soke Sensei is always impressed by the character and the good people in Chito Ryu. Few dojos can boast the number of long term students we have, many have been dedicated to the dojo for over 25-30 years. Photos: Jason L.

Soke Sensei and Chitose Shihan - Training

June 2, 2013 – June 5, 2013


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It is always an honour to host Soke Sensei. This year was especially significant; joining him for the first time was his son Naoyuki Chitose Shihan. This will be the first of many visits by the younger Sensei. When Chitose Shihan was only 15 years old, he moved to Kelowna, BC to study English. It has been 14 years since his last visit. Soke Sensei plans on retiring in two years, succeeding him as the 3rd generation Soke will be Chitose Shihan. On this visit, many of our students met Chitose Shihan for the first time; hopefully they have started a long term relationship with the next Soke. Photos: Jason L.

Provincial Championships

Saturday, May 25, 2013 – Sunday, May 26, 2013


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This is the first year the Provincials have been held at the Richmond Olympic Oval. It's an impressive venue and considering those that have competed there before, it is the perfect setting for our aspiring athletes. Congratulations to all our competitors and thank you to S. Conan for coaching. Everyone did very well but it's not about the medals; those that chose to skip this tournament to focus on Soke Sensei's visit next week should also be commended. Photos: Hany G./Jason L./Kris K.

Mother's Day Photo Contest

May 12, 2013


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Everyone knows the most important person in the world is our Mother. They not only care and nurture us but they also inspire and guide us through life. To honour our Mothers, we had a photo contest; it’s obvious our Mothers are the most beautiful, fun, silly, caring and special people in the world. Thank you for your photos and congratulations to our winner: Kristina and Daiil’s mother who wins a “No Cooking Day” – a prize pack of gift certificates for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All entries were also eligible for random draws (gift certificates): Kris – IHOP (Lougheed Mall); Kaitlyn and Alex – White Spot (MetroTown); S. Neil – Mr. Ho’s Wonton House; and S. Conan – Osaka Island Japanese Restaurant. Special thanks to our sponsors; please continue to patronize these fine establishments.

Birthday Picnic

May 5, 2013


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At this time of year there always seems to be a “Surprise” party where many of the guests are more surprised than the honouree. This year it was a picnic at Queen’s Park in New Westminster…perfect location, weather and of course the best bunch of people. 80-100 students/families came out to enjoy the great variety of food, games, camaraderie and to honour Lee Sensei. Seeing many former students was a highlight, hopefully they return to the dojo soon. Photos: Kris K./Hany G./Jeff J.

Dinner and Social - Wings Tap and Grill

April 27, 2013


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With the popularity and restrictions during MMA and hockey games we had trouble booking a venue. Despite being last minute, this fundraiser was still a success… everyone likes eating and socializing. If you've never been to Wings, they have the infamous Bobby Wing... "chemically hot" (Raineil's description) which challenges even the most adventurous. The antidote...Pink Milk.

Zone 4 Playoffs

Saturday, April 20, 2013


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This regional event is a qualifier for the Provincial tournament to be held at the Richmond Olympic Oval on May 25 and 26, 2013. Zone 4 includes dojo in Burnaby, Delta, New Westminster and Richmond. The Zone tournament is relatively small; perfect for new students or anyone wanting more experience. A side benefit, our dojo practically runs the "show" so there are familiar faces everywhere: setup/cleanup, scorekeepers, timekeepers, marshalling, and officials. A big thank you to our volunteers and congratulations to all the participants (everyone qualified for the Provincials). Photos: Jason L.

Penticton Friendship Tournament and Clinic

Saturday, April 13, 2013 and Sunday, April 14, 2013


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This annual event is our favorite road trip. Sensei Taneda, 7th Dan, Kyoshi, is the highest ranking Chito Ryu instructor outside of Japan. With his expertise and experience, his group puts on one of the most organized tournaments. This year we had fewer participants but like always...those that attended are already planning for next year's event. Photos: Kris K.

Merchandise - Hoodies

April 2013

Group     Kids     Kids Sitting     Lucy and Paul    

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Other than our team jackets and merchandise for specific events, we haven't ordered "everyday" clothing for some time. Since hoodies have been in high demand we outfitted our group with the popular item. Thanks to Veronika for organizing the large order. If you have request for other items please see Senpai Tracy.

Dinner/Auction - Cat and Fiddle

March 23, 2013

Ladies Table     Ben's Table     Boys Table     Boys Auction

Del and Zachary     Raffle Tickets     S. Dorothy and S. Ed     Steve and Kris

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For several years, the dojo has been having monthly socials at local restaurants. Rather than spend money on these outings it was decided to put the funds back into the dojo, thus began our monthly fundraisers. Money raised from our spring events will be used for Soke Sensei and Naoyuki Sensei's June visit. The Cat and Fiddle dinner/auction was one of our most successful fundraisers. Special accolades go to Raineil for coordinating this event. Thanks for all your donations and support!

Grading Results

March 9, 2013

Karson and Kris     Kristina, Sergey and Daniil     Grading Girls     Grading Boys

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Grading results, good or bad, are always emotional. For non-members, the focus seems to be solely on the belts/ranks but within the dojo the emphasis is on learning and improving. The grading itself isn't as important as the process: extra training, studying, developing ties and relationships with Senpai and classmates. We want our students to do their best and in return, the students to keep "setting the bar" higher. Everyone in this grading did very well. . . no one "failed"! Interestingly, there were several families/siblings grading together which created some unique home dynamics, rivalries and support. Congratulations to everyone.

2013 February Grading

Senpai Jason's table     Yellow Belts     Yellow Belts Bo     Senpai Broderick

Senpai Saloni     Senpai Kelly     Austin     Kaitlyn

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For our colour belts, formal gradings are now held twice a year at the end of our 6 month sessions (February and August). To prepare the students, the black belt Senpai pretest, hold extra training practices and assign homework. Gradings are meant to challenge the student, provide opportunity for personal feedback and reinforce learning. The students come away knowing their successes as well as what they need to work on. Our standards are high; the ranks are not gifts they must be earned. In the end, when a student passes their new rank is well deserved and recognized.

Sato Cup

February 16, 2013

S. Conan Coaching     Daya and Lucy     Natalia Kumite     Nelson and Austin

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The Sato Cup is one of the better organized events in the Lower Mainland. The tournament is named in honour of Sensei Akira Sato, head instructor of Shito-Ryu Seiko-Kai. The event attracts participants from across Canada, USA, Japan and Argentina. Like past years, the 2013 competition was held at BCIT, Burnaby. With busy and conflicting schedules, our dojo had a smaller group attend this year. Despite the smaller turnout, everyone did very well and had a good day of camaraderie.