First Clinic of Fall 2014

What a great way to begin the Karate season!

Our first Sensei Rempel Karate clinic of Fall 2014 was great! We learned the latest in the Taiko Series - Taiko Rokudan. It is full of interesting additions to the basic form of Taiko Godan. We had fun learning the new techniques, and playing around with some bunkai. Mentally, we were feeling shell shocked a few times because of the memory work, but it all smoothed out as we drilled the Kata in segments, and then joined the segments together. The learning was peppered with fantastic stories of people and events in the karate world.

There was excellent conversation and camaraderie after the clinic and again Sunday morning at Dim Sum. We look forward to the next clinic (and AKF Annual General Meeting) at St. Matthias in Edmonton on Saturday, October 18, 2014.


7th Annual AKF Break the Cycle Breaking Event

Our AKF Karate clubs in Calgary had such a great time! We worked with our partners, Sonshine Community Services, to put on our 7th Annual AKF ”Break The Cycle” Event. So far we’ve raised over $5,500!

Our members showed courage, determination, grit, and their giving spirit during this event. We broke boards and bricks that were sponsored by our audience, to raise money to help women and children who have had to flee their homes due to domestic violence. Some of the audience members that sponsored our board breaks were children – they would pay for the board, write their name on it, pick one of us to break the board for them, and then they would take it home after the break. We invited them to come and stand nearby during the break. It was a great experience for them, and they embraced the spirit of giving.

One of our breaking crew (Aiden) was only 8 years old. When he started, he had trouble breaking the training board but, after some coaching he succeeded! Then, we had him break it for the audience. During the afternoon, he went through 5 levels of training boards, and successfully broke them for the audience!

We also had sponsored donations for Scott’s famous “Skittle” Break, a difficult kata performed by Richard, some Self Defense scenarios performed by Trudy, Tori, Carlos and Court. We had some fantastic breaks done by all members in attendance!

Our young Black Belt Tori showed true grit and determination. Her goal was to throw a side kick through a brick. She had a number of attempts, with the audience watching but was not successful … yet. She didn’t give up! On her next attempt, everyone was collectively holding their breath, and supporting her with their attention – she blew the brick apart! Everyone was completely elated when it broke! The whole audience erupted into cheers, and applause! Way to go, Tori!

This event embodies what happens to women and children when they have to leave their homes – they leave everything behind, and have to “break” through the challenges that lie ahead for them. Sonshine gives them a place to continue their healing; with security, safety, and lots of help. They need our help to continue their quest. They are not sponsored – they have to raise the required funds to operate.

Thanks to all that worked so hard to make this event spectacular!

To view all of the pictures from the event, click here to look through the gallery.

It is not too late to donate! Click the Donate Now button above to link directly to the Sonshine Community Services online donation page. There you'll find the AKF Break the Cycle Breaking Event as one of the options under the Your Donation will Support heading.



Karate is Safe … Really!

A number of years ago, one of our Senior Black Belt Instructors was overheard saying “this ain’t tiddlywinks ya know” … hardly a truer word has been spoken!

But, all kidding aside, we all know that we want to be safe in our pursuit of Karate. We want to ensure that everyone from Instructor to student can appreciate Karate for a long time – if we are injured, we can’t train.

Every Black Belt Instructor of the AKF is very aware of the potential for sports injury … especially concussions. Many of us are parents ourselves and work as doctors, nurses, teachers and other professionals who take safety very seriously. The result is that Instructors plan all activities with safety in mind and even though Karate is a contact sport, the incidence of injury in the AKF, including concussions, is virtually zero. The reasons for this are many including:

Kids working kumite with safety gear

  • The ever present attitude of safety first
    • Required First Aid/CPR and Police Checks
  • Direct, proven, real-life instruction from Black Belt Instructors
  • Black Belt Instructors ensure all training, including Kumite (sparring), is practiced in a safe, controlled manner
  • World-class training in proper techniques including
    • Blocking
    • Punching
    • Kicking
    • Kumite
      • Partner work
      • Sequences
      • Controlling the fight
    • Self-defense
      • How to prevent bad situations
      • How to fall
      • How to get up
  • Training in proper etiquette
  • Promoting the use of proper protective equipment suitable for the training
  • Training to harness and manage the competitive spirit

Another cause of injury can be from improper warm-up and insufficient strength in the muscles and joints. To help combat this, Black Belt Instructors:

  • Conduct regular warm-up activities including running and stretching to limber up the muscles and joints before Karate training begins
  • Include strength training and range of motion activities to help build strength and flexibility
  • Regularly train both sides of the body through line-work and Kata to develop a higher level of coordination and movement

All of these elements, plus more, have helped ensure our clubs are safe environments for Instructors and students alike – all while training hard. This provides for a great learning experience and allows everyone to help themselves, and others, to be safe.


A welcome message from AKF Chairman, Richard Fossey:

There are many reasons why you might want to learn Karate. For most, Karate is seen as a journey. For some, the journey is short; maybe their goal is to acquire their Black Belt or to learn some self defense skills. For others, the journey lasts a lifetime and becomes a journey of self-discovery, more than simply the pursuit of a martial art. Regardless of your journey...


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