Aimee McIntosh is a sensei with the Sooke Martial Arts Association. (Kevin Laird/Sooke News Mirror)

Sooke club gets kicks out of karate

Sooke Martial Arts Association provides unique sports outlet

Aimee McIntosh, an instructor for the Sooke Martial Arts Association, developed a love for karate nearly three decades ago.

Since then, the 32-year-old Sooke resident has earned a first-degree black belt and is one of six sensei in the club.

Karate, she says, taught her the value of respect.

“It’s shown me if you want something, you have to work at it,” says McIntosh, who began training with the Sooke Martial Arts Association when she was five.

“I learned the value of respect. I learned how to teach. I learned how to speak and be spoken to. I have a greater sense of self-confidence that really hasn’t wavered even through even my teenage years.”

Founded in 1982 by Ian Milne as Sooke Martial Arts, the group manifested into the Sooke Martial Arts Association in 2010, and is now a non-profit run by volunteers.

From beginners to individuals with experience in other styles, the club welcomes members from all corners of the Sooke Region.

The association practices Shotokan considered a traditional and influential form of karate.’

ALSO READ: B.C. team dominates Karate Canada national championship

Between September and June, about 50 members of the club are drilled and taught by six sensei.

There are two classes a week – junior for those under 13 and senior for those over 13 – and several competitive tournaments a year.

The most important link that brings the club together: family.

“We’re very family friendly. Many people that start with us involve their kids. It actually becomes a family activity for them,” says McIntosh, whose father is also a member and lead sensei of the association.

“The parents have to be a part of it as well. It’s a family requirement to be involved.”

Of the six sensei, three have been with the club since its inception: Don McIntosh, Nicky Logins and Trina Lacroix. The other sensei include Reese Anderson, Aimee McIntosh, and Levi Niblack.

Student belts run from white to black, but there is only one promotion a year.

Not all students get promoted. There are criteria they need to meet, which includes attendance, knowledge, and expectations set out by the sensei.

McIntosh says it can take anywhere from seven to 13 years to earn a black belt, depending on the age students start.

It took McIntosh 13 years to get her black belt, but her father, who started as an adult, earned one in seven years.

“It often comes down to maturity levels,” McIntosh says.

“We found ages 17 and above tend to be able to handle the responsibility of being a black belt or a sansei better.”

Recently, members of the association took part in two tournaments.

At the Victoria Cup in Saanichton May 4, two juniors and four seniors came home with medals. That competition was followed up with Hasting Martial Arts open tournament in Saanichton where four juniors earned medals, and the club’s brown belt student received five medals.

“We encourage students to go into tournaments to expose them to it. It gives them a healthy dose of competition,” McIntosh said.

For more information on the Sooke Martial Arts Association, check out its website at www.SookeMartialArtsAssociation.com or email sookemartialarts.smaa@gmail.com.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Southern resident orca L41 considered missing and feared dead

The orca was last spotted in Aug. 2019 when photographed in western Strait of Juan de Fuca

West Shore Pickleball Association serves up idea for View Royal tennis court

‘We don’t have a place to call home’, says avid pickleball member

Indigenous youth arrested during 15-hour occupation to hold press conference Wednesday morning

The speakers are expected to condemn police, RCMP actions towards Indigenous people

VIDEO: Saanich family competes on first season of ‘Family Feud Canada’

Charania family will face off against the Torres family from Hamilton, Ont.

Oak Bay confirms first heritage conservation area

Heritage bylaw for The Prospect neighbourhood in final phase

VIDEO: Feds look to help 126 Canadians quarantined in China for coronavirus

China has confirmed more than 4,500 cases of the new virus, with more than 100 deaths

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

Sooke Minor Fastball to host coaching clinic

Clinic ideal for those planning to coach U6 to U18 teams

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Most Read