Ted Truscott and his wife Pam Truscott-White are celebrating a 20-year anniversary.
They have been a couple much longer but they have operated the Yama Neko Dojo for two decades as of Jan. 1.
The small dojo is located behind the couple’s home in Langford on Happy Valley Road and has a small following of about a dozen students spanning from children to adults.
“My main focus was to teach my family,” said Truscott, a fourth degree black belt in Shorin-Ji Karate.
Truscott has two children and Truscott-White has one, all three are adults now, but grew up at the dojo with their friends.
Karate drew Truscott in when he was 25 years old and wanted to learn self-defense.
“The No. 1 thing I got from training was emotional stability and focus,” said the 66 year old. “That was a surprise because I got into it for the physical fitness. I love it, I’d rather be doing this than most other things.”
The dojo was built in a garage on the property and Truscott prides himself on keeping his classes traditional.
“We don’t spar here. Good karate will help you with sparring, but sparring will not help with good karate,” he said.
Tyler Baldwin has been a student of Yama Neko Dojo for about five years for the fitness but has learned the importance of patience through his practice. Now he teaches the children’s program.
“With six to 12 year olds you need to keep it quick with different versions of drills and games,” he said.
Andrew Krumm has been a student of Truscott’s for 12 years. He started when he was 17 and now he is a third degree black belt.
“We have watched him grow up,” said Truscott-White, a first degree black belt. “I never would have thought we’d still be doing this for 20 years.”
In the office the couple have saved every registration form from every student who has passed through the doors. The pile is three inches thick.