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

Just Posted

Witness the passion and fire of flamenco in Victoria this July

Seventh annual Victoria Flamenco Festival features free and ticketed performances downtown

West Shore resident, local officer encourages women to take control of their safety

Kris Greffard is posting short videos with safety tips for women using local trails and parks

Point Ellice House exhibit offers new lens into colonial history

The new ‘Politics of luxury’ display studies the wealthy O’Reilly family from several angles

Police and Indigenous communities pull together in 10-day canoe journey

Victoria Police Department, Ministry of Children and Family Development took part in Pulling Together Canoe Journey

Police incident closes Millstream northbound off-ramp

Traffic affected on Highway 1 was affected

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

How much do you know about the moon?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the first lunar landing, see how well you know space

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read